Month: August 2011

Cowichan Valley Releases Two, Signs One from NAHL and One from WHL:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have signed two players without previous BCHL experience while they’ve released two players who skated with the club last season.

To Cowichan Valley:
F Matt Grant (93)
To Cowichan Valley:
F Connor Wright (92)

Released by Cowichan Valley to Fernie (KIJHL):
F Austin Evans (94)
Released by Cowichan Valley outright:
F Stephen Saretsky (91)

Here’s the article from the Cowichan Valley Citizen summarizing the moves with Cowichan Valley associate coach/GM and former Cents defenceman Jim Ingram.

Crunch Time: Battle for roster spots goes on, with pre-season beginning Sept. 9

By Kevin Rothbauer, Citizen August 31, 2011

Down to about a third of the numbers they started camp with, the Cowichan Valley Capitals are much closer to unveiling the roster that will start the British Columbia Hockey League.

“I would say we’re about seven players away from getting down to numbers,” said associate coach Jim Ingram, noting that there are fewer than 30 players remaining, with the staff needing to trim that down to 21 before Sept. 23. “There are some extremely tough decisions we have to make.”

Camp opened on Aug. 22, just over a month before the opening faceoff. The Caps won’t even play their first pre-season game until Sept. 9. Ingram wasn’t keen on having so much time between the date players first donned their practice jerseys and the first day of meaningful games, but he’s learned to see the benefits.

“I wasn’t big on starting as early as we did, but now I’m happy with it,” he said. “It’s good that we do have that extra time now.”

The two weeks between the end of camp and that first exhibition game against the Victoria Grizzlies will give the coaches more time to work with the players, and more time for the players to get accustomed to their surroundings and to each other.

It also raises the stakes for the players who are on the bubble with regards to making the final 21.

“They have a tremendous opportunity to make or not make the club,” said Ingram. “It’s totally up to them.”

On the other hand, the players will be anxious to face some real competition.

“It’s not so much that it’s going to be tough, but the boys are going to be antsy,” the coach acknowledged. “By the end, they’ll be ready to get into game situations and hit guys other than the guys they’re dressing with.”

Monday saw the remaining hopefuls engage in a hard-skating practice, focusing on cardio rather than shooting. It wasn’t easy, but Ingram was impressed with the efforts.

“Guys keep themselves in great shape these days,” he said. “They were tired, but they made it through.”

There have been a few surprises in camp; players who weren’t expected to get this far, but who are making a case for their inclusion in the final roster. Among them are forwards Dane Feeney (22 points for the major midget North Island Silvertips in 2010/11) and Connor Wright (20 points in the junior A North American Hockey League), and defenceman David London (won a junior B championship in the Kootenay league as a playoff call-up from major midget).

“They’re real solid players, and they’re going to make it tough for us,” said Ingram.

Less surprising, but still pleasing, have been Steven Iacobellis (acquired over the summer to complete January’s Mike Hammond trade), Matt Brown (a veteran of four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), and Matt Grant (brother of Cowichan’s 2010/11 scoring leader Jordan, and who played last year with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League).

This is Ingram’s first year back with the Caps after coaching in Trail for three seasons, and some of the Cowichan veterans with whom he was previously unfamiliar have also opened his eyes. Specifically, Brendon MacDonald and Keyler Bruce, two hard-working Alberta boys, have stood out for their leadership capabilities and maturity.

“They’re a couple of guys noted for other things, not their play style,” said Ingram.

A few other players with whom Caps fans are familiar won’t be returning to the fold after the coaches decided they just didn’t fit with the plans for 2011/12. Dante Godinho (13 points in 39 games last year) was traded to the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations, while Austin Evans (eight points in 47 contests) and Stephen Saretsky (13 points in 47 games) were released.

Evans found a job with the junior B Fernie Ghostriders, while Saretsky is still weighing his options.

“It’s tough, but at the same time, we have to make these types of decisions,” said Ingram, noting that the BCHL has lowered its rosters from 23 players last season to 21 this year. “We can’t keep everybody, unless the rules change drastically and let us keep 100 guys on our roster.”

It all boils down to finding ways to improve on last year’s 21-30-1-8 record and return to the playoffs. “We’ve got to improve our hockey team,” said Ingram. “And I think that’s what we’re doing.”

Cents Training Camp Recap: Day Three


Merritt Centennials Training Camp Day Three Recap

Day Three of training camp is complete after a practice each in the morning and a spirited 3-on-3 competition in the evening for both Team Red and Team White .

The roster still sits at 45 players (26 forwards, 14 defensemen, 5 goaltenders) for the annual Red versus White game tomorrow night at 7:00 PM at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. Admission for the game is just $2 at the door.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Wednesday, Aug. 31

9 – 10:15 a.m. – White Practice

10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Red Practice

12 – 1 p.m. – Lunch (Arena Mezzanine)

1 – 3 p.m. – Player Interviews (with select players)

7 – 9:30 p.m. – Red vs. White Inter-squad Game

Team Red Wins First Intrasquad Game 5-4 Over Team White:

A good crowd was on hand last night at Memorial Arena to catch the Centennials first intrasquad game of training camp, with Team Red coming out on top 5-4 over Team White.

I’ve had a few people ask me about posting the camp rosters, but Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce has asked that I don’t go public with them.

On the Cents website today, there is a scoring summary though:

Merritt Centennials Training Camp Day Two Recap

Day Two of training camp is complete following the first of two inter-squad games. The roster sits at 45 players (26 forwards, 14 defensemen, 5 goaltenders).

INTER-SQUAD GAME at 7:00 pm, Monday, August 29, 2011

Team Red 5, Team White 4

Goal Scorers

1. Scotty Patterson (Sean Maktaak, Evan Stack)
2. Sean Maktaak (Evan Stack)
3. Evan Stack (Scotty Patterson, Ross Mancuso)
4. Reece Willcox (Blake Culbert)
5. Jordan Salahor (unassisted)

1. Brendan Lamont (Regan Soquila, Steve Wall)
2. Billy Marshall (Brendan Lamont)
3. Payton Schaefer (unassisted)
4. Jordan Steel (Dylan Playfair, Brandon Pfeil)

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Tuesday, Aug. 30
10 – 11 a.m. – Team White Practice
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Team Red Practice
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch (Arena Mezzanine)
7 – 7:45 p.m. – Team White 3 on 3
8 – 8:45 p.m. – Team Red 3 on 3

I caught up with Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Joe Martin following the game:

Salmon Arm Looking for New Play-By-Play Broadcaster:

There will be another new voice in another BCHL market this season following the resignation of Patrick Haas from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

Chilliwack, Penticton, Powell River, Prince George, Trail and Westside will also have new PBP announcers this season.

Here’s the announcement on the Silverbacks job from their website:

The Salmon Arm SilverBacks are sad to announce the resignation of their long time broadcaster Patrick Haas. After 5 years as the voice of the SilverBacks Patrick has announced he will be stepping down to join his family who has recently relocated to Calgary and to continue his passion for broadcasting baseball.

Owners Randy and Terry Williams “would like to thank Patrick for his hard work, dedication and extraordinary professionalism during his time in Salmon Arm. Patrick’s preparation and attention to detail really made his broadcasts a joy to listen to. We know that those same qualities will lead to his success in both marriage and broadcasting.”

With the departure of Haas the SilverBacks are now looking to fill his spot in the broadcast booth for the upcoming season. The team is currently accepting applications for the position of broadcaster/play by play man for the 2011-2012 season.

The selected applicant will broadcast all 60 regular season games (Home and Away) as well as any playoff games.

For more information or to apply for the broadcast position applicants should email their questions, resume and cover letter to

Langley Adds G Jimmy Kruger (92) and F Justin Cintas (93):

The Langley Riverman have added two imports to their roster, G Jimmy Kruger (92) from the NAHL’s Texas Tornado and F Justin Cintas (93) from the WSHL’s San Diego Gulls.

Both Kruger and Cintas will count towards Langley’s import total this season. Teams in the BCHL are allowed to have eight imports.

To Langley:
G Jimmy Kruger (92)
To Langley:
F Justin Cintas (93)
Here’s the article from the Rivermen website:

With training camp just weeks away on the first ever season of the Langley Rivermen, the local club is continuing to add new members to the roster. The Langley Rivermen are pleased to announce a pair of signings for the upcoming 2011/2012 season:

Jimmy Kruger, 19 years old (born 1992): Jimmy is a goaltender making his way to the Rivermen this season from the Texas Tornado of the NAHL. Kruger had an outstanding year with Texas racking up a record of 24-9-4-3 (W-L-OTL-SOL) with a sparkling 2.36 GAA and a .914 SV%. At 6 foot 3, 190 pounds, Kruger is a big goalie that plays an even bigger game,

“He is a big guy that moves extremely well and should adapt to the league quite easily,” said Bobby Henderson on his new recruit, “he is the ultimate competitor and that’s all you can ask for from anyone who goes in between the pipes.”

In addition to being a strong academic performer, the Minnesota native also received goaltender of the month honours for both September and October last season.

Justin Cintas, 18 years old (born 1993): Justin comes from the San Diego Gulls of the Western States Hockey League. Playing in his hometown of San Diego, the 5 foot 9, 170 pound forward put up 5 goals and 19 assists in 40 games for the Gulls last season.

“Justin is an energy guy with playmaking ability that every team likes to have,” said Assistant Coach Bobby Henderson, “we look for his role to grow with the team as the season goes along as he has plenty of assets to provide help the club with.”

Justin also has smarts to go along with his game as he was named to the All-Academic team in Roller Hockey during the 2010-2011 season