Conner Merriman had two goals and an assist on Tuesday night against the Whalers at the Ladner Leisure Centre in the 7-6 loss in a shootout.
It was a back-and-forth battle at the Ladner Leisure Centre on Tuesday night, and the White Rock Whalers eked out a win in a shootout over the home Delta Ice Hawks.
The Ice Hawks got on the board first when Kyle Robinson slid a puck up to Hawks affiliate player Ashan Khangura. Khangura carried it into the Whalers’ zone on the left wing and passed across to Conner Merriman, who had an easy tap-in past Keegan Maddocks for his twelfth goal of the season.
Robinson later got a goal of his own, again teaming up with Conner Merriman. In the neutral zone, he tapped the puck over to Merriman, who went back to Robinson right in front of the goal and Robinson backhanded it in to double Delta’s lead to 2-0 through 20 minutes.
The Whalers got on the board quickly in the second, taking advantage of a power play that started with seconds left in the first period. Ewan Rennie stole the puck near the Ice Hawks’ net and quickly beat Justin Wagner short side to get his team on the board.
Seconds later, the Ice Hawks regained their two-goal lead. Robinson gained possession of a loose puck following a faceoff and he broke out with Conner Merriman. Merriman blew by his defenseman and netted his second goal of the night.
Dalton MacGillivray continued to add to his point total with his twenty-fifth goal of the year, this one on the power play. Carson Hemenway cycled the puck around to MacGillivray, who went over to Carson Merriman on the left side. Merriman went back to MacGillivray, who sent a wrister past Maddocks from the high slot.
The Hawks opened up a four-goal lead seconds after a power play ended later in the middle frame. Ryan Bal passed to Alex Lucchesi down in the Whalers’ right corner, and Lucchesi slap-passed over to Dominic Main in the slot, who slid it into the open net.
The Whalers picked up a couple goals before the end of the frame, creeping back to within two. The first was scored by Rennie, his second of the night. Cole Svendson sent the puck down low to Chris Fortems and from below the goal line, Fortems found Rennie in the slot, and he scored cross-body on Wagner glove side.
The third White Rock goal came from Bryce Margetson, who was set up on the right point by Cameron Newson. Assisted by a screen out front blocking Wagner’s vision, Margetson’s seeing-eye shot from the point found mesh, making it 5-3 heading into the second intermission.
White Rock had another quick goal to start a period in the third, with Rennie gaining control of the puck in Delta’s zone. Rennie went to Fortems, who took a shot, and Hezekiah Mbaja was out front of Wagner there to clean up the rebound.
The Ice Hawks did not let up though. On the power play, they were cycling the puck around and Carson Merriman went high to MacGillivray, who passed over to Hemenway, Hemenway unleashed a one-timer past Whalers netminder Adam Winter to make it 6-4.
But, the Whalers also weren’t ready to give up, scoring twice not long after the Ice Hawks did to tie the game, the goals just 17 seconds apart. The Ice Hawks were unable to clear the zone and Mathew Morison picked up the puck and took a shot. Wagner made the save, but Zachary Sherwin was out front to pick up the rebound.
On the tying goal, White Rock intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and sent it in deep. Jayson Beauregard picked it up and shot, but saved by Wagner. The puck went to Ryden Mathieson on the opposite side and while Wagner was able to make the first save, Mathieson beat him on the second try for his team’s sixth goal of the game.
Extra time was needed, with overtime solving nothing. In the shootout, the Whalers scored in all three rounds, while Carson Merriman scored the lone goal for Delta.