The Delta Ice Hawks took out about seven days worth of frustration out on the North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Tuesday night in Ladner.
The hosts exploded for five unanswered goals in the second period and cruised to a 9-1 victory to even their Pacific Junior Hockey League record at 1-1-0-0.
One week earlier, Delta outshot the Richmond Sockeyes 49-23 in a 3-2 loss thanks to the heroics of veteran goaltender Marcus Cumberworth.
An unassisted goal by Connor Jarvis with just 2:44 remaining provided the difference to give the Sockeyes the early edge in the four-game Tunnel Cup regular season rivalry series.
With a week’s worth of practices to put that result behind them, the Ice Hawks came out firing Tuesday (Sept. 20), breaking a 1-1 deadlock with late first period goals from Alec Scouras and Brayden Sinclair, just 36 seconds apart.
Rookie blueliner Mathew Wise made it 4-1 just 54 seconds into the second and the rout was on with goals from Payton Hu, Conner Merriman, Carson Merriman and Logan Joslin.
Delta outshot the Wolfpack 40-17.
“It was nice to see the guys loosen up and the puck go in. We are trending in a good direction and it looks like we won’t have problems scoring goals and generating shots again this year,” said Hawks GM and head coach Steve Robinson.
Sinclair was a late cut of the B.C. Hockey League’s Merritt Centennials. He finished the night with a goal and two assists. A year ago, he was a regular call-up by Delta from the U17 Vancouver Northeast Chiefs. His Chiefs’ teammate and good friend, Colin Jang, was also added to the Delta roster. He had 55 points in just 28 games last season.
The club also added homegrown talent with the signing of goaltender Jacob Zillich who came through the North Delta Minor Hockey Association. The 17-year-old was impressive in an AP role a year ago with a .979 save percentage in two appearances, including a win over Surrey.
The Hawks now have a home-and-home series with the Grandview Steelers, starting Sunday night at the Burnaby Winter Club before the teams come to Ladner on Tuesday (Sept. 27) at 7:35 p.m. Delta then heads to Minoru Arenas two nights later for a rematch with Richmond.