December 29, 2015
It’s winter break, and the North Van Wolf Pack are still atop the PJHL.
Play resumes for a bunch of ‘Winter Classic’ style games on Jan. 1, 2, and 3 at Minoru Arena in Richmond. After that, the Wolf Pack visit the Delta Ice Hawks on Jan 5.
Not too much has changed from last update, as the Wolf Pack played just one game in that time.
That game was a good one though, as it was a battle of the division leaders; North Van against Mission City.
The Wolf Pack were outshot 51-28, but were able to sneak away with a 5-4 win when all was said and done. Trevor Withers made a whopping 47 saves in the win, while the Wolf Pack offense was led once again by its top players. Nyshan Basra had a hat-trick in the game, while Mitchell Cobby had three assists and Scott Munro had two points.
The win brings the Wolf Pack to a PJHL-best 45 points with a 22-7-0-1 record. They have scored the most goals of any team, while only Grandview and Abbotsford have allowed less goals than the Wolf Pack this season.
Mission City has now lost five straight games, all the meanwhile the Wolf Pack have won seven straight.
Those opposite streaks have allowed the Pack to skyrocket ahead of Mission for top team in the league, a title they now hold with a four-point cushion.
Looking at just the Tom Shaw conference, North Van are six points up on Grandview for top spot. Richmond and Delta are both not too far behind Grandview, while the Port Moody Panthers are well out of the playoff picture.
With playoffs all but secured for the top four teams, the incentive for winning becomes the playoff match-ups. The Wolf Pack are 1-2-0-1 against Delta, while 4-0-0-0 against Richmond, so that could be an area of interest in the final games of the season.
Here’s a look at both PJHL conference standings:
|Mission City Outlaws||31||20||10||0||1||41||142||94||+48||0.661||L5|
|Ridge Meadows Flames||29||12||12||2||3||29||110||122||-12||0.500||W1|
|North Vancouver Wolf Pack||30||22||7||0||1||45||143||91||+52||0.750||W7|
|Delta Ice Hawks||30||15||11||1||3||34||110||118||-8||0.567||W2|
|Port Moody Panthers||30||5||22||1||2||13||72||118||-46||0.217||L7|
The Wolf Pack stats look relatively unchanged from last week.
Basra, fresh off his three-goal effort against Mission, now has fifteen goals on the season, the most on the team. With Cobby’s three assist night he increases to 40 points, good for third in PJHL scoring.
Scott Munro and Shane Kumar have led the way for the defensemen. Kumar is 2nd in defense scoring in the league, and Munro is one of only two defensemen averaging over a point-per-game.
Everything is going right for North Van right now, they just have to keep it going.
Here’s a look at the top ten scorers for the North Van Wolf Pack:
|2||Troy Ring (no longer with team)||’97||D||21||7||14||21||1.0||4||0||0||20|
Looking to the team’s goalies, Trevor Withers and Brock Leach-Moore have been a solid tandem.
With Withers’ 47 saves on 51 shots, his numbers improve up to .894 SV% and 3.16 GAA. He’s been rebounding after a slow start to the season, and the high goals against average is just a result of the Wolf Pack run-and-gun style of game.
Leach-Moore has enjoyed a strong rookie campaign. He has a 7-1 record to go along with a 2.39 GAA and a .912 SV%. Those great numbers mean the Wolf Pack have options in goal going forward, and that’s never a bad thing, especially come playoff time.