Sockeyes bond over firefighter challenge

By Don Fennell

Published 4:46 PDT, Fri September 27, 2019

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Richmond Sockeyes have completed the month of September undefeated.

Now, the goal is to continue their fine play throughout October.

Coming off a notable team building exercise the day before, in which they raced against the clock over an obstacle course routinely used by Richmond firefighters, the Sockeyes proceeded to blank the North Vancouver Wolf Pack 5-0 Thursday at Minoru Arenas. It was the Pacific Junior Hockey League-leading Sockeyes’ seventh straight win.

It was clear at Wednesday’s firefighter challenge, held at the fire hall on Cambie Road, that this is a group of players that is already close. During the exercise in which each player took their turn in a test of strength, endurance and tactic, there was a notable mix of jesting and encouragement among teammates.

Last week’s win over North Vancouver was particularly impressive, given it was the second-place Wolf Pack’s first loss of the season in their eighth game. Michael Araki-Young scored two goals and assisted on another to boost his team-best point total to 14, just three points back of North Vancouver’s Jacob Fournier for the league lead. Goaltender Mauricio Soriano-McKinnon made 34 saves to post his fourth victory of the season. He’s only eight goals against in those four appearances.

Defenceman Thomas Von Schoenberg, the team’s top scoring defenceman, also contributed to the offence with his first goal and eighth point of the season, while Craig Schouten had three assists and now has 12 points in his first seven games.

Richmond began September by edging White Rock 3-2 Sept. 5, then doubled Mission 4-2, tripled Langley 6-2, outscored Ridge Meadows 9-5, topped Grandview 5-1 and dumped Ridge Meadows 8-3.

Set to enjoy a short break in the schedule, the Sockeyes are scheduled to next play Oct. 2 at Aldergrove before returning home to host Langley on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at Minoru.

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