The Pacific Junior Hockey League will usher in 2020 with its Fifth Annual Winter Classic — Jan. 3-5 at Minoru Arenas.
The three-day event features each of the 12 teams playing twice. It was launched in 2016 to showcase the league to scouts at the higher levels of junior hockey, as well as university and college programs, in a convenient format. Thanks to their close relationship with the City of Richmond, the Winter Classic will be held at Minoru for another five years through to 2025.
Action starts at 10 a.m. each day and concludes with the last game at 7 p.m. Daily admission $12 for adults, $8 for students/seniors and $5 for kids ages 6-to-12. That’s good for all four games.
The Showcase will conclude with the host Sockeyes taking on the league-leading North Vancouver Wolf Pack. The defending PJHL champions are sizzling towards the holiday break with a 25-1-0-1 record. That lone regulation loss was to Richmond back on Sept. 26.
Here is the 2020 PJHL Winter Classic Schedule:
Friday, Jan. 3
10 a.m. North Vancouver vs. Grandview
1 p.m. White Rock vs. Surrey
4 p.m. Langley vs. Aldergrove
7 p.m. Richmond vs. Abbotsford
Saturday, Jan. 4
10 a.m. Surrey vs. Port Moody
1 p.m. Mission vs. White Rock
4 p.m. Grandview vs. Delta
7 p.m. Ridge Meadows vs. Abbotsford
Sunday, Jan. 5
10 a.m. Delta vs. Langley
1 p.m. Port Moody vs. Mission
4 p.m. Aldergrove vs. Ridge Meadows
7 p.m. North Vancouver vs. Richmond
Also coming in 2020 are new look All-Star and Prospects Games.
The PJHL has reached a partnership with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League that will see the two play against each other. The Prospects Game goes Sunday, Jan. 12 in Nanaimo, while the All-Star Game will be hosted by the Delta Ice Hawks, Sunday, Jan. 26 (2 p.m.) at the Ladner Leisure Centre.
“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.
“You’re not going to see two players picked from each of the teams anymore either. If a team like North Vancouver has five or six worthy candidates then they all will be playing. It will be the best of the best from our league.”