Grandview goalie Shayan Kermany faced 40 Delta shots Jan. 22. (Alistair Burns / Grandview Steelers)
Regardless of loss to league champions, Grandview closes in on playoff berth
BURNABY WINTER CLUB – The Grandview Steelers just need to win one more game and they will clinch a spot in the Pacific Junior ‘A’ (PJHL) postseason.
But with only six games left in the 2023-2024 regular season, the Steelers will have to perform at a higher level.
This was apparent Jan. 21 – the defending PJHL champion Delta Ice Hawks raced to a 4-0 lead and never looked back in an 8-3 final.
Ice Hawk Nicholas Kolb scored a hat trick; he first lit the lamp halfway through the first period. Later, in the middle frame, he notched the game-winner off a feed from Jaren Ashbee.
At press time, Jan. 22, the Steelers had a record of 21 wins, 19 losses, and two shootout losses for a total of 44 points. They stayed in fifth place in the seven-team Tom Shaw Conference – six points behind the fourth-place White Rock Whalers and 12 points ahead of the Port Moody Panthers.
Against the Ice Hawks, Steeler goalie Shayan Kermany gave a valiant effort. He slid to kick out his pad to rob Mateo Sjoberg’s breakaway attempt late in the first.
Ultimately, Delta just had superior speed – too many odd-man rushes and 40 shots – that led to Kermany’s record falling to six wins and 12 losses with a goals-against-average of 3.88.
His last win came two days before Christmas.
Tink! Konenchy an inch from glory
However, Grandview did light some sparks of hope in the middle frame. Talented scorer Steven Konechny had a glorious chance on the man advantage. Left alone in the slot, he wristed a laser that rang off the crossbar.
Later in the second, Ben Ruthven broke Delta goalie Remy Quintoro’s shutout bid. Also, Grandview’s Pav Bandesha crashed the crease for a power play marker.
Ruthven also set up Kassius Kler, who rounded out the scoring for the Steelers with his 12th of the season. Kler, a 19-year-old from Burnaby, took the long way home to Grandview when he was acquired in Oct. 2023 from the Notre Dame Hounds, a junior team in Saskatchewan.
“I bring hard intensity,” Kler said after being acquired.