A trio of forwards from Richmond Sockeyes will be participating in Sunday’s inaugural Pacific Junior Hockey League/Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League All-Star Game in Ladner.
Ryleigh Anderson, Craig Schouten and Noah Kelly were named to the PJHL team last week.
The game is slated to get underway at 2:45 p.m. at the Ladner Leisure Centre. It’s part of a new partnership between the two junior “B” leagues that also saw a Prospects Game played on Jan. 12 in Nanaimo.
The old PJHL All-Star Game format had the two conferences play against each other and player selection being somewhat evenly distributed with at least one representative from each of the 12 teams. That is no longer the case as the PJHL will suit-up the best team possible that will include a whopping seven members from the defending PJHL champion North Vancouver Wolf Pack who have lost just once in 35 games.
“It’s something that came together rather quickly and by September we made it happen,” said PJHL chair and Sockeyes co-owner Doug Paterson. “Both games have been somewhat of a struggle for us and this certainly makes them much more exciting. It will be the best of the best from our league.”
Anderson, 20, leads the Sockeyes in scoring with 51 points in 37 games, including 23 goals. Schouten, 18, has 37 points with 18 goals, while Kelly, 20, has 35 points and is Richmond’s captain.
The rest of the PJHL roster includes:
Goaltenders: Cale Dolan – Grandview and Bradley Cooper – North Vancouver.
Defencemen:Jacob Callas – North Vancouver, Nathan Haaksma – North Vancouver, Braden Warburton – Langley, Jarod Yau – Grandview, Ty Pickering – Aldergrove and Sahvan Gill – Abbotsford.
Forwards: Lucas Barker – North Vancouver, Dominic Davis – North Vancouver, Jacob Fournier – North Vancouver, Mark Epshtein- Delta, Michael Martino – Grandview, Casey Whintors – Langley, Jayden Genberg – Ridge Meadows and Tetsuya Prior – Ridge Meadows.
The Sockeyes get back to work on Thursday when the Grandview Steelers visit Minoru Arenas at 7 p.m. A Richmond win will go a long way towards securing home ice advantage for the opening round of the PJHL playoffs next month.
The Sockeyes are currently three points clear of the Steelers with two games in hand.