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Sockeyes Sit First In PJHL

Photo Credit Sophia Khatami

As 2023 comes to a close the Richmond Sockeyes want to thank everyone for their support for the first half of an exciting season as they enter 2024 sitting in first place in the PJHL.

Winning was the goal set in place from ownership and the new coaching staff hired in the off-season and to date that mandate hasn’t changed as they set their sights entering the second half of the season.

The Sockeyes pulled off an impressive 7-1 win over their rival “tunnel series” Delta Ice Hawks with Thomas Popa playing solid between the pipes while Delta started  Remy Quintoro after the Sockeyes collected their fourth goal.

Delta then sent in Jacob Zillich for the remainder of the game who despite playing stellar was unable to turn aside the explosive fire power of the home team who outshot Delta by a 41-29 margin.

Richmond’s scoring was led by willian Huo (2G/3A) named first star while Daniel Zhou (1G/1A) was named second and Thomas Popa named third given his solid performance throughout the sixty minutes.

Entering the Christmas break they were focused on continuing their strong play in the PJHL Winter Classic with all fourteen teams playing both a home and  away game as they would face the visiting Aldergrove Kodiaks on the 28th.

Scoring has not been an issue this season with the players knowing that the season from this point gets shorter each game as they dominated the Kodiaks pulling out an 11-0 vin with Oliver Read between the pipes getting his second shutout of the season.

Different from previous games the Winter Classic has only a two star selection with one from each team which clearly indicates professionalism shown by the PLHL.

This contest saw former Saint Georges Zach Zapanta (2G/2A) named game star for the Sockeyes while Jameson Flint was named game star for the Kodiaks.

The Winter Classic were using four officials for all games and despite a somewhat ‘chippy’ contest the officials kept things under control with the Kodiaks assessed ten penalties while the Sockeyes managed nine.

Oliver Read played the full sixty minutes for Richmond while the Kodiaks utilized both Alex Wood and Allen Gillis who shared the duties.

They were entering the final game of the season facing the Surrey Knights in a contest that should have been simply an “easy” win but that simply wasn’t the case.

Nicholas Noren started the scoring off with his 26th of the season at the five minute mark followed by one with Willian Huo (19) while Saniel Zhou (20th) rounded off the scoring taking a 3-0 lead to the room after 20 minutes.

This game saw Noah Stenvig the Sockeyes newest addition between the pipes who was forced to make some impressive saves from various angles in the first twenty was unable to turn aside one from  Jamie Hylandss (4th) who opened the scoring for the Knights.

Surrey continued to press and while on the power play Knights Carter Andrews (4th) pulled them within one at 18:51 of the second as they headed to the dressing room.

One could only imagine what the conversation was in the dressing room after forty minute but regardless the Knights continued their strong play getting shots from various angles getting the tying goal at 6:40 with Bronson Sales bringing the fans to their feet.

Try as they might, this game saw an exceptional display of goaltending from Knight’s DJ Cash who at times stood on his head making save after save keeping his squad in the game.

Heading to O/T was anyone’s game with both “tenders” putting on a dazzling display of goaltending in the blue paint but given the firepower of the Sockeys it was Eithan Grishin (5th) who got the game winner for Richmond.

Regardless of the score the end result saw the Sockeyes outshoot Surrey by a commanding 56-37 tally with each team managing one goal on three power play chances.

Game stars were listed with Eithan Grishin (1G/1A) for the Sockeyes and Bronson Sales (1G/1A) for Surrey to the shock of many in the building.

Not to be disrespectful to  Bronson Sales but it was DJ Cash literally stole the show for the Knights and if not for him the game might have ended up a five or more win for Richmond.

The Sockeyes wrap up the first half of the PJHL season sitting with 32 wins, 1 loss, 2 shootout losses, 2 O/T wins for 66 points as the overall league leaders.

The Sockeyes hit the ice for the first game of the second half January 4th playing host to the visiting Delta Ice Hawks who currently sit second in the Tom Shaw Conference.

The Richmond Sockeyes wish everyone a very Happy New Year as we enter 2024 and thank you for your continued support for our proud tradition of Sockeyes hockey.

North Delta Minor Hockey Fights Cancer

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