PJHL Win’s In O/T

Photo Credit Doug Abbott

The Delta Ice Hawks played host to what is expected to be the first of many All-Star game that featured the best of the best from both the  PJHL and the VIJHL

The last Sunday in January 2020 had players from the Island teams travel to compete in a spirited game that saw the eventual winner decided in OT..

While the game featured exceptional play, both myself and  Steve Daniel were hoping for a Hollywood finish that would see Ice Hawks Captain Mark Epshtein score the game winner.

We should mention that getting the game to actually take place wasn’t necessarily a “rubber stamp” as it first had to be approved by Delta’s Parks and Rec Department or Commission and the Board of Governors of the PJHL.

Prior to the start of the game His Worship City of Delta George Harvey was on hand to drop the puck for the official opening as well as stopped by for an Interview with Steve and myself, which we greatly appreciated.

Delta Ice Hawks owner Eduard Epshtein and volunteers have spent tireless hours to make this happen and once confirmed, broadcast times was confirmed by Eastlink TV, formerly Delta TV for live coverage.

During the game we managed to arrange special guests for between period interviews, two of which were Ernie “Punch” McLean and VIJHL Media Guru Mark Berry, both of whom were busy signing autographs throughout the game.

The game itself was a back and forth affair with the VIJHL out-shooting the PJHL roster from the opening face-off till the final buzzer.

Both rosters consisted of talented players from all teams with the exception of the Surrey Knights who were shut out of the roster, which was sad, but also realistic.

Each squad used a pair of “teners” which were changed at the media timeout at the mid-point of the second period with all four playing exceptional.

As the third period winding down former Ice Hawk Alex Suprynowicz who suited up for Delta for three season’s who was sent to the “sin bin” for hooking, putting the VIJHL on the PP. 

With momentum on their side given and time against them Tanner Wort went one on one with Cale Dollan who managed to come up with what could be called the “save of the game” forcing  a three on three O/T format.

It was interesting to see that Wolf Pack Head Coach Mark Sampson had two former teammates, namely Teddy Prior, Alex Suprynowicz on the ice with Mark Epshtein noting that all three played together with the Ice Hawks on the same line in the past.

Both teams had chances, but it was Delta Ice Hawks Captain Mark Epshtein who jumped on a loose puck 20 feet inside the blue line sending a tape to tape pass to Suprynowicz notched the game winner.

After coming out of the box, he managed to get behind the “D” of the VIJHL putting one inside the top left corner bulging the twine for the game winner.

It’s interesting to note that the VIJHL dominated in the shot department out-shooting the PJHL 47-26 through the game advantage in the shot department.

During the game Steve Daniel and myself had the chance to talk with the incoming New PJHL League Commissioner Trevor Alto who spoke very highly about retiring Ray Stonehouse, who incidentally is being inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame July 24th in  Penticton.

We want to thank Trevor for his time as well as Ray for his work, dedication and commitment to Junior B hockey over the past 40 years.

We should mention that Trevor will not officially take over until the meetings this May and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.

Photo Credit to Doug Abbott for all photo’s