March 21, 2019
The North Vancouver Wolf Pack are PJHL league and playoff Champions, after downing the Langley Trappers in four games straight last night in Langley.
Two home ice wins
The series started off in North Vancouver last Friday night, with a 4-0 shut out win on home ice at Harry Jerome. The Pack followed it up with a 3-1 victory on Saturday, to take a 2-0 lead into the George Preston in Langley, for game three on Monday.
Game 3, George Preston, 5-4 OT2 W
In game 3, Langley scored first early on the power play but then gave up three straight power play markers to fall behind 3-1 after the first.
Langley scrapped back with two in the second, and then eventually forced OT with mid third period power play to close out the period 4-4.
North Van finally closed it out on a power play marker from captain Justin Lee midway through the second period of overtime, to go up 3-0 in the series.
Shots finished 64-32, with Langley’s Kristian Lyon stopping 59 over 78:48 minutes. Spencer Eschyschyn got the win, stopping 28.
Game 4, George Preston, 5-1 W
In game four Wednesday night, the Pack opened a 2-0 lead in the first on goals from Jacob Fournier and Kaz Minemoto.
Langley’s Michael Guzzo got to the Trappers within one midway through the second, but Minemoto quickly replied, and then Nathan Haaksma closed out the period with a power play goal to make it 4-1 heading into the third.
Minemoto completed his hat trick midway through the third to wrap up the scoring, 5-1.
Shots finished 48-33 for the Pack. Spencer Eschyschyn got the win, stopping 32; Kristian Lyon stopped 42 for the Trappers.
Penalties played a big part in the game, with Langley accumulating 95 PIMs including nine misconducts, to 38 PIMS and three misconducts against North Vancouver.
The Pack scored 2 power play goals on 8 opportunities, Langley were 0-2.
Rookie forward Jacob Fournier and veteran captain Justin Lee led the way offensively for the Wolf Pack through the playoffs, each notching 20 points over the 14 game stretch.
Two 1999 players, defenseman Jacob Callas and forward Lucas Baker were next with 16 and 14 points respectively. Another 2000 born rookie, forward Dominic Davis rounded out the Top 5, with 11 points.
The Wolf Pack goalies shared duties equally, with rookie Nik Hoem posting wins in the first two Championship series games, allowing just one goal against. Over the seven game stretch he played, Hoem allowed just 1.11 GGA and posted a .959 save percentage.
Veteran 1998 born Spencer Eschyschyn played in eight games, posting a 2.39 GGA and a .915 save percentage.
The Wolf Pack will now head to Campbell River for the Provincial Junior B Championship Cyclone Taylor Cup tournament April 11-14, where they’ll meet host Campbell River, along with another representative of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and the champion of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Playoffs are still underway in both leagues.
Kelowna Chiefs and Revelstoke Grizzlies are playing off for the Okanagan/Shuswap division title on one side, with Revelstoke up 2-0.
On the Kootenay Conference side, the Kimberley Dynamiters are up 2-0 on the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
Kelowna finished at the top of the league in the regular season with a 43-3-1-0-2 OTL record, 89 points, one point better than Kimberly at 43-4-4-1-0-1 OTL.
Revelstoke were third overall with 85 points. Beaver Valley finished fifth overall with 59 points.
On the Island, the Campbell River Storm closed out the Sannich Braves in four straight, wrapping up with a 4-1 win Wednesday night, to advance to the Championship round.
Nanaimo Buccaneers and Victoria Cougars are tied 2-2 after four games. The series will wrap up either Friday night in Nanaimo or Sunday afternoon in Victoria at the Archie Browning.
The Storm led the North Division, and league overall, with the best regular season record, posting 34-10-3-1, for 109 points in 48 games.
Victoria led the South division with 28-12-7-1, 99 points. Nanaimo were second in the North Division with 26-18-2-2, 84 points.
Wolf Pack Playoff Player Stats:
Wolf Pack Playoff Goalie Stats: