It’s probably a good thing the Pacific Junior Hockey League changed its playoff format a year ago to include the top eight teams overall.
The Delta Ice Hawks (2-2-1-1) enjoyed a productive week, picking up five of a possible six points but still last in the Tom Shaw Conference.
The North Vancouver Wolf Pack (7-0-0) and Richmond Sockeyes (6-0-0) are off to blistering starts. The good news for the Hawks is they are just two points out of being third overall and have a game in hand on the Ridge Meadows Flames (4-3-0) with the teams meeting on Tuesday (7:35 p.m.) in Ladner. It very well could be a tight race all season with nine teams battling for the other six playoff spots.
Delta cracked the win column last Tuesday in a convincing 5-1 triumph over the Port Moody Panthers.
Truman Chiu paced the attack with a pair of goals and one assist. Brice Kemp, Mark Epshtein and Montaro Uyeyama also scored. Hunter Tarves made 19 stops for the win with the hosts outshooting the Panthers 44-20.
One night later, Jordy Engelson made 39 saves in a 4-0 road win at Aldergrove. Bradley Fortin’s goal in the late stages of the opening period proved to be the winner on his way to a three-point night. Chiu added two more and Kemp also scored.
Only some terrific goaltending prevent a three-game win streak as the Hawks settled for a 2-2 tie at Mission on Saturday night.
Epshtein’s goal with 4:04 remaining salvaged a point despite Delta enjoying a 38-18 advantage in shots. Kemp also scored for the third consecutive game.