Its been 8 years since something special happened on the Home Opener for the Surrey Knights. It was way back in 2014 when the “Langley” Knights last won the Home Opener for the fans. Names like Levi DeWaal, Colin Catchpole, Carson Rose, Tristan Craighead, Josh Trisevic, or Jackson Surbey were on the scoresheet that year. This year new names will make their mark on the scoresheet with a number of firsts. First PJHL Goals for #22 Parkor Sarai, #16 Bronson Sales. First wins for Knights Assistant Coach Greg Ross and Trainer MacKenna Bergen. However, most dramatic of all was Goaltender #30 Mason Upton’s First Shutout against his former team.
The Whalers were coming in to the regular season home opener for the Knights as the heavy favorite. They had not lost to the Knights ever in their Franchise history and after a preseason victory 7-5 over the Knights it didn’t look like things would change on that front. And the POD came out strong in the first period, outshooting the kids from Whalley 16 – 6. However, Upton answered every one of their shots in a calm, cool and collected manner. It looked effortless and fans could tell that he had entered “the Zone” where many high performance athletes enjoy athletic perfection. He got help from his defense with new additions, Mattais Seganfreddo, Owen Blythe, & Aiden McFarlane. Goal support, which had been elusive for the Knights the past couple years has reappeared again with Goals from Parkor Sarai and Bronson Sales on a couple plays setup by Robbie Toor. It should be noted that Toor looked excellent out there in front of a section of friends and family all rooting for him.
In the 2nd Period, the POD out shot the Knights 19 – 11 but all for not as Upton once again cool as a cucumber stopped every shot they sent his way. It was Clinical. New guy, Aidan McFarlane buried his first of the season in the second on a setup from Mattias Seganfreddo as both additions look excellent on the ice for the Knights.
In the third period, after the Whalers changed their goalie the Knights found their legs. The Whaler’s must have had a sense of resignation to the fact that they were not going to put one by Upton and could only muster 9 shots that period. Finally, Jake Thompson knocked in the empty netter to bring home the victory for the Kids from Whalley. At the final buzzer, to the sound of Star Wars and Maxine Nightingale, the Knights Fans went nuts as the team embraced Upton in a victory celebration. You could tell the shutout and victory had some deeper meaning to Mason Upton as tears filled his eyes and hugs were all around. A story of rejection and redemption could never have gone more perfectly in this one game in the PJHL. I suspect the Upton family will remember this for years to come.
The Knights next game is Saturday, Sept 17th in Mission versus the new look Outlaws.