Delta Ice Hawks downed by Richmond Sockeyes in Game 7
The Delta Ice Hawks’ season came to a close Monday night at Minoru Arenas as the local Junior B hockey club fell 5-1 to the Richmond Sockeyes in Game 7 of the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Tom Shaw Conference finals. With the win, the Sockeyes now go on to play the Aldergrove Kodiaks in the PJHL championship, which begins Wednesday night in Aldergrove.
The Sockeyes never gave the Ice Hawks a chance Monday night as they opened up a 4-0 lead before Spencer Schoen got Delta on the scoreboard in the third period.
The Sockeyes outshot the Ice Hawks 39-28, chasing starting goalie Alexander Ahnert from the net midway through the second period.
Richmond was two-for-three on the powerplay, while Delta didn’t have a man-advantage all game.
The Ice Hawks had battled back to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Sockeyes with a pair of wins last week.
On Thursday, the Ice Hawks topped the Sockeyes 5-4 on the road to stay alive in the series. The Ice Hawks opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal late in the first period from the stick of David Rudin. Mitchell Walter scored unassisted early in the second period to put the visitors up 2-0, before the home team answered back with a pair of goals of their own.
Both teams traded goals late in the middle frame to head to the third tied 3-3. A nasty check by Sockeyes forward Bret Higham resulted in the six-foot-three bruiser getting a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct.
The Ice Hawks made the most of the five-minute powerplay, with Anthony Brito and Kolten Grieve both scoring in a span of 30 seconds.
The Sockeyes pushed hard to equalize, with Jake Roder scoring to draw within one. Richmond pulled goalie Kootenay Alder in the final minute for the extra attacker, but Ahnert was able to keep the puck out of the net and keep Delta alive in the playoff series.
Brito was named the game’s first star for his two-goal effort, while Aaron Merrick was named third star, scoring a pair of assists. Schoen tallied three assists, while Marc Letourneau, Tanner Gattinger, and Alex Martin each notched a helper of their own.
Daniel Delbianco opened the scoring for the Ice Hawks Saturday night at the Ladner Leisure Centre just a minute into the game. Delta held the 1-0 lead until early in the second period, when Danton Heinen of the Richmond Sockeyes tied the game.
The lead didn’t last for long, however, as Marc Letourneau and Aaron Merrick each scored for the Ice Hawks to give the home team a 3-1 lead.
Richmond notched a short-handed goal midway through the third period to draw within one, but the Ice Hawks answered back with a goal of their own 20 seconds later on the same powerplay.
Delbianco was named the game’s first star for his two-goal effort, while Ahnert was the game’s second star fore his 23-save performance.
Delta outshot Richmond 47-25, and went 1-for-7 on the powerplay, while Richmond was 0-for-3.
The Ice Hawks finish the season with a record of 31-9-4 in league play, and a playoff record of 7-4 through two rounds.
Merrick led the team in post-season scoring, with eight goals and three assists in 11 games, while Anthony Brito had four goals and seven assists in nine games. Martin was the team’s highest-scoring blueliner, with one goal and five assists in 11 games. Ahnert finished the season with 2.51 goals-against-average, and a .920 save percentage