Sockeyes & Ice Hawks renew rivalry Tuesday

Richmond also hosts Mission on Thursday and Aldergrove Sunday

The Richmond Sockeyes and Delta Ice Hawks will continue their battle for the Tunnel Cup on Tuesday in Ladner — each looking to snap two-game losing streaks.

A douse of hot goaltending resulted in the Sockeyes coming away with just one of four points in back-to-back games.

They fell 3-2 in overtime to the Langley Trappers on Thursday night at Minoru Arenas with the difference being the brilliance of Richmond native Ajeet Gundarah. 

The 16-year-old showed why he is the leading candidate for PJHL rookie-of-the-year with a 55-save performance. The Sockeyes enjoyed a whopping 57-22 advantage in the shot department.

Gundarah, who helped Seafair win the Western Canada Bantam AAA Championship in 2018, is now 10-4-1 on the season with a 2.47 goals against average and .933 save percentage.

One night later in Ridge Meadows, Richmond outshot the Flames 36-25 but dropped another 3-2 decision.

The Sockeyes enter Tuesday’s tilt 16-8-1-3 — four points back of second place Grandview. They also host Mission on Thursday at 7 p.m. and their annual Teddy Bear Toss Game is on Sunday (6 p.m.) against Aldergrove.

Coming off their biggest win of the season — a 9-0 drubbing of the Aldergrove Kodiaks — the Ice Hawks (12-11-3-2) dropped back-to-back games on the weekend and are now just 4-6-0-0 in their last 10 contests.

They never could recover from a slow start in Abbotsford on Friday night, falling 4-3 to the 11-17-0-0 Pilots. 

The hosts jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes and held on for the win. 

One night later at Centennial Arena, Delta fell to the White Rock Whalers for third time in as many games, 4-2. 

Marcus Pantazis, with his first as an Ice Hawks since being acquired from Richmond, made it 3-2 before White Rock added an empty netter.

The Tunnel Cup is awarded to the winner of the four-game regular season series. The teams earlier played to a 4-4 tie and Delta rallied for a wild 8-7 victory in overtime back on Oct. 24. The fourth and final meeting is Jan. 9 at Minoru. Game time Tuesday is 7:35 p.m.

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