Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave.ca
As quick as it came, this time the anticipation is officially over as the PJHL Langley Trappers were crowned the 2022 Cyclone Taylor Cup Champions.
To the surprise of some the Ice Hawks were in the final after entering as the host team and not the league champions considering that they haven’t played a game since being ousted by the White Rock Whalers.
While some might question the overall success of the event; I for one must give full credit to Eduard Epstein and his committee on a remarkable job.
It wasn’t without issues that had some hockey scouts being “drilled” over the usage of their accreditation on the first day not having them return on any of the following three days.
Various individuals asked me where any of the local media was, other than Eastlink TV who did the final two championship games with thanks to Ian Wilson assisting for color commentator while Brady Lynn was the roving reporter.
The first game of Bronze game Sunday at noon featured the Revelstoke Grizzlies take on the VIJHL Peninsula Panthers pulling out a late surge with a 3-2 win with the winning goal scored at 14:02 of the third.
Both Ashton Lukan of the Panthers faced 31 shots turning aside 28 while Brendan Weare some 190 feet down ice faced 13 shots turning aside 11.
BC Hockey officials Connor Simons and Brad Lebus assessed three minors to Revelstoke, while Panthers were handed seven minors, all of which were obvious except to some supporters of each club.
The second game of the afternoon saw PJHL Champion Langley Trappers face hometown favorite Delta |Ice Hawks in more of a battle of bragging rights for the league.
The Ice Hawks started hometown “tender” Bradey Euerby played three of the four games having a 1-1 record for a SV% of 0.938 splitting duties with Merik Erickson who allowed nine goals while not getting much if any help from his “D” core.
The Trappers started Taje Gill who allowed three goals in his two games played finishing with a SV % of 0.946 while Caedon Bellmann had a SV% of 0.908 over the weekend.
Once again penalties proved costly to Delta giving the Trappers their first PP chance of the game with Scouras in the box for tripping allowing Astles to give the Trappers the early lead at 16:06 taking a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes.
The Trappers were handed a pair of minors at different times; it was Delta’s talented speedy brother combination of Carson and Connor Merriman that gave Delta a 2-1 at the 12:25 mark.
Holding and maintaining a lead is difficult at any level of the game and with the period winding down Langley’s Cody Bathgate pulled them even at 19:15 of the second.
Langley controlled the shots in the first two outshooting Delta by a narrow 17-13 margin, but Delta would rebound in the third outshooting the Trappers by a 18-10 total.
With many talking about the possibility of O/T both teams had solid chances from various areas of the ice only to be turned aside by both tenders but that was short lived until the 9:30 mark.
Langley’s Benjamin Weys pounced on a loose puck putting one past Euerby at 9:30 of the third that forced Delta to play catch-up.
The later part of the period saw a scramble in front of Delta’s Braedy Euerby that saw one of the Trapper players fall on the back of Euerby’s head while he was face down which could have been more serious.
After a lengthy delay with Delta’s trainer on the ice attending to Euerby he returned to the crease taking his position again in the crease.
With the play in Langley’s zone Delta bench boss Steve Robinson pulled Euerby for an extra attacker that saw Hyland jump on a loose puck and send one between the pipes which solidified the win and the championship for the PJHL Langley Trappers.
Following the game it was time for the championship presentation of medals as well as the trophy as well as game star awards to Trappers Jeff Astles (1 G/1A) while Delta’s Connor Merriman (1 G/0A0 was the home town game star.
Special thanks to Ernie “Punch” McLean and wife Fran for coming over to take in the game which graced me with an interview offering up his insights to what makes a play a pro.
The game was shown “live” on Eastlink TV that saw students from BCIT assist with the overall production of the broadcast.
Sportswave photographer Laird Allan was on hand for game photo’s while being assisted by both Annette and Scott Lebus as assistants.
Joining me in the broadcast booth was Ian Wilson who works with me for Richmond Sockeye games while Brady Lynn handled side-line interviews.
It was nice to see fans coming in to support the championship with fans from all areas of the province cheering for the hometown team.
It was listed that the first game saw 340 fans, while the championship game saw 630 boisterous fans on hand.
Thanks again to Eduard Epstein owner for the Delta Ice Hawks for putting this event on as well as the City of Delta and their respective user groups for backing up their spring sport league and programs.
Thanks also to everyone who came over to chat at the broadcast booth thanking us for doing Tuesday night hockey on Eastlink TV.
Enjoy your summer and thanks to PJHL League Commissioner Trevor Alto and league office staff for all their work over the season which wasn’t without issues due to road closures caused by mother nature.
Before you know the PJHL will again be hitting the ice for the 2022-23 season.
Thanks to Sportswave reporters for their coverage of the event!
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About Steve Erickson