THE North Van Wolf Pack booked their ticket to the Pacific Junior Hockey League playoffs last weekend with wins over a pair of powerhouse franchises, knocking off two first place teams in the process.
The fun started on the road Friday night with a 3-2 win over the Abbotsford Pilots, the first place team in the league's Harold Brittain Conference. Quin Buckellew led the way with a pair of goals while Spencer Quon, the team's leading scorer, fired home the game winner with nine minutes left in the third period. Goaltender Braden Krogfoss made 21 saves in the win.
The next evening the Pack were back at home hosting the Richmond Sockeyes, the first place team in their own Tom Shaw Conference. Krogfoss got the call in net again and earned first star with 31 saves in a tight 4-3 win for the Pack. Marcus Houck scored the game winner on the power play with less than three minutes to play in the third period. Houck ended up with a goal and an assist while defenceman Benjamin McWilliams and forward Dylan Tuskey each notched a pair of assists in the win.
The wins moved the Wolf Pack into a tie for third place in the conference with 44 points, eliminating the fifth place Grandview Steelers who are now eight points behind with only three games left to play. The top four teams in each conference make the playoffs.
This is North Van's second straight season of making the playoffs following three seasons,
all played in Squamish, in which the team failed to make the postseason.
The Wolf Pack will now set their sights on out-sprinting North Delta for third place in the conference. They'll go on the road for games against North Delta and Port Moody this weekend before returning home for their final two games of the regular season Feb. 13, 7: 30 p.m. against North Delta and Feb. 16, 7 p.m. against Delta. Home games are at Harry Jerome Arena.