Junior B hockey returned to the Ladner Leisure Centre on Tuesday night, with the Delta Ice Hawks taking on their division rivals, the White Rock Whalers, to open the 2021-22 PJHL season.
The Whalers came away with a 4-3 shootout win in the evenly-matched game. The Ice Hawks found their groove partway through the first period and peppered the White Rock net with chances throughout the rest of the game, but White Rock goalie Daniel Zuvic made some key saves to hold the Hawks off the board enough to win.
White Rock opened the scoring in the first period with a short-handed goal late in a penalty kill, with Matthew Burry going five-hole on Delta goalie Justin Wagner.
The Ice Hawks came back with two of their own before the end of the period – captain Alec Scouras squeaked one by Zuvic to tie the game, and Alex Lucchesi whipped a power play goal into the back of the net with just seconds left in the first frame.
Wagner came out of the game in the second period with an injury, replaced by Dawson Chen. The only goal of the period came from White Rock, with Chris Fortems scoring on a 3-on-1, sending the game into the third period tied 2-2.
Each team scored in the third period, with the Whalers taking the lead on a Sam Dowell short-handed goal. Dowell broke away at centre ice and netted his shot his glove side on Chen.
Milne returned fire less than a minute later, receiving a pass at centre ice from Joshua Kee and cutting into the Whalers’ zone. He shot across his body and beat Zuvic far side.
Three-on-three overtime was eventful with close calls for both sides, but it did not decide a winner, so the game went to a shootout. Bradley Sherwin was the only player to score, taking the win for White Rock.