The Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) final has the Richmond Sockeyes facing off against the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
But there is a strong Surrey/North Delta contingent participating in the best-of-seven series that began last night (Wednesday).
Three of the top four scorers on the Kodiaks roster call Surrey home. Stefan Gonzales, named the PJHL’s top defenceman, scored 13 times and added 31 assists to finish third in the Aldergrove scoring race. He’s added another two goals and four assists while playing in seven of Aldergrove’s 10 playoff contests, and is among a group of six skaters from Surrey playing for the Kodiaks.
The brother act of Spencer and Scott McHaffie finished second and fourth respectively during the regular season, Spencer with 18 goals and 45 points, Scott with 11 goals and 43 points. They continue to provide offense in the playoffs, with Scott scoring four times and adding 12 assists, and Spencer adding a team-best six goals to go with seven assists.
A fourth forward from Surrey, Ryan Veillet, tallied 11 times and assisted on 19 other goals during the regular season, netting five goals and 12 points in the postseason.
In his rookie season, Jackson Waniek notched four goals and 10 points in 33 games played as a 16 year-old.
In 15 regular season games playing defense, Samuel Ramsay scored three times.
The Kodiaks are coached by North Delta resident Ron Johnson.
Aldergrove will face a Sockeyes lineup that includes three players from Surrey and one from North Delta.
Dean Allison, 18, led the Sockeyes in scoring in the regular season with 25 goals and 59 points in 44 games played. He’s added another 10 goals and five assists in 11 postseason contests.
Jake Roder played just 18 regular season games, but tallied 13 goals and added 12 assists, for a 1.4 points-per-game average that was a team-best. He has two goals and seven assists in the playoffs.
Stephen Campbell is also contributing to the offense, scoring 11 goals and adding 19 assists for 30 points in 44 regular season games.
Scott Wessa of North Delta has tallied twice in the regular season while on the Sockeyes blueline, and adding one more goal in the playoffs.
The coaching staff also has a pair of Surrey residents, with Ron Paterson and Rajan Sidhu behind the bench.
The Sockeyes finished first in the Tom Shaw Conference in the regular season, then swept the North Delta Devils 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs, and edged the Delta Ice Hawks in seven games.
Aldergrove was the second-place team in the Harold Brittain Conference, but pushed aside the third-place Ridge Meadows Flames and the first-place Abbotsford Pilots in a pair of five-game series.
The PJHL playoff champion will advance to the Cyclone Taylor Cup Apr. 11-14 on Vancouver Island, competing against the host Comox Valley Glacier Kings and the champions of the Vancouver Island and Kootenay junior hockey leagues.