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Port Moody Panthers to visit Sunshine Coast in 2023 for hockey showcase

The Cats are heading to Gibsons next month as part of efforts to potentially expand junior 'B' hockey in the province.
The Port Moody Panthers will head to Gibsons for a Jan. 28, 2023, match against Richmond as part of the PJHL's Sunshine Coast Showcase Series.

A special hockey showcase on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast next month is set to include the Port Moody Panthers.

The Sunshine Coast Junior Hockey Society (SCJHS) is hoping to prove its home community of Gibsons has what it takes to host a junior 'B' franchise when it welcomes the Cats on Jan. 28.

"The opportunity to participate in the Sunshine Coast Showcase Series is very exciting for both our players and staff," said Port Moody general manager Brian Wiebe.

"It is an event that provides some good region-wide recognition for our team. Playing a game in Gibsons is a marquee event on the PJHL [Pacific Junior Hockey League] calendar and the chance to play there for the first time is a significant occasion for our franchise."

The clash between the Panthers and Richmond Sockeyes will be the second time the sunshine coast will host a PJHL contest during the 2022-23 season.

The Gibsons and Area Community Centre welcomed North Vancouver and Chilliwack for back-to-back affairs in October.

SCJHS spokesperson Brenda Rowe hopes the third game can once again show how dedicated the region is to hockey.

In an earlier statement to the Coast Reporter, sister publication of the Tri-City News, Rowe added that "market research has shown there is an appetite" for Gibsons to have its own franchise.

The Panthers will square up with the Sockeyes on the Sunshine Coast on Jan. 28 with a 4:15 p.m. puck drop.

Port Moody is currently in its holiday break before the PJHL Winter Classic weekend at Minoru Arena in Richmond.

The red, white and black recently reached double-digit wins, and are currently 10-21-1 in league play.

Their PJHL Winter Classic games are set for Dec. 30 at 10 a.m. against the Grandview Steelers, and Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. against the Ridge Meadows Flames.