The White Rock Whalers put in a little extra time on the ice this month, with three of their last five games going into overtime – including two in the last week.
On Monday, the junior ‘B’ hockey squad earned a 3-2 win over the Abbotsford Pilots – with leading scorer Chris Fortems potting the winner in the sudden-death extra frame.
Just two days earlier, the Whalers picked up a single point in a 5-4 double-overtime loss to the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
At the start of January, the Whalers opened the 2020 portion of their season with another OT contest, winning 3-2 on the road to their crosstown rival Surrey Knights on Jan. 3.
In between the games that have required extra time, White Rock lost to the Mission City Outlaws and defeated the Langley Trappers.
In Monday’s win, White Rock jumped out to a 1-0 lead by the first intermission, with Reegan House scoring less than two minutes into the game.
Abbotsford replied midway through the second period, however, scoring a pair of games within a minute of each other – including one on the power play – to take the lead.
Samuel Dowell, an affiliate call-up player, scored for White Rock in the third to tie the game, sending it to overtime.
For Dowell, a 17-year-old Surrey native, the goal was his first in the PJHL; this season, he has also seen action as an affiliate player with the Delta Ice Hawks and Abbotsford.
Overall, the second-year Whalers sits fourth in the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Tom Shaw Conference with a record of 21-15-0-2 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss). They’re firmly four points up on fifth-place Delta and four back of the Grandview Steelers for third.
Though teams are bunched tightly together in the Shaw Conference – with the exception of the one-loss North Vancouver Wolfpack – the Whalers have more points than four teams in the PJHL’s Harold Brittain Conference, and considering the league’s playoff crossover rules, a post-season spot seems likely for the Semiahmoo Peninsula crew.
The Whalers are back in action Saturday at White Rock’s Centennial Arena, hosting the Surrey Knights at 7:30 p.m. They’ll also play Monday, at home, against North Vancouver.
A pair of White Rock Whalers – Fortems and defenceman Bryce Margetson – were part of the PJHL’s team in the Prospects Game earlier this month, which saw the Lower Mainland league’s top young players, aged 16-18, travel to Nanaimo to take on the top prospects from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
The Island squad won the game 7-4.
Fortems, 17, is in his rookie season with the Whalers, and he leads the squad in scoring with 43 points in 37 games.
Margetson, also 17, is in his first full season with White Rock, after playing nine games with the team last season. The Surrey native has two goals and 15 points in 36 games this season, and is one of the team’s most reliable defencemen.