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Ice Hawks to meet North Van in playoffs

Delta finishes regular season with a 34-11-1-2 record
Long-time Hawk Carson Merriman become the team’s all-time leading scorer with 182 career points, passing former Delta captain Jordan Deyrmenjian. Tav Morrison Photo

With the regular season now wrapped, the Delta Ice Hawks are now looking ahead to the playoffs, starting on Feb. 20 at the Ladner Leisure Centre against the North Vancouver Wolf Pack.

Delta finished second in the Tom Shaw Conference standings with a 34-11-1-2 record, totalling 71 points. They ended the season on a high note with a 7-3 win on Feb. 10 against the White Rock Whalers.

The line of Mateo Sjoberg, Payton Hu, and Danylo Bereza has been absolutely buzzing over the last 10 games, scoring 67 points between them, including 13 in Saturday’s regular season finale. Hu and Bereza each finished the season tied with a team-leading 68 points.

Another highlight in the last week of the season was long-time Hawk Carson Merriman becoming the team’s all-time leading scorer with 182 career points, passing former Delta captain Jordan Deyrmenjian.

“It was special to see Carson become all-time franchise points leader and it couldn’t have been more fitting to happen on home ice and be assisted by his twin brother Conner,” said head coach and general manager Steve Robinson. “Carson is one of the most talented and hard-working players I’ve had the pleasure to coach over the years and no one is more deserving of the honour.”

Merriman returned to the lineup with just two weeks left in the season, after spending nearly two months on the injured list, which was a running theme for the Hawks this season.

“It’s nice to see the team get healthy again,” said Robinson, who had a stint away from the team himself due to medical reasons. “I don’t think we have had a single game this year where we’ve dressed everybody that we thought we’d have available to us, but we’re peaking at the right time with the right guys coming back, and I feel good about our chances at defending the title.”

Delta has a bye in the first round before taking on third-place North Van in round two. Each team took three wins in the season series, and Robinson is looking forward to taking on “a strong opponent.”

“They’ll definitely give us a good test and it won’t be an easy walk-over. I think it’s exactly what you want to make sure you’re coming out of that first round with that playoff vibe and being battle-tested enough that you’re ready for the next round,” he said.

Ice chips: The playoff schedule against North Van is as follows: Feb. 20 in Ladner, Feb. 22 and 24 in North Van, Feb 25 and 27 in Ladner, March 2 in North Van, March 3 in Ladner.