The Richmond Sockeyes came into Thursday night's game vs. the North Vancouver Wolf Pack outscoring their opponents 33-8 on their six-game winning streak. Once all was said and done, they only added to that total in prolific fashion, making quick work of the woeful Wolf Pack in a 8-1 victory.
It all started just about two minutes into the game when red hot Jake Roder, with eight points in his last three games, harmlessly through a wrist shot on North Vancouver goaltender Braden Krogfoss to find the back of the net. The Sockeyes pretty well controlled the momentum from that moment on, and just five minutes later, another "Red Line" member would strike. This time it came off the stick of Rudi Thorsteinson on a wide open chance created by the perfect feed from Adam Nishi, whose quickly turning into a powerplay specialist. After the first, the score stood 2-0, with the shots on goal also favoured in Richmond's way, 14-7.
Although the Wolf Pack had done a reasonable job of containing the high-powered Sockeyes offense through the first twenty, it certainly felt like it was only a matter of time before the seams busted loose on all fronts. The second frame was nothing short of an all-out assault, as the goals started to come in bunches. First it was Scott Wessa, big stay-at-home defenseman, with only his second goal on the year, followed by rookie phenom Danton Heinen and then the veteran Jeremy Hamaguchi with two of his own. The Sockeyes completely took over the game, leaving the Wolf Pack exhausted in the rearview mirror while they enjoyed the ride in the very comfortable front seat they've started to grow accustomed to. After the second Hamaguchi goal, rookie goalie Krogfoss was chased from his net and replaced by another freshman, 5'7" Anders Ten Vaanholt. Nothing was going the Wolf Pack's way, both offensively and defensively, they were being outmatched enormously. It was 6-0 after the second.
In the third, the tale continued and the long night for North Vancouver didn't get any easier. For a second, they found a glimpse of light as Taylor Tanti managed to pop one past Kootenay Alder to close the gap. But at that point, the gap was much too cumbersome to the troubled visitors. Richmond picked up were they left off in the second, and continued to prove with authority why they're number one in the league. Both coming on the powerplay, Hamaguchi would his third of the game for the natural hat trick and captain Sam Chichak would chip in with one of his own to close it out. Like it was never a doubt, the Richmond Sockeyes steamrolled their way to their seventh consecutive win to extend their streak. For the second straight week at home, Richmond chased their opponent from the 'Ru, feeling utterly deflated and embarrassed: 8-1 final.
Brief Game Notes:
1. Sockeyes: 3/4 on the powerplay
2. Final shot count: 38-22 for Sockeyes
3. Fifth victory over North Vancouver this season - haven't lost to Wolf Pack yet
1. Derek Hughes
2. Liam Lawson
3. Bret Higham
1. Jeremy Hamaguchi
2. Jake Roder
3. Rudi Thorsteinson
Be sure to catch the next home game vs. North Delta live from the 'Ru next Thursday, January 17th, on www.richmondsockeyes.com. Pre-game 7:20, puck drop 7:30 p.m.