Photo by Chung Chow
Three games into the first-round playoff series, it’s clear the captains have come to play.
Building on strong regular seasons, Richmond Sockeye Tyler Andrews and North Vancouver Wolf Pack Mitch Ledyard continue to show the kind of leadership championships are built on following the first three games of the best-of-seven Pacific Junior Hockey League clash.
Andrews assisted on both of Richmond’s goals as the Sockeyes edged North Vancouver 2-1 in Game 3 Monday night at Minoru Arenas. The victory enabled the Sockeyes to take a 2-1 series lead with the teams set to return to North Vancouver for Game 4 Wednesday night.
Braeden Gurney, whose 11 regular-season goals included two shorthanded and two game-winners, scored both goals for the Sockeyes on Monday. His first came 2:28 into the first period, and the second just 24 seconds into the second. The Wolf Pack got one back at 5:45 of the middle frame, but was unable to produce the equalizer while being outshot 32-18 overall.
Andrews also picked up a pair of assists in Game 2, as Richmond attempted to rally from a 3-0 second-period deficit before falling 4-2. Jacob Keremidschieff and Gurney scored for the Sockeyes, which again outshot the Wolf Pack 41-34 but was frequently stymied by the stellar goaltending of North Vancouver’s Alex Forster. Ledyard paced the Wolf Pack offensively with a goal and two assists, assisting on powerplay goals late in the first period by Kaz Minemoto and midway through the second by Caleb Holonko.
Andrews also earned a point, scoring on the powerplay midway through the second period, in the series opener won by Richmond 4-1 Feb. 15. Arjun Badh scored the opening goal at 6:28 of the first period, followed by goals from Mitchell Newsome and North Vancouver’s Justin Lee before the opening frame concluded. Jordan Funk capped the scoring with a powerplay tally at 13:24 of the third period. Richmond outshot North Vancouver 40-14.
Game 5 is set for Thursday (Feb. 22) at 7 p.m. at Minoru Arenas. Games 6 and 7, if needed, are scheduled for Saturday (Feb. 24) in North Vancouver and Monday, Feb. 26 at Minoru Arenas.