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Sockeyes eliminate White Rock Whalers in four playoff games

The Sockeyes face off against the Delta Ice Hawks in game one Monday night at Minoru Arena.

The Richmond Sockeyes are moving on to round two of playoffs, having eliminated the White Rock Whalers in four games.

The Sockeyes are at Minoru Arenas Monday evening to face off against the Delta Ice Hawks in Game One of their second playoff best-of-seven series.

The Sockeyes eliminated the Whalers in game four in Richmond a week ago.

Game four in any series can be challenging especially for a team that finds themselves trailing and being down by a 3-0 margin in need of a must win to keep the series and the season alive.

Such was the case for the Whalers who were returning to the “Fish Tank” to take on the explosive offensive talent of the Sockeyes who outscored the Whalers 23-7 in the first three games.

Returning to Richmond would prove to be a difficult task for the Whalers who continued to play undisciplined in a contest that saw both teams force the officiating crew to hand out 86 minutes in penalties.

It took all but 21 seconds for Justin Grant to get his third goal of the playoffs, opening the scoring. This was followed by his second goal of the game at 7:36 giving the Sockeyes a 2-0 lead after one period.

The first period saw Richmond assessed three minor penalties, giving the Whalers various chances to get on the board only to be turned aside by the stellar play of Noah Stenvig who was filling in for Thomas Popa who was writing a business exam.

The Whalers went with Mark Paton between the pipes who was tested early and often and forced to come up with some key saves to keep the Whalers in the game and the series.

The second period saw the Sockeyes continue where they finished in the first with Teo Lin (3) getting a power-play marker at 6:26, followed by Justin Grant getting his third goal of the game at 8:46 for his highlight goal of the night.

The Whalers continued to press and an errant turnover saw Whalers Dylan Heer (1) jump on a loose puck getting a power-play goal at 15:54.

The second period ended with the Sockeyes leading 4-1.

The second period saw the officials hand out seven minors, with four assessed to Richmond and three to the Whalers in a period that saw the Sockeyes outshoot the Whalers by a 20-15 margin and 33-28 after two periods.

The third period was a desperation period for the Whalers that would either extend the series or close out the season and advance the Sockeyes to the next round against the Delta Ice Hawks who had eliminated North Vancouver the previous night in a four-game sweep.

The third period saw the Sockeyes control play in all areas on the ice with Daniel Zhou (1) getting a power-play marker at 10:24, setting up one final goal with Gaving Bains (2) giving the Sockeyes a 6-1 win advancing them to the Tom Shaw Conference finals.

The Whalers used Keegan Maddocke for the last 7:12 that saw him stop 6 of 7 shots he faced while the Sockeyes’ Noah Stenvig played the full 60 minutes, stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced.

Three Stars: 1st Justin Grant (3G/0) 2md Rajun Parmar (0G/4A) 3rd Noah Stenvig (SA 34/SV33)

The Sockeyes advance and face the Delta Ice Hawks in a best of seven game series with the series as below:

Game one: Monday, March 4 in Richmond

Game two: Tuesday, March 5 in Ladner

Game three: Thursday, March 7 in Richmond

Game four: Sunday, March 10 in Ladner

Game five: Thursday, March 14 in Richmond (if necessary)

Game six: Sunday, March 17 in Ladner (if necessary)

Game seven: Thursday, March 18 in Richmond (if necessary)

- Steve Erickson handles media relations for the Richmond Sockeyes

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