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First place Ice Hawks add experience & size

No one will accuse the Delta Ice Hawks of sitting on their laurels.
Delta Ice Hawks welcomed back local product Jeremy Gossard

No one will accuse the Delta Ice Hawks of sitting on their laurels.

While the team currently enjoys a six-point cushion atop the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, general manager Peter Zerbinos has been busy completing two trades and signing another player.

The club acquired 20-year-old forward Jackson Beavis from the Grandview Steelers on Sunday night for future considerations. The deal came a day after the Hawks picked-up Mission City Outlaws captain Dakota Klassen for Karsten Seidel in a swap of blueliners. They also welcomed back local product Jeremy Gossard.

All three transactions were about adding experience and more size to a young hockey team that will be attempting to hold off the second place Richmond

Sockeyes and the muchimproved North Vancouver Wolf Pack over the final half of the season. The key to Delta's success so far has been exceptional play in their own end, led by goaltenders Alex Anhert and Scott Lapp.

"All three bring the ability to step right into our system and that was very important," explained Zerbinos. "We're very proud of our record to date and how we have adapted to a different style after being basically a run and gun team the past couple of seasons. We feel we have the two best goalies in the league and the guys take a lot of pride in our goals against average being what it is.

"We actually asked Scott at the start of the season if he wanted to be traded to another team to get more playing time but he made it clear he wanted to be here and help this team win a championship."

Beavis had eight points, including four goals, with the Steelers this season but it's the Richmond native's grit and strong two-way play that attracted interest from the Ice Hawks.

At 6-foot-2 and 195-pounds, Klassen brings leadership and a physical presence to the Delta blueline. The 19-year-old can also play the point on the power play with a couple of goals to his credit. Seidel, 17, had seven points in 24 games after being a regular call-up with the team last season.

"It was really tough letting him go," said Zerbinos of Seidel. "It was important for us to get a little stronger at the back end but Mission is getting a good young player in return."

The club welcomed back Gossard who was a top nine forward a year ago who managed 12 points in 30 games.

The Ice Hawks hosted the Grandview Steelers last night and are Aldergrove tonight to face the Kodiaks in a battle of respective conference leaders. Aldergrove swept a pair of games from Delta last month when the locals were hit hard by suspensions and injuries.