Grandview goalie Ronin Geraghty faced 41 Delta shots in a 4-2 loss Nov. 12. (Alistair Burns / GRA Steelers)
Grandview falters late against defending league champions
BURNABY WINTER CLUB – Any time the defending Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) champion Delta Ice Hawks skate into your rink, it’s a yardstick to measure yourself against the best.
For the Grandview Steelers, the 4-2 loss Nov. 12 began like a Formula 1 race on ice; each team tirelessly stretched each other to the physical limit with end-to-end rushes.
Gentlemen, start your engines
Delta had a number of talented scorers scratched Nov. 12, including Connor and Carson Merriman. Regardless, the Ice Hawks took the lead only 81 seconds after the opening face-off when Danylo Bereza finished off a pass from Micheal Romeo.
A mere 18 seconds later, veteran Steeler Steven Konechny equalized for the black-and-gold with his ninth of the season. The back-and-forth continued when wide-open Ice Hawk Colin Jang cooly slipped the puck between Grandview goalie Ronin Geraghty’s pads for a 2-1 lead.
Late in the first, Geraghty was sharp and used his blocker to steer aside a Romeo shot off the wing. Meanwhile, Steeler defenceman Cam Northard fired a shot past Ice Hawk goalie Zach Shaughnessy to light the lamp.
Grandview’s Tanner Milne assisted on Northard’s effort. Milne, 20, stretched his scoring streak to four games with 10 points (five goals, five assists) during that span. He was also named a PJHL player of the week Nov. 5.
“Feels incredible. I could not have done it without my teammates – especially [Kori] Belanger and [Colby] Longeau,” Milne pointed out. He appreciated how his two linemates are “high-energy players. And they love going into the greasy areas. So it really helps me out…we’re very quick getting into the offensive zone.”
Ice Hawks take checkered flag
Though Milne and his teammates put forth an effort, Delta effectively contained Grandview in the second period. The Ice Hawks put 14 shots on Geraghty while the Steelers replied with two.
Delta’s Bereza crashed the crease for a power play marker with 1:16 remaining in the second.
A period later, the Steelers had an number of close chances (along with 12 shots) but couldn’t solve Shaughnessy.
In their own end, new defenceman Ryan Sullivan, 19, endeared himself to his teammates as he went down on one knee and used his hip to block a cross-crease shot in front of Geraghty.
Sullivan was picked up from the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
At press time, Nov. 12, the Steelers had a record of one game over .500 with nine wins, eight losses and two shootout defeats for a total of 20 points and fifth place in the seven-team Tom Shaw Conference. Grandview is only one point ahead of the sixth seed, the Port Moody Panthers.
Inside Steeltown interview:
Steeler Tanner Milne credits his linemates for his recent success.