New acquisition helps Grandview grind out OT win

It remains a tight battle in the race for second place of the Pacific Junior B Hockey League's Tom Shaw Conference.

So some minor intrigue could just be the thing to provide the final edge when the fog clears in just over a month's time.

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The Grandview Steelers maintained a narrow, one-point margin over the Richmond Sockeyes following the league's Winter Classic tourney, where they finished 1-1 over two days in the shadow of YVR.

The Steelers gave it a good run but fell 6-4 last Friday to front-running North Van Wolf Pack, then a day later rebounded to defeat Delta Icehawks 4-3 in overtime.

The Sockeyes also worked a split at the series.

Perhaps the biggest win for the Burnaby-based Steelers came just prior to the full-league tourney took the ice, when they acquired veteran defenceman Thomas Von Schoenberg from Campbell River in a swap for the rights to Ryan Suzokovich and future considerations. Just a day earlier, Von Schoenberg was traded by Richmond to the Island team, for future considerations.

Schoenberg played a prominent role in the team's victory over Delta, picking up three assists, including setting up Michael Martino's overtime winner just at the 1:17 mark of extra time.

A five-foot-11 blueliner, Von Schoenberg was Richmond's top scoring defenceman with four goals and 16 assists over 25 games.

Grandview had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but needed a goal from another blueliner, Jarod Yau, to force overtime. Yau's tally with 6:20 left in the third was his fifth of the season.

Also scoring for the Steelers were Tomislav Zlomislic and Ethan Strik.

In the loss to the 31-1-0-1 Wolf Pack, Jack Hamilton scored his team-leading 21st of the season to tie the game 3-3 just 1:38 after Dryden Valade had made it a one-goal game. But North Van reclaimed the lead with one second left in the second period on Ryan Stack's 14th goal in 15 games. Eric Fuerderer would get the Steelers back within a goal with six minutes remaining, but another North Van sniper, Alex Suprynowicz, hit the empty net to end any rally hopes.

Grandview doesn't play again until Jan. 18, when they visit North Van.

This weekend, the PJHL's top prospects take on the Vancouver Island Junior B Hockey League's best 18-and-under players, Sunday in Nanaimo.

Among the PJHL players are a trio of Steelers, 16-year-old defenceman Quinn Myles, Strik and Yau.


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