The 2021-2022 Wolf Pack season was full of special events and milestones. Re-live some of the moments that took place throughout the season!
This article was written by Giancarlo Nadeau.
BINETTE NAMED CAPTAIN
“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf,
And the strength of the Wolf is the Pack”
– Rudyard Kipling
Alex Binette, Whistler, BC, was named the team’s 12th Captain in history before the start of the regular season. Binette played the season with his heart on his sleeve and would finish fourth in team scoring with 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in 43 games.
“It’s a great honor. It’s good to have the coaches think of me in that way and I just have to make sure that I live up to the expectations.”
- Alex Binette
Pickell, Wong, and Cammarata served as the alternate captains on the road while Hunter and Penman were the alternate captains at home.
The Wolf Pack bench had some new staff added to it this season as Nathan Haaksma, Jordan McCarl, and Tuyet Vu-Noreau joined the team. Nathan and Jordan complemented the coaching staff while Tuyet took over as the team’s trainer.
In terms of the players on the team, all but nine players currently on the team played in the PJHL prior to the start of the season.
PACK GETS FIRST WIN OF SEASON
The fifth game of the PJHL season and first for the Wolf Pack took place on Thursday, September 9, with the Wolf Pack facing off against the Sockeyes in Richmond. Kaj Burgess opened the scoring for the season and the game while Anthony Reimer, JJ Pickell, and David Coyle also scored goals to give the Wolf Pack a 4-2 victory. Sam Gilmore stopped 32/34 shots in the win.
The Wolf Pack would head home for a Saturday, September 11, contest against the Aldergrove Kodiaks. The Wolf Pack would earn another 2 points as they went on to defeat Aldergrove 2-1. That was the first game at home and the first home win of the season for the Wolf Pack.
GILMORE GETS A SHUTOUT
Sam Gilmore earned his first PJHL shutout and was named the first star of the game in a 6-0 Wolf Pack victory over the Abbotsford Pilots back on Saturday, September 25. Special teams came up big as the Wolf Pack scored two goals on the man-advantage while another two came short-handed. Gilmore stopped all 27 shots that were fired his way.
A SCARY PLAY
The Wolf Pack (4-0-0-1) made the trip over to Grandview to take on the Steelers (3-2-0-0) at the BWC for the second contest of the season. With 13:28 remaining in the second period and the score tied at 1-1, the game had come to a stop. Kaj Burgess of the Wolf Pack was injured behind the play, along the boards in Wolf Pack territory. After the call for medical attention was made it was decided that the game be postponed. Burgess would suffer upper-body injuries.
The game continued and was able to finish on Sunday, December 5th. Dario Zitko scored his fifth goal of the season which proved to be the game-winner while David Coyle gave his team some insurance with his 18th of the season.
PEROVIC EARNS FIRST SHUTOUT
One goal was all that was in store at Harry Jerome in an October 9 game against the Ridge Meadows Flames. That lone goal came off of the stick of Wolf Pack forward Ryan Hunter (3) at the 6:22 mark of the third period. Jonathan Wong and Alex Binette grabbed the assists. Perovic faced 26 shots and had answers for all of them as he recorded his first-ever shutout in the PJHL. It took Perovic seven games, throughout two seasons, to receive a shutout.
Perovic would finish the regular season with a 17-3 record and would manage to shut out one more opponent, the White Rock Whalers, in a 3-0 Wolf Pack victory on October 30.
A NEW VOICE
Giancarlo Nadeau got set to call his first PJHL game on October 23rd against the Chilliwack Jets. Nadeau replaced Ian Douglas and was with the Wolf Pack for the past two seasons as a cameraman, color broadcaster, and public address announcer. The Wolf Pack would get the 5-3 victory for him to add to the unforgettable night. Giancarlo took over broadcast duties and is still currently the Director of Media Relations and Play-By-Play Broadcaster for the Pack.
“He’s been pretty good. Good guy, funny guy. He’s good at commentating. I’ll tell you that much.”
- Corson Penman
— Jordan Kiss (@jordankisspxp) October 24, 2021
WONG SUITS UP FOR COWICHAN
Wolf Pack defenceman Jonathan Wong got the chance to suit up for the Cowichan Valley Capitals on November 12th against the Powell River Kings. Wong would play back-to-back games for the Capitals on the 12th and 13th of November.
Wolf Pack defenceman Jonathan Wong will get the chance to suit up for Cowichan tonight. Good luck Jonny! https://t.co/Yd5EOCBu9r
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) November 13, 2021
MATTHEW CARNIEL, THE TEDDY BEAR HERO
The North Vancouver Wolf Pack has a long and proud history of giving back to our community. We are honoured to work closely with several charitable organizations and causes. The North Vancouver Wolf Pack partnered with Family Services of the North Shore, once again, to present Teddy Bear Toss night on Saturday, December 11th. The second-ever Teddy Bear Toss game that the Wolf Pack hosted truly was more than just an exciting moment for fans to take in. Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears to the game so that when the Wolf Pack scores their first goal of the game, fans can throw the stuffed animals onto the ice. Matthew Carniel released the bears with a shot from the slot that came off of the stick of Alex Binette. Carniel’s eighth goal of the season was scored at 10:51. The Wolf Pack would go on to win the game 5-4.
Well, Matthew Carniel had himself quite the night yesterday. Here is the Teddy Bear goal:https://t.co/3fTiTvdEbq
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) December 13, 2021
“It was pretty cool! We had a lot of people in the rink. It was a pretty loud environment which was pretty cool…right when you see the teddy bears start flying down and the whole team gets there out to pick up the bears, it’s pretty cool. It’s a fun time.”
PICKELL HOPS ON BOARD WITH EXPRESS
JJ Pickell made his BCHL debut on December 17th in a game against the Chilliwack Chiefs. Pickell’s lone appearance with the Express ended with a 4-3 victory for Chilliwack. Pickell is affiliated with the Express.
BIAGI PLAYS FOR COWICHAN
The Italian Stallion, Sebastiano Biagi, made his BCHL debut on December 29th with the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Capitals took on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in Biagi’s lone appearance during the regular season. Biagi is affiliated with the Capitals.
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) December 30, 2021
The North Vancouver Wolf Pack played two games at the PJHL Winter Showcase in Richmond. The Wolf Pack and Mission City Outlaws battled one another for the second and final time this season in what was the second Winter Showcase league game of the year. The Wolf Pack defeated Mission 6-2.
The Wolf Pack will enter 2022 as winners as the team defeated the Mission City Outlaws 6-1!
Hunter (11,12 PPG), Coyle 🎩(21,22,23), Binette (9 PPG)
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) December 31, 2021
The Wolf Pack opened 2022 with a contest against the Delta Ice Hawks. The game marked the first PJHL game of the new year and the fifth meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Wolf Pack were declared the home team for their final Winter Showcase game. It was the first PJHL game of the new year and it was also the last Winter Showcase game for the Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack were the home team. The 10:00 am game and the intensity that the Ice Hawks brought to the game was enough to give the Wolf Pack their first loss of 2022. The Wolf Pack would go on to lose the game 6-2.
The Wolf Pack concluded their Winter Showcase in Richmond with a 6-3 loss to Delta.
Wolf Pack goals: Carniel (10), Wong (1), Binette (10)
Ice Hawks goals: Merriman (12), MacGillivray (22), Scouras (18), Kjernsted (3), Akimoto (6), Kalamaras (7)https://t.co/oPmgYAXMNQ
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) January 1, 2022
WOLF PACK ACQUIRE GRIFFIN, LOVEROCK, COLLYER
The Wolf Pack were amongst the busier teams at the trade deadline team as the team acquired three forwards, Collyer, Bellmond-Griffin, Loverock, and traded away two, Pearson and Richard.
Mitchell Collyer a 2003-born forward from Onanole, MB, was the first player to come to the Wolf Pack.
TRADE: The North Vancouver Wolf Pack have acquired 2003-born forward Mitchell Collyer from the Campbell River Storm in exchange for future considerations.
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) January 6, 2022
Max Richard was sent away on his rocket to the Nanaimo Buccaneers in exchange for future considerations.
The Wolf Pack have traded 03 Fwd Max Richard to the Nanaimo Buccaneers of the VIJHL for future considerations.
“We would like to thank Max for all his efforts here and wish him the best of luck with his new team.” – Matt Samson
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) January 9, 2022
Donovan Bellmond-Griffin the 2001-born native from Surrey, BC, made his way back to the PJHL in exchange for former Wolf Jobey Pearson and future considerations.
TRADE: Prior to the trade deadline, the Wolf Pack traded 04 forward Jobey Pearson and future considerations to the Lake Cowichan Kraken of the VIJHL for 01 Forward Donovan Bellmond-Griffin.
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) January 14, 2022
The Wolf Pack closed up the trade shop with one final acquisition. This time, the team acquired Jake Loverock a 2001-born product of Port Coquitlam, BC, from the Grandview Steelers.
TRADE: Prior to the trade deadline, the Wolf Pack acquired 01 forward Jake Loverock from the Grandview Steelers in exchange for future considerations.
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) January 14, 2022
Gaetano, “G-baby” Cammarata came back to the Pack from his hometown of Michigan. Cammarata spent last season with North Vancouver but was only able to play a few games before the PJHL season was put on hold and later canceled. Cammarata joins Sebastiano Biagi, the “Italian Stallion,” and Giancarlo Nadeau, the voice of the team, to round out the Italian pride. Cammarata would play nine regular-season games with the Wolf Pack and would register two goals and eight assists in that span.
“Every day after practice we come home and we share some Italian dishes with each other.”
- Gaetano Cammarata
WOLF PACK CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
Thanks to a 5-2 victory on January 25 against the Delta Ice Hawks the Wolf Pack were able to clinch a spot in the PJHL playoffs. Matthew Carniel (11,12) scored twice, while Alex Binette (14), David Coyle (28), and JJ Pickell (28) scored once.
WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.
The Wolf Pack have clinched a spot in the 2022 PJHL Playoffs.
The team has a record of 30-7-3-1 and have 3 games remaining in the regular season. pic.twitter.com/nT4ddNrYjJ
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) January 27, 2022
“That’s nice. We kind of had an inclination that we’d be in the playoffs, but it’s nice to see it officially there and [to be] the first team in our division to have that x beside their name in the standings in a good way.”
WOLF PACK FINISH IN FIRST
“We’ve exceeded our expectations and I think there’s still more with us so that’s a positive thing. We’re excited to keep things going into February.”
The Wolf Pack defeated the Langley Trappers 6-2 on Saturday, January 29, locking up first place in the Tom Shaw Conference. Ryan Hunter (15), Jake Loverock (4), Alex Binette (15), Kaj Burgess (5), Gaetano Cammarata (2), and Dario Zitko (5) all scored for the Wolf Pack. Loverock scored his fourth goal of the season in the PJHL, but it was his first as a member of the Wolf Pack.
Nik Jerris, the newest Wolf Pack goaltender, was solid in his debut as he stopped 26 of the 28 shots that came his way.
Last Saturday was a big night for the Wolf Pack!
1. We clinched first place in the Tom Shaw Conference
2. Our newest goaltender, Nik Jerris, stopped 26/28 shots in his Wolf Pack debut to earn his first PJHL victory
This Saturday we host the Richmond Sockeyes at 7:00 p.m. pic.twitter.com/qIHghVmaU2
— xy – North Vancouver Wolf Pack (@NVanWolfPack) February 4, 2022
PEROVIC SHINES IN BCHL DEBUT
Damian Perovic, one of three Wolf Pack goaltenders, had the opportunity to play in the BCHL for the Langley Rivermen on the eleventh and twelfth of February. Perovic played the last ten minutes of the February 11th game against the Victoria Grizzlies and stopped all five shots that came his way. In the second game, Perovic was between the pipes for just over 38 minutes in the game against Chilliwack and he stopped 25 of the 29 shots that he faced. This season for the Wolf Pack, Perovic had a 17-3 record, 2 shutouts, a 2.46 GAA, and a 0.921 save percentage.
“It was an easy decision to give him an opportunity. I think for him it’s a higher level, it’s good shooters. That’s what he’s trying to push himself towards so when he gets back here expect him to be dialed in for game one of the playoffs.”
A big thank you goes out to all of the parents and fans for making Harry Jerome the best arena in the league.
The Wolf Pack would also like to acknowledge and recognize the efforts of their Parent Volunteer Group. Without their countless hours of support, Wolf Pack home games would not be possible.
“Volunteers are a huge part of our entire team and we are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers.” – Matt Samson