The Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs are kicking off this week after two consecutive years of cancellations due to the pandemic.
Photo by Michael Araki-Young
Sockeyes will face Delta in first round of playoffs
Published 10:28 PST, Tue February 15, 2022
Last Updated: 3:42 PST, Mon March 7, 2022
The Richmond Sockeyes are heading into the Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs ranked second in the Tom Shaw conference.
With 63 points in 44 games—31 wins, 12 losses and one overtime loss—the Sockeyes will face the Delta Ice Hawks in the first round, a best-of-seven series.
Coach Bayne Koen says the pressures of the season both on- and off-ice have been challenging for players. But thanks to perseverance and hard work, they’ve made it through.
“I think we did a good job at making sure our guys were ready and making sure they’re taking care of themselves away from the rink,” says Koen. “That’s a positive step for sure with the climate of the world right now.”
With 11 rookies on the team, Koen says he’s been happy to see a lot of growth in the young team.
“That’s what you want as a developmental league and a developmental program: to get these guys to the next level,” he says.
As the playoffs get going, Koen says his team has the same goal as everyone: to win the Cyclone Taylor Cup, which has not been awarded since 2019 when Koen coached the North Vancouver Wolf Pack to victory.
“We want to make sure the guys are ready to go. It’s going to come down to the details: structure and staying in focus. It’s definitely a challenge, but we’re looking at it as a good challenge for our program,” says Koen.
In a tweet Monday, the Sockeyes congratulated goaltender Marcus Cumberworth and forward Garrett Wicks on their individual achievements.
Cumberworth finished first in the league in goals-against average (2.27) and first in the league in save percentage (.928). Wicks finished seventh in the league in scoring with 63 points (26 goals, 37 assists) in 44 games.
The playoffs kick off for the Sockeyes tonight at the Ladner Leisure Centre. Games are available for viewing online through the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) website, and fans can also spectate live at the rink. For more information, visit the Sockeyes’ website.