JUNIOR B HOCKEY: Winless Surrey Knights inch closer to a league record they don’t want

Flightless Mission Pilots of the mid-1980s hold PJHL record for futility

Surrey Knights in action against Abbotsford Pilots at North Surrey rec centre earlier this season.

SURREY — This city’s Knights remain winless this season after 20 games played, and they’re inching toward breaking the record for futility in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL).

League president Ray Stonehouse tells the story of the flightless Mission Pilots of the mid-1980s.

“They went the entire season without winning a game, and it made for a front-page story in the Globe and Mail newspaper because they almost went another entire season without winning a game,” Stonehouse recalled.

“I owned the Ridge Meadow Flames at the time, and we were all shocked that it got such prominent play nationally.”

Last summer, the still-new-to-Surrey Knights moved from Langley, where the team won only four of 44 games during the 2015-16 season.

This season, the Knights have exactly one point, earned in a 6-5 overtime loss on home ice to Port Moody Panthers on Sept. 29.

CLICK HERE to visit the Knights’ website.

More recently, the Junior B hockey squad got thumped 7-0 by Mission City Outlaws last Thursday (Nov. 17) at North Surrey Recreation Centre, and then suffered another shutout loss, this time 11-0, against North Vancouver Wolf Pack on the road Saturday night (Nov. 19).

“I’m sure it’s frustrating,” Stonehouse said. “You feel for the kids, and they’ve been so close to winning. I attend every one of their home games and several of their away games, too, and they lost 5-4 in Abbotsford (on Nov. 4), so they were darn close against them, one of the top teams in the league.

“So it’s not like they haven’t been in it, they just haven’t been able to bust through yet. They’ve been competitive on most nights, until recently.”

Mission City Outlaws coach Brad Veitch wasn’t yet a teenager in the mid-1980s when the Mission Pilots, which later moved to Abbotsford, was owned by his father, Jim.

“That Mission team was close to a year and a half without a win, so Surrey’s getting close, even though I don’t know the exact number of losses (Mission) had,” Veitch told the Now on Monday.

“They’ll probably reach that record by the end of the year, because I don’t see them winning a game, but who knows,” Veitch added. “It’s pretty bleak. We just played them last week and it wasn’t real pretty. Unless a miracle happens and maybe their goalie steals them something, they’re going to struggle.”

In separate trades, the Outlaws recently acquired Knights forwards Nathan McCarnan and Nick Bizzutto in return for rookie Trevor Sundher and future considerations. Also, the Knights’ top scorer this season, forward Blake McCulloch, is now playing with Delta Ice Hawks, leaving behind a rookie-laden team in North Surrey.

“So now their top players have left, which makes it even more difficult for them to win, for the rest of this year anyways,” Veitch said.

“Trevor has done quite well there, a point a game, and he’s more of an offensive guy and Nathan is more gritty, which is what we were looking for,” Veitch added. “Trevor will be a good player for them for a couple of years, provided they hold on to him and don’t get rid of him. What happens is they start to lose, and they start selling players, and once they do that, forget it, it becomes very difficult to win, let’s put it that way.”

Next up for the Knights is a home game Thursday (Nov. 24) against Ridge Meadows Flames, in a 7:45 p.m. start at North Surrey rec centre.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

Just Posted

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland

Ringette Canada says the sport has reached record registration numbers

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read