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Plenty up for grabs in final week of PJHL regular season

Delta Ice Hawks, Richmond Sockeyes, White Rock Whalers and Grandview Steelers all battling for playoff seeding with just six days to go
Connor Merriman and his twin brother Carson have been leading the Delta Ice Hawks' attack of late including a comeback win over Ridge Meadows on Friday night.

With just six days left in the Pacific Junior Hockey League regular season there is plenty to be decided in the Tom Shaw Conference.

The Delta Ice Hawks (32-13-0-0) can move within a single point of first place Richmond Sockeyes (31-10-2-3) when they close out their home schedule Tuesday (7:30 pm.) against the Aldergrove Kodiaks (10-33-1-1) at the Ladner Leisure Centre.

The Hawks were cruising towards a first place finish until the team was deducted four wins last month after a computer glitch didn’t put an affiliate player on the league roster. Among the results overturned was a 7-6 win over the Sockeyes back on Jan. 1.

Still, the Ice Hawks can finish first with a little help. They also play at Surrey (12-29-1-3) on Thursday night and travel to Chilliwack on Sunday to face the Jets (21-19-4-2).

The Sockeyes have to complete a game against the White Rock Whalers (27-15-0-2) on Wednesday night that was suspended in the second period back on Oct. 9 due to a facility safety issue. The Whalers were leading 3-2 at the time. Richmond also hosts the Ridge Meadows Flames (29-14-2-1) on Thursday to close out its schedule.

Meanwhile, White Rock and the Grandview Steelers (26-16-1-2) are battling for third and fourth place with just a single point separating them. The Whalers have a game in hand and play four times over the next six days including the Steelers on Tuesday night (7:45 p.m.) at the South Delta Recreation Centre in Tsawwassen.

The fourth-place finisher will have to play fifth place North Vancouver Wolf Pack (23-19-2-1) in a best-of three series thanks to the league’s expanded playoff format this season.

The Ice Hawks split a pair of road games over the weekend, rallying on Friday night for a 5-3 win over Ridge Meadows, then dropping a 4-1 decision to the Langley Trappers on Sunday afternoon. The Merrimen twins led the comeback win Friday with Carson scoring a pair of goals in the third period and Connor adding another as Delta erased a 3-2 deficit with four unanswered goals.

The defending PJHL and Cyclone Taylor Cup champion Trappers will definitely be the team to beat again come playoff time. They own a league best 37-7-1-3 record and defeated Delta for the third time in four tries thanks to a 36-save first star performance from goaltender Dylan Black.


Ladner’s Zach Sherwin is neck-and-neck with White Rock teammate Chris Fortems for the league scoring title. The 20-year-olds each have 84 points, nine clear of Carson Merrimen and Ridge Meadows’ Theo Kochan.

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