It was a tough start but strong finish for the North Van Wolf pack as they knocked off the White Rock Whalers four games to one in their opening round series of the PJHL playoffs.
The Pack came into the series riding a record-setting regular season that saw the team win 40 out of their 44 games. The Whalers, however, gave the top-ranked Wolf Pack all it could handle early on in the series, winning game 1 at home by a score of 3-2. The next three games were tight as well, with North Van winning 5-4 in game 2 and 5-3 in game 3, both played at Harry Jerome Arena, before scoring a 4-3 overtime win in game 4 Feb. 18 in White Rock. Team captain Lucas Barker picked up the overtime winner on the road to give the Pack a commanding lead in the series.
In game 5, played Saturday night at Harry Jerome, the floodgates finally opened as White Rock, ranked fourth in the PJHL's Tom Shaw Conference, racked up 83 minutes in penalties and the Wolf Pack scored four power play goals on their way to a 10-1 win.
Barker led the way in the series with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in five games, while Jacob Fournier and defenceman Jacob Callas each picked up nine points.
Next up for the Wolf Pack will be the conference finals where they will face the Grandview Steelers, who survived a seven-game series against the Richmond Sockeyes. Grandview won game 6 in overtime at home on Sunday before taking the clincher 4-1 in Richmond Monday night.
North Van and Grandview played four times during the regular season with the Pack winning all four matchups, including one overtime victory. North Van will host Game 1 of the series Friday night at 8 p.m. and Game 2 Saturday at 7 p.m. at Harry Jerome Arena.