Ice Hawks stay in playoff race, take down Whalers

In a must-win game for the Delta Ice hawks, they came through at home by defeating the White Rock Whalers 5-1, keeping their playoffs hopes alive in the final week of the PJHL season.

Marcus Pantazis got the Hawks off to a good start with an early goal. Bradley Seto kept the puck in the offensive zone and found Pantazis down low, who went high-blocker on Jonathan Holloway.

Delta went up 2-0 going into the intermission, after Brice Kemp passed to Mitch Lavoie, who plowed his way through multiple Whalers defensemen and doubled Delta’s lead.

Cole Bromhead kept the Hawks rolling in the second period by winning the battle for a loose puck and passing to Brad Fortin. Fortin patiently waited for the right time to pass to Montaro Uyeyama, and Uyeyama’s quick release resulted in his fifth of the year.

The Hawks continued to pile onto their lead, with Leo Li scoring an unassisted goal almost identical to one he scored the previous week against Langley, weaving his way into the zone and scoring sharp short-side.

In the third, White Rock got on the board, with Calder Newson capitalizing on Jordy Engleson losing track of the puck on a rebound in what was otherwise a flawless game for the Delta starter

Ryan Bayley tacked on an empty-netter with a wrist shot from the Whalers’ blue line with just over two minutes to go in the game, sealing the win for the home team.

Delta now waits for Friday, as they will take on their rival in the race for the playoffs, the Ridge Meadows Flames, in Maple Ridge. Game time is 7:30 at Planet Ice.