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Sockeyes urged to stay on course

Don Fennell   Sep-18-2017

Richmond Sockeyes forward Brendan Marfleet fends off a Delta Ice Hawk during an exhibition season tilt. The two teams meet in an early Pacific Junior Hockey League regular-season game Thursday at 7 p.m. at Minoru Arenas.

Photo by Chung Chow

The fact Richmond Sockeyes sport a .500 record (1-1-0-1) after their first three games is certainly no cause for panic. But it is an opportunity to recognize, and correct, some potentially bad habits.

A visit by arch-rival Delta Ice Hawks (3-0) to Minoru Arenas on Thursday (7 p.m. face-off) presents a unique opportunity. A victory would get the Sockeyes back on the winning side of the ledger and help restore some of their confidence, yet their level of play is perhaps even more important.



“We have the talent and desire, but we have to make sure we don’t beat ourselves,” says coach Steve Robinson. “You can’t just show up and expect to win in (the Pacific Junior Hockey League). The teams are too good.”

Robinson says the Sockeyes have made a few too many mistakes in their own zone, but is stressing to his players the need to stay on task.

“Uncertainty brings mistakes, and hockey has to be instinctive which you build in practice,” he explains. “I think sometimes we feel we’ve got to pressure (the opposition) while I’m saying read and react (to the play).”

One constant bright light during the Sockeyes’ somewhat slow start has been the play of captain Tyler Andrews. Registering nearly four points a game, he leads the league in scoring with 11 points in three games. What’s more impressive though is Andrews, who is the undisputed leader in the dressing room as well as on the ice, has almost single-handedly attempted to carry his club on his back in the last two games.

After the Sockeyes gave up the first four goals to fall behind 4-0 at the Mission City Outlaws on Saturday, Andrews proceeded to score late in the second period and early in the third period to pull his team within a pair of goals in an eventual 5-3 loss.

Two days earlier, after the Sockeyes fell behind 3-0 after two periods, Andrews scored a natural hat trick (three consecutive goals) to tie the game which Richmond ultimately lost in overtime.

EYE BROWSE: The Sockeyes will wear pink socks during the month of October to show support for breast cancer.

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