Photo by Chung Chow
The Richmond Sockeyes made a couple of moves to bolster their defence this week. It’s paid immediate dividends.
Adding Matt Brown and Marcus Sihota to the blueline, after transferring the playing rights of forward Ari Sky to the Grandview Steelers for future considerations, the Sockeyes scored a 6-5 victory at the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Wednesday. Then, 24 hours later, they were even more impressive in a 5-2 triumph over the visiting Abbotsford Pilots Thursday at Minoru Arenas.
As a result, the Sockeyes, after what was viewed as a slow start by one of the pre-season favourites, are 5-3-0-1 and just five points back of the Delta Ice Hawks (8-0) in the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Tom Shaw Conference.
Returning from injury, Brown, 18, played parts of the previous three seasons with the Sockeyes and has eight points in 27 games. He had a goal in his season debut against the Kodiaks.
Sihota, who played three games earlier this season with the Mission City Outlaws, picked up an assist in his Sockeye debut against the Pilots.
Though the shots on goal, 34-33 in Abbotsford’s favour, suggested an even game, Richmond seemed in control throughout. The Sockeyes also displayed much more confidence than in recent games.
Sockeyes’ captain Tyler Andrews continues to lead by example. The league’s leading scorer with 20 points in nine games, he was actually held off the scoresheet in Aldergrove but bounced back with a game-high two goals and an assist versus Abbotsford. Cameron Kovesdi, Brett Gelz and Shakeel Ebrahim also scored for Richmond.
Tyler Paterson and Noah Wozney each had three points and Gelz two helpers to power Richmond past Aldergrove.
The Sockeyes are scheduled to return to action next Thursday, Oct. 12 when they host the Ridge Meadows flames at Minoru Arenas. Game time is 7 p.m. The Flames defeated the Sockeyes 2-0 Sept. 29.