Patience is paying off in a big way these days for the Delta Ice Hawks.
After somewhat stumbling out of the gate with four losses in six games, the Ice Hawks (8-4-1) have been soaring of late thanks to a barrage of new additions.
It was back in training camp when general manager and head coach Steve Robinson hinted his roster could look significantly different a month into the Pacific Junior Hockey League season as he patiently waited for B.C. Hockey League teams to finalize their rosters and potential talent trickling his way.
Most of them have arrived and there have been some additional surprises too, resulting in Delta winning five of its last six games and scoring a whopping 43 goals in the process.
“We were giving a lot of young guys the start (of the season) because we knew we had the BCHL cuts (coming), so we had three weeks that were kind of auditions to see if they could stay in the mix,” explained Robinson. “It’s the dirty part of the business, but it’s just the way it is. We found all those kids (new) homes which is really important to me.
“It was a bit of a musical chairs in the room, but I did prepare lot of the guys that this probably would happen.”
The early season makeover began by acquiring goaltender Braedy Euerby from the Richmond Sockeyes. The Ladner resident and Vancouver Giants prospect, was re-united with his hometown team after being dealt to Richmond two seasons ago when the Ice Hawks already had veteran goalie Jordy Engelson. He has since graduated.
North Delta’s Merik Erickson was also added to the goal crease and the 17-year-old Red Deer Rebels’ prospect made his debut in last Tuesday’s 9-2 win over Grandview.
Robinson got an early Christmas present when d-man Carson Hemenway asked if he could sign with the team. The 19-year-old from Ladner has spent the last couple of seasons in the B.C. Hockey League and was back home waiting for a possible trade. All Hemenway has done is produce 13 points in seven games, including seven goals.
Other additions to the blueline include Delta Hockey Academy (DHA) alumni Ryan Bal, Yuji Akimoto and Henry Smith.
Up front, 16-year-old Dalton MacGillivray has been on a tear since joining the team from the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers with 23 points in 10 games. Much of that damage has been done playing alongside team captain Alec Scouras and both sit among the top five in league scoring.
Seventeen-year-old twins Connor and Carson Merriman from DHA have combined for 22 points in eight games since their arrival.
Highlighted home games in the coming weeks include the Sockeyes in Ladner on Nov. 9 with Tunnel Cup season-long rivalry series currently tied at 1-1. Defending PJHL champion North Vancouver Wolf Pack visit on Nov. 23.