Sports

Champions in Aldergrove

Spencer Unger (14) is one of eight local hockey players on the Aldergrove Kodiaks, champions of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. - HARRY HUNT / BLACK PRESS
Spencer Unger (14) is one of eight local hockey players on the Aldergrove Kodiaks, champions of the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
— image credit: HARRY HUNT / BLACK PRESS

The Pacific Junior Hockey League champions call the Aldergrove Arena home, but eight players on the Aldergrove Kodiaks played their minor hockey locally.

Twenty-year-old twins Scott and Spencer McHaffie lead the local contingent on the Kodiaks, a Junior B team which pulled off a huge come-from-behind win over the Richmond Sockeyes in the PJHL final. Aldergrove trailed the best-of-seven championship series 3-1 before reeling off three consecutive victories by scores of 3-0, 3-2 in overtime, and 5-1.

Other local players on the Kodiaks squad are forward Jonathan Philley, Spencer Unger and Nolan Wallinger, defencemen Josh Poitras and Calen Whitworth, and goaltender Tate Sproxton.

Aldergrove finished atop the Harold Brittain Conference of the 10-team PJHL, and finished second overall behind the Sockeyes with a 34-6-2-2 (won-loss-overtime loss-tied) record. They cruised through the PJHL final with just one loss in nine games, sweeping the Mission City Outlaws 4-0 before eliminating the Abbotsford Pilots 4-1.

The McHaffie brothers sparked the Kodiaks offense during the postseason run, with Spencer netting a team-high 12 goals in 16 games while adding 10 assists for 22 points. Scott added seven goals and 17 points. Both played their minor hockey in Cloverdale.

Jonathan Philley, 20, from the Surrey MHA (Minor Hockey Association) played in 13 playoff games and tallied five goals to go with six assists.

Unger, 19, from the Semiahmoo MHA contributed with two goals and seven points in 16 games played.

Wallinger, 20, of North Delta is with his fourth PJHL team in three seasons. He began this season in Ladner with the Delta Ice Hawks before joining Aldergrove with seven games remaining  in the regular season. He scored three times and added four assists with the Kodiaks in those seven games.

Josh Poitras, 18, from the Surrey MHA, and Whitworth, 17, from Semiahmoo MHA, are both in their first season in the PJHL.

Tate Sproxton, 19, of Cloverdale is also a rookie, and played in 15 regular season games. He posted a 9-1-1 (won-lost-tied) record with a pair of shutouts.

The Kodiaks will play in the provincial championship Cyclone Taylor Cup Thursday through Sunday in Nelson, B.C. The winner advances to the Keystone Cup Western Canadian championship tournament April 17-20 in Abbotsford.

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