Henry Smith jumps into the Ice Hawks bench to celebrate after scoring just 16 seconds into Game 1 of the Tom Shaw Conference Final on Tuesday night at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
It was an intense first game of Round 3 between the Delta Ice Hawks and White Rock Whalers, with the two teams duelling it out and the Ice Hawks coming out on top 4-1.
Delta starting goalie Zach Shaughnessy made some big saves in key situations to help keep his team on top, stopping 25 of 26 in the game.
The Hawks scored early in the first period, the only goal of the frame. Alex Lucchesi sent a long, diagonal pass up to Henry Smith, who was able to pick the corner over Mark Paton’s shoulder for his third marker of the playoffs, just 16 seconds into the game for a 1-0 Delta lead.
The lead for the home team doubled early in the second, as the Hawks took advantage of a power play. Tye Hemenway kept the puck inside the Whalers’ zone and dished down the Alec Scouras. Scouras couldn’t find a shooting lane and passed across to Carson Hemenway, who wristed his first of the playoffs past Paton.
Not long after that, the Whalers got on the board with a goal from captain Zachary Sherwin to cut the Hawks’ lead to 2-1.
With just over a minute left in the second and the Hawks short-handed, Yuji Akimoto pinched up and picked off a pass in the neutral zone, heading on a breakaway down the left wing. Paton made the initial save, but Akimoto grabbed the rebound and deked around Paton, who was out too far, and slid it home to restore the two-goal lead.
In the third, Delta again scored the lone goal of the frame, while on the power play with just a minute and a half to go. Smith wove his way into the White Rock zone and threaded a pass through two Whalers defenders to Austin Kofler, who was able to tap it in for his third of the postseason and a 4-1 Hawks win.