The White Rock Whalers find themselves in rough water this week after dropping the first two games of the Pacific Junior Hockey League finals last weekend to the Langley Trappers.
Game 1, played Friday at Langley’s George Preston Recreation Centre, was won by the Trappers 3-2 in overtime – Cody Bathgate scored the winning goal 5:24 into the extra frame – and the Trappers took Game 2 Sunday, as well, winning 4-2.
White Rock’s Cole Svendson scored two goals in the Game 1 loss.
In Sunday’s rematch, the Whalers spent a good portion of the game playing catch-up – Langley’s Lleyton Shearon opened the scoring just 26 seconds into the game, and those Svendson tied it up soon after, the Trappers restored the one-goal cushion in the second period, and led 2-1 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Caleb Cruz scored his second of the playoffs to draw White Rock even, but 35 seconds later, the Trappers took the lead again on a goal from Anthony Bosnjak. Bosnjak would later add an empty-netter with 11 seconds remaining in the game to ice it for the home side.
🚨 Langley wins game 2 and takes a 2-0 lead in the series.🚨
Cole Svendson and Caleb Cruz scored for the Pod.
— WhiteRockWhalers (@WRWhalersHockey) March 21, 2022
Game 3 will be played Tuesday night, and though it will be a home game for the Whalers, it won’t be played in White Rock. All Whalers’ home games this series will be played a few blocks north, at South Surrey Arena, because the ice has been removed from White Rock’s usual home, Centennial Arena, as the city ramps up its non ice-hockey programs, such as ball hockey and lacrosse.
Game 4, also planned for South Surrey Arena, is scheduled for Saturday night.
As opposed to the smaller confines – and regulation ice sheet – at Centennial, South Surrey Arena’s ice is Olympic sized, and considerably larger than what the Whalers and Trappers will be used to skating on. Seating capacity at the South Surrey rink is also considerably greater than in White Rock, so more fans can have the opportunity to watch their hometown team vie for the league crown.
Game 5, should it be required, will be played March 30 in Langley; Game 6 is April 1 back at South Surrey Arena. A series-deciding Game 7, if necessary, would be played in Langley April 3 at 2:30 p.m.
The Whalers advanced to the finals after a six-game series win over the Delta Ice Hawks, while the Trappers swept their Ridge Meadows Flames in their series.