WRITTEN BY – GIANCARLO NADEAU
“Our goal was to establish a junior hockey team on the north shore which would allow players to stay in the community. We have always tried to develop good hockey players and good people over the years and our program has excelled on both levels.”
– Dean Samson
WOLF PACK RELEASE AN ALTERNATE LOGO
On September 11th the team released an alternate logo commemorating its 15th season in the PJHL.
The logo showcases the Pacific Ocean at the bottom, followed by the Sea to Sky Highway with trees of various sizes lining the roads. Displayed above the highway are the prestigious mountains that are showcased and enjoyed from these roads. Shown atop the mountains are 14 stars signifying the number of years that the team has existed. A wolf can also be seen howling at the moon which has the team logo located on it. The logo is completed with a thick outline in the team’s colours which is a nice finishing touch.
The logo was used on various pieces throughout the season. It has also been used as the social media profile photo throughout the year.
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 Wolf Pack history before the start of the 2021-22 regular season and held the title for this season too. 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 42 games.
“I’m looking forward to the year. It’s good to be looked upon as a leader. You want to lead the team, guide the young guys, and I’m going to do the best that I can.”
– Alex Binette
JJ PICKELL OPENS THE SEASON SCORING
The Wolf Pack kicked off their regular season in Langley, on September 14. The wolves would go on to lose the game 5-1, but JJ Pickell gave North Vancouver their first goal of the season. The Wolf Pack would go on to score 190 goals throughout the regular season.
WOLF PACK PARTICIPATES IN 42ND ANNUAL TERRY FOX RUN
Members of the Wolf Pack proudly took part in the 42nd annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Terry Fox is an inspiration to us all and the team will not give up on his dream of finding a cure for cancer.
This event was the first community event that the team participated in during season 15.
“This was a great event for our players to be involved in as we look back on our bright past both on and off the ice as an organization,” commented Giancarlo Nadeau who organized this event.
Fans donated to the Terry Fox Foundation and helped the team exceed their goal of $200.
THE NEXT STEPS
The Wolf Pack was able to move up a few players during the early days of the season. Some players would eventually end up back with the Pack.
Dario Zitko – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
Dario spent one season with the Wolf Pack impressing many fans with his sensational Croatian moves!
“I would like to thank the Wolf Pack for allowing me to be part of such an amazing organization. I had the chance to play with a great group of guys which made our season so special.”
– Dario Zitko
Ben Thornley-Hall – Nipawin Hawks (SJHL)
Ben played one season with us racking up 2 goals and 18 assists in 41 regular season games. Thornley-Hall picked up 3 assists in our first-round exit to White Rock.
“Playing for the Wolf Pack was an excellent experience for me. Matt and the rest of the coaching staff helped me develop my skills and confidence which has given me the opportunity to move to the next level. I’d like to thank my teammates and everyone involved in the Wolf Pack organization for the support.”
– Ben Thornley-Hall
Jonathan Wong – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
Jonathan joined the Wolf Pack for the 2020-21 season and completed his first full season in 2021-22. Wong scored a goal and got 18 assists for 19 points in 35 games during the 2021-22 season.
Wong also served as an alternate captain when the Wolf Pack played on the road.
David Coyle – Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)
Coyle joined the Wolf Pack last season after spending time playing hockey in Sweden. He picked up 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points in 42 games.
“I would like to thank the Wolf Pack organization for a great season last year and a chance to move on this year. I would also like to thank the coaches and everyone who helped me and for the support. “
– David Coyle
Corson Penman – Dryden Ice Dogs (SIJHL)
Corson Penman left the Wolf after his first season to play for the Dryden Ice Dogs.
Penman had 15 goals and seven assists for 22 points in 32 regular season games. The North Vancouver product had one assist in six playoff games.
SFU MAKES HISTORY
On September 23, 2022, SFU defeated the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 1-0. With the victory, SFU Hockey became the only team in BCIHL history to defeat an NCAA Division 1 team.
Four former Wolf Pack players are now playing on SFU and played big roles in the victory. Jacob Lacasse, Mitch Ledyard, Justin Lee, and Rhys Lefebvre were those four players.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
On September 28, the team announced its leadership group for the season. Alex Binette returned as the captain while JJ Pickell and Ryan Hunter returned as alternate captains. Matthew Carniel and Luke Bradley added A’s to their jerseys for the first time with the Wolf Pack.
The Pack’s first game against the Surrey Knights was a success as the team earned their first victory of the season from the fortress. The Wolf Pack (0-4-2-0) traveled to Surrey (2-6-1-0). It was the first of four games in five days for the wolves!
Goals came from Terness (1), Zitko (1,2), Casellato (1), Swampy (1), and Hunter (3). Tritt stopped 26/29 shots in the crease.
Braden Swampy made his Wolf Pack debut a memorable one as he managed to score a goal during the game. Swampy was acquired from the Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
PACK ACQUIRE JJ MAROS
On October 19, the team announced that they had acquired Jack Joseph (JJ) Maros! The 2003-born forward came to the Pack from Richmond in exchange for future considerations.
“We are very excited to add JJ to the lineup. He is a very gifted & hard working Forward that ‘brings it’ every single game. He helps us not only offensively but defensively as well. We are looking forward to getting him into the lineup ASAP.”
JJ Maros joined JJ Pickell and the rest of the wolves after spending 47 games in a Richmond Sockeyes uniform.
WOLF PACK RECEIVE JONATHAN SOARES
On October 20, news broke regarding the trade of 2004-born forward David Coyle to the Kerry Park Islanders of the VIJHL. In return, the team received 2004-born defenceman, Jonathon Soares.
Coyle finished first in team scoring during the regular season last year with 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points in 42 games.
Soares played 11 games with the Islanders picking up an assist and 28 penalty minutes.
“Jonny is a talented player that will make an immediate impact on the backend for us. We are really excited to add him. We wish David the best and thank him for his contribution last season.”
– Mike Borrelli
The month of October was a very busy time for North Vancouver filled with trades, acquisitions, and a few returning players.
Tanner Terness (Vancouver North East Chiefs)
Andrew Casellato (Vancouver North East Chiefs)
JJ Maros (Richmond Sockeyes)
Braden Swampy (Comox Valley Glacier Kings)
Bergen George (Mission City Outlaws)
Jonathan Soares (Kerry Park Islanders)
Emil Eriksson (Nanaimo Buccaneers)
Sam Cordina (White Rock Whalers)
David Coyle (Kerry Park Islanders)
Corson Penman (Dryden Ice Dogs)
Dario Zitko (Dauphin Kings)
WOLF PACK HIT SUNSHINE COAST
Two adversaries are looking for a victory. A community is in search of a team. A brief journey across a saltwater inlet and we are on the Sunshine Coast.
It’s the North Vancouver Wolf Pack (1-8-2-0) and the Chilliwack Jets (7-4-1-1). It all starts at 7:00 PM.
The Wolf Pack and Jets visited the Sunshine Coast for two games during the weekend of October 21, and 22. Andrew Casellato scored the first goal on the Coast for the Wolf Pack and Giancarlo Nadeau broadcasted both games!
The quest for a team on the Coast continues. The Wolf Pack looks to take to the seas with a victory. Chilliwack has plans to ride the waves of the weekend with a second win. Chilliwack (8-4-1-1) and North Van (1-10-1-0) are set to do battle at 4:15 PM.
The team was unable to win the first game but did manage a victory the next day. The Wolf Pack secured a victory in a 5-2 final from the Sunshine Coast. Binette, Pickell, Zitko, and Casellato all scored for the wolves.
SALUTE TO SERVICE NIGHT
On Saturday, November 12, the Wolf Pack hosted the Ridge Meadows Flames and first responders from the North Shore. The team values the first responders who make positive contributions to our community and to all those who serve and who have served our country. Although the Wolf Pack was unable to win, losing 4-3, the team still put on a great performance as they paid tribute to real-life heroes. North Vancouver also wore poppy stickers on their helmets for the entire month of November.
SCOTT COMES HOME
On November 10 the team made a trade with the Nelson Leafs that saw Jason Scott (F, 04′) make a return to his hometown. Scott was dealt in exchange for Future Considerations.
“Jason is a big body, will bring a physical element to our team, and can contribute offensively as well.”
– Mike Borrelli (HC)
Scott finished the season with seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points in 27 games.
BIG TRADE ENDS WITH ACQUISITION OF MICAHLIND PELLETIER
It took three steps to get Micahlind Pelletier (D, 04’) on the Wolf Pack! The team started the day by acquiring Jack Pass (F, 04’) from the Kelowna Chiefs for future consconsiderationce Jack was acquired he was dealt to the Osoyoos Coyotes.
The Wolf Pack then received Micahlind Pelletier who would go on to play in 25 games with North Vancouver during the regular season. Pelletier scored twice and added 17 assists for 19 points. Pelletier is also affiliated with the West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL.
WOLF PACK VISITS BOUNDARY ELEMENTARY
The team made its first school appearance of the season on November 21 at Boundary Elementary. Nine players visited many of the classrooms in the school reading stories with the students, answering questions that they had, and even sharing some really bad hockey jokes! Boundary was invited to attend the upcoming Wolf Pack game that week and their school’s choir performed the national anthem.
Brooksbank and Eastview each attended a Wolf Pack game later in the season too. These two schools sang the national anthem and also helped give the team a boost of energy.
WOLF PACK REPRESENTED AT TOP PROSPECTS GAME
The Wolf Pack sent a voice and a player to the BCHC Top Prospects Game in Chilliwack on November 22! The event was the first to take place boccur between some of the best players in KIJHL. Andrew Casellato represented the players on the Wolf Pack.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling. I’m happy that I can represent the Wolf Pack at such a prestigious event.”
Casellato (Burnaby, BC) had 9 goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 18 games before suiting up at the event. Casellato also had three, 3-point games, including the first game that he played with the Wolf Pack on October 6th.
“It will be an incredible opportunity to cover the first-ever BCHC Top Prospects Game between some of the best players in the PJHL and KIJHL.
Giancarlo Nadeau provided color commentary for the game while working with Ian Wilson who is another talented broadcaster. Both Casellato and Nadeau hoped to have made the Wolf Pack and the PJHL proud.
MOVEMENT IN THE CREASE
During the middle of November, the Wolf Pack released goaltender Nik Jerris. Jerris, who was born in 2002 and hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, spent a total of 15 regular season and playoff games with North Van. PrioBeforeng released, Jerris had a 5.16 GAA, and .854 SV% in 12 games.
By parting ways with Jerris the team was in need of a goaltender.
Zoltan Bencsik was acquired from the Grand Forks Border Bruins in exchange for future considerations. He suited up for his first game with North Vancouver on the afternoon of November 27. Bencsik stopped 40 of 42 shots that were fired his way by the White Rock Whalers. Bencsik earned 10 wins with North Van and only lost twice while locking in two shutouts. His numbers were successful along the board with a 2.68 GAA, and a 0.922 SV%.
“Z is a big goalie that moves well and has a great compete level. His numbers this year in the KIJHL were excellent this season.”
– Mike Borrelli (HC)
WOLF PACK TRADED ZITKO AND ACQUIRE BARON
The Wolf Pack made another big splash in the trade market when the team moved Dario Zitko (F, 03’) and a player development fee to the Aldergrove Kodiaks. Trevor Baron (F, 03’) came the other way in the deal.
Baron arrived in North Vancouver with 6 goals and 17 assists for 23 points. Baron scored his first goal with his new team in his very first game! He finished the night with a goal and an assist against the Mission City Outlaws. Baron played 20 additional games with the Pack four more goals and 11 assists.
“Trevor is a proven scorer at this level and will add firepower to our offence along with hard work and a high IQ.”
– Mike Borrelli (HC/AGM)
Zitko spent 62 games with the Wolf Pack beginning in the 2021/22 regular season.
TEDDY BEAR TIME
It was the most wonderful game of the year!
Lucas Wong scored the first Teddy Bear goal in Wolf Pack history in 2019. Matthew Carniel added his name to that list in 2021 and an opportunity for a new teddy bear hero presented itself against the Abbotsford Pilots on December 17. This season’s Teddy Bear Toss was the third in team history and the team was determined to make it the best one yet.
Lucas Wong, the team’s first-ever Teddy Bear Hero, and Regan Scott, a representative from Family Services of the North Shore, was in attendance for a ceremonial puck drop. Fans were encouraged to bring their bears, but some were also available at the gate.
The team would score their Teddy Bear goal and it came off the stick of Corson Penman.
PUTTING A ‘WIN’ IN WINTER CLASSIC
For another season the Wolf Pack found themselves competing in two games at the PJHL’s Winter Showcase from Richmond’s Minoru Arena. The Pack faced the Mission City Outlaws on Thursday, December 29, and White Rock Whalers on Saturday, December 31.
The Wolf Pack got one point from its first game at the PJHL’s Winter Classic. It was a 4-3 overtime victory for the Mission City Outlaws. Corson Penman, Jonathan Soares, and Trevor Baron all scored for North Vancouver. Callum Tung stopped 30 shots in his Wolf Pack debut.
The second game was an early morning game on New Year’s Eve against the White Rock Whalers. Nort Van entered the game having won the first three meetings against White Rock earlier in the year. The winning continued for the Wolf Pack thanks to a 3-2 shootout victory. Tanner Terness (9), and Ryan Hunter (6) had Power Play goals while Trevor Baron had the shootout winner. Zoltan Bencsik went 27/29 between the crease.
ITALIAN WOLF PACK
On January 9 the Wolf Pack acquired veteran defenceman Daniel Dalla Pace (02′) from the Port Moody Panthers. The right-shot defenceman suited up in 117 games picking up 57 points in that span.
“We are extremely excited to add Daniel to our team. He is an experienced player who has proven to be one of the top defenders in the PJHL. He will bring offence as well. He will add a steady, veteran presence to our backend as we push towards the playoffs.”
Dalla Pace joined the Italian group of Wolf Pack forward Andrew Casellato, Head Coach Mike Borrelli, and Broadcaster Giancarlo Nadeau.
CURRENT WHITES ARE THE BEST
During January, fans had the chance to vote on their favourite Wolf Pack jersey of all time!
Twelve different uniforms competed in the challenge, but none were admired as much as the team’s current white jersey.
‘A’ LIST ALUMNI
On January 28 the team invited all fans and alumni to come and celebrate 15 seasons of Wolf Pack hockey! The team hosted their biggest rival in the Langley Trappers, but more of the attention was placed on the events happening off the ice.
A video was created by Giancarlo Nadeau to highlight the best players and moments from the past! The North Shore News put together an article discussing the franchise’s previous successes. A ceremonial puck drop took place with Mitch Ledyard, Justin Lee, Ian and Jamie Creamore, Elias Godoy, Ryan Stack, and Lucas Barker. There was also a framed jersey that belonged to Lucas Barker who was the Captain of the Wolf Pack during the 2019-20 season when the team won 40 games. Other pictures were laid out on tables next to medals and pucks related to the team.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the night was the unveiling of a printed board that had a list of all the players who ever played with the organization! In order to make the board, players had to have played 10 or more games with the club. The board was a huge success and will reside next to the team’s locker room.
PICKELL JOINS THE 60’S CLUB AND GETS 42 GOALS
Pickell would go on to finish the season with 42 goals and 32 assists for 74 points in 45 games. Pickell led the league with 42 goals and tied Dominic Davis from 2019-2020 for the most goals in team history.
JJ became the first of two Wolf Pack players to reach 60 points and joins a list that included seven Wolf Pack alumni who also reached that mark. Spencer Quon had 65 and 69 points (12-13, 13-14), Mitch Crisant had 63 points (14-15), Lucas Barker had 68 points (18-19), and Alex Suprynowicz had 77 points (19-20).
CASELLATO HITS 60
It didn’t take long for JJ Pickell to invite his teammate Andrew Caseallto to the 60 points club! Casllato entered his final game of the regular season with 56 points and came out of the night with 61. A two goal night and three assists propelled Casellato to a second-place finish in team scoring. The Italian forward had 18 goals and 43 assists for 61 points averaging 1.45 points per game.
WOLF PACK GETS SET FOR GRANDVIEW
The regular season was filled with lots of highs and lows for the Wolf Pack, but the team has managed to play past the standard 48-game schedule. North Vancouver will get set to face the Grandview Steelers in a three-game play-in series that is brand new to the PJHL. Season 15 was all about celebrating past players and teams and this year’s club is hoping that they are one to be remembered.
RECORDS BY THE MONTH:
JJ PICKELL – LANGLEY RIVERMEN
ANDREW CASELLATO – LANGLEY RIVERMEN
CHARLIE TRITT – LANGLEY RIVERMEN
TANNER TERNESS – CHILLIWACK CHIEFS
MICAHLIND PELLETIER – WEST KELOWNA WARRIORS
LUKE BRADLEY – ALBERNI VALLEY BULLDOGS
BRANDEN POLLOCK – COQUITLAM EXPRESS