Sockeyes add to trophy case & roster

Richmond captures Tunnel Cup for first time after 7-3 win over Ice Hawks

The Richmond Sockeyes have added to their trophy case and depth chart too.

The Sockeyes secured the Tunnel Cup on Thursday night for the first time in the three-year-old regular season rivalry series with a 7-3 win over the Delta Ice Hawks. They finished with a 2-0-1-1 record in the four head-to-head battles.

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Richmond was also active prior to Friday’s roster deadline — signing defenceman Jason Lin and forward Andrew Kemp.

The 17-year-old Lin has spent the bulk of the season with the BC Hockey League’s Surrey Eagles. He previously played two games as an AP with the Sockeyes and is now affiliated with his hometown Coquitlam Express where he has also made a couple of appearances.

“He is a young guy but he comes with that junior ‘A’ experience. He has a good element and he makes that good first pass,” said Richmond head coach Brett Reusch. “He choose to sign with us to finish the year off and hopefully help us win a championship.”

Kemp, 20, is no stranger to the Sockeyes organization. He played for his hometown team during the 2017-18 campaign before spending last season with the Ice Hawks where he had 34 points in 37 games. Now he Is back in Richmond to help during the stretch run in his final year of junior. 

On Thursday, Clayton Schroeder broke a 3-3 deadlock midway through the third period and the Sockeyes poured it on from there with goals from Ryan Watson, Jack McMillan and Craig Schouten in the final three minutes.

The rivalry with the Ice Hawks has somewhat cooled off this season, especially from a couple of years ago when they were the two best teams in the Pacific Junior Hockey League. 

Delta (15-15-3-3) is now in a struggle just to make the playoffs where the Sockeyes (23-9-1-4) are paying close attention to league-leading North Vancouver while battling Grandview for second place in the Tom Shaw Conference.

Still, the Sockeyes weren’t about to let them retain the cup and saved their best period for last — firing 19 shots at goaltender Jordy Engelson — after trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes.

“We had a slow start tonight where we were trying to make plays that weren’t there and were also careless with the puck. Good teams don’t have those kind of periods and that was unacceptable,” said Reusch. “I thought the second was a bit better as we got momentum off the power plays and we carried that over to the third period.”

Richmond also cruised to a 5-0 road win over Port Moody on Saturday night on goals by Garrett Wicks, Tom Sweeney, Nick Wilson, Easton Elmer and AP Paulvir Dosanjh. Jacob Stone made 26 saves for the shutout.

The Sockeyes host Abbotsford on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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