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Big win sends Surrey Knights to junior hockey playoffs for 2nd straight season

The PJHL team played a must-win game Sunday night
A young hockey fan known as “The Black Knight” cheers on Surrey Knights to victory Sunday, Feb. 11 at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex in Fleetwood. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

After several tough seasons in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, Surrey Knights are in the playoffs for a second straight year.

The Knights earned a trip to the post-season Sunday night (Feb. 11) with a 6-4 win over Mission City Outlaws, in a do-or-die final regular-season game.

Those two teams will now play a best-of-three Survivor series starting Tuesday (Feb. 13) in Mission, followed by games Thursday night (Feb. 15) in North Surrey and, if necessary, Saturday back in Mission.

Sunday’s crucial win was earned at the Surrey Sport & Leisure rink in Fleetwood, in a game rescheduled from a few weeks ago due to a snow storm.

Surrey needed a win or tie to edge Abbotsford Pilots in the standings for a trip to the playoffs.

Parkor Sarai and Wendell Adriano led the Knights with two goals each, with additional markers from Kirit Sran and team captain Jacob Thompson. In net, Ayodele Ogini stopped 34 of 38 shots.

The Knights needed at least a point Sunday to make the playoffs after losing to Ridge Meadows Flames on Friday night, coupled with a Pilots victory over Langley Trappers.

The PJHL playoff format sees teams in fourth and fifth place meet in Survivor series as “wild card” teams. Winners of the two matchups, in each conference, will meet the first-place teams.

Ridge Meadows finished first in the Harold Brittain Conference, which includes Surrey, while the league-leading Richmond Sockeyes are tops in the Tom Shaw Conference.

Surrey finished the regular season with 15 wins in 48 games, good for fifth place.

Last year, for the first time since moving to Surrey from Langley seven years previous, the Knights earned a trip to the PJHL playoffs, but lost in two straight games to Chilliwack in their Survivor series.

In playoffs this month, Ridge Meadows will face the winner of the Surrey/Mission series, while Richmond will battle either White Rock Whalers or Grandview Steelers after their Survivor series fight.

In other playoff action, Chilliwack will take on Langley in the first round of Brittain conference games, and Delta Ice Hawks will face North Vancouver Wolf Pack in the Tom Shaw division.

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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