White Rock Whalers to play home games in Richmond

Junior ‘B’ hockey team, city, could not come to agreement around dressing-room usage

Whalers logo

The White Rock Whalers are moving their home games to Richmond – for a little while, at least.

After being unable to come to terms on a workable solution with the City of White Rock regarding the full use of dressing rooms at Centennial Arena – which are currently off-limits due to COVID-19 health-and-safety protocols – the Pacific Junior Hockey League team will play its home games this season at Richmond Arena.

While the Whalers have been practising at Centennial Arena for weeks, the players have been getting changed at home and in the parking lot, before coming inside to the ice sheet, as the dressing rooms are not considered to be in the field of play until return-to-play guidelines.

Whalers president Ronnie Paterson told Peace Arch News last week that while the arrangement had been working fine for practice, the PJHL requires proper dressing rooms for games.

On Monday morning, Paterson informed PAN that the team will be shifting its home games to Richmond “in the interim” until social-distancing protocols and other COVID-19 regulations change, at which time the team would return to Centennial Arena.

Paterson had originally said he was confident the two sides would be able to come to an agreement; he said the team had offered to thoroughly sanitize both dressing rooms after its Saturday night games, or pay for a company to do it.

“We’ll do anything,” he said last week. “We’ll work with the city and with minor hockey, and hopefully in a few weeks time we’ll have the ability to go into the dressing room… We’re getting close. Just a couple small hurdles left to overcome, but I’m confident we can do that.”

Recent discussions saw some concessions made, Paterson said, but not enough for the PJHL to approve game-play. The dressing rooms at Centennial Arena are quite small, and Paterson said based on their size, the city would only allow three players in the room at once, “which makes it problematic to change at the arena.”

However, he said the team looked at other areas of the arena where they could possibly set up makeshift dressing rooms – an idea “strongly considered and supported by the city,” he said – but those plans did not meet the league standard.

Officials at the City of White Rock did not respond to a request for comment.

The Whalers have already played two PJHL regular-season games – winning on Oct. 22 and losing Sunday – and their home opener is set for Saturday, Nov. 7 against the Aldergrove Kodiaks.

White Rock also has a road game scheduled for Thursday against the Kodiaks.

The Whalers are not the only PJHL team playing home games outside of their city this season. The Ridge Meadows Flames – who are in the same cohort division as White Rock, along with Aldergrove and the Surrey Knights – have started the season playing home games out of Abbotsford, as their usual facility will not be available to them until the new year.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Junior B Hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fresgo Inn chef/owner Walter Wolff in the kitchen of the self-serve restaurant in Whalley. “I’ve got no plan for the retirement,” he says. “My customers always ask me, but as long as I feel good, healthy, I like to come here.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
VIDEO: Surrey’s Fresgo Inn chef keeps cooking comfort food as COVID cuts into customers

‘I’ve got no plan for the retirement,’ says 40-year Whalley pillar Walter Wolff

Shawn Canil, a Cloverdale-area resident, turns heads with the truck he’s decorated for Christmas. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Truck’s Christmas decorations lift spirits on Cloverdale man’s commute

‘When I see them smiling, I know it’s worth it,’ pickup driver Shawn Canil says

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey school district sends out 16 exposure notices overnight

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

At least one person received life-threatening injuries when a car collided with a semi truck in South Surrey on Friday morning. (Brenda Anderson photo)
VIDEO: South Surrey crash sends one to hospital in critical condition

Road closures in effect after collison between car and semi-truck

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce to host virtual COVID-19 town hall

Online event to include local politicians and representatives from Fraser Health, WorkSafe BC

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Most Read