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Delta Ice Hawks off to conference final in PJHL playoffs

Junior hockey team finishes off Grandview in five games and will play White Rock in next round, starting Tuesday in Ladner
High-scoring twins Connor and Carson Merriman helped the Delta Ice Hawks finish off the Grandview Steelers in five games and advance to the Tom Shaw Conference final of the PJHL playoffs.

The Delta Ice Hawks needed four days to turn a potential second round struggle into a decisive playoff series win.

The Ice Hawks are off to the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s Tom Shaw Conference final for the second straight year after finishing off the Grandview Steelers in five games Wednesday night with a 6-2 victory at the Burnaby Winter Club.

The Steelers seemed to have some momentum heading to game three Sunday after tying the series with a 1-0 win and getting some much needed time off after playing four games in five days. However, Delta skated to a convincing 4-0 win, outshooting the hosts 43-16.

The momentum continued Tuesday in Ladner with a 6-1 triumph, setting the stage for the series clincher 24 hours later.

It was a balanced attack that got the job done with 13 different goal scorers over the course of the series while goaltenders Zach Shaughnessy and Merik Erickson each picked up two wins.

“Balance, depth, pace of play and goaltending are key for us for sure and things played out well in those areas,” said Ice Hawks GM and head coach Steve Robinson. “Glad to be clear of that series and have a few days to re-set and prepare for the next round.”

Delta will face the White Rock Whalers in the next round starting on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m.) at the Ladner Leisure Centre. The Whalers also needed five games to eliminate the Richmond Sockeyes after a 3-0 road win on Thursday night. 

White Rock defeated the Ice Hawks in six games in last year’s conference final. Delta has home ice advantage throughout the playoffs thanks to having the league’s best regular season record at 38-10-0-0.