Month: February 2014

BCHL Releases 2014 Fred Page Cup Championship Playoff Schedule:

The BCHL has posted the 2014 Fred Page Cup Championship playoff schedule and dates on its’ website for the Mainland and Interior Divisions. Not sure why the Island Division dates weren’t announced, but I’m sure that info is coming soon.

Although not all teams are confirmed in all divisions, we at least know the dates the teams are playing.

BCHL Division Semi-Finals

Interior Division

1st Place Interior vs. 4th Place Interior

Game 1: Tuesday, March 4 @ 1st Place Interior, Time TBA

Game 2: Wednesday, March 5 @ 1st Place Interior, Time TBA

Game 3: Friday, March 7 @ 4th Place Interior, Time TBA

Game 4: Saturday, March 8 @ 4th Place Interior, Time TBA

*Game 5: Monday, March 10 @ 1st Place Interior, Time TBA

*Game 6: Tuesday, March 11 @ 4th Place Interior, Time TBA

*Game 7: Wednesday, March 12 @ 1st Place Interior, Time TBA

*if necessary

2nd Place Interior vs. Vernon (3)

Game 1: Tuesday, March 4 @ 2nd Place Interior, Time TBA

Game 2: Wednesday, March 5 @ 2nd Place Interior, Time TBA

Game 3: Friday, March 7 @ Vernon Vipers, Time TBA

Game 4: Saturday, March 8 @ Vernon Vipers, Time TBA

*Game 5: Monday, March 10 @ 2nd Place Interior, Time TBA

*Game 6: Tuesday, March 11 @ @ Vernon Vipers, Time TBA

*Game 7: Wednesday, March 12 @ 2nd Place Interior, Time TBA

*if necessary

Mainland Division

Langley (1) vs. Surrey (4)

Game 1: Tuesday, March 4 @ Langley Rivermen, Time TBA

Game 2: Wednesday, March 5 @ Langley Rivermen, Time TBA

Game 3: Friday, March 7 @ Surrey Eagles, Time TBA

Game 4: Saturday, March 8 @ Surrey Eagles, Time TBA

*Game 5: Monday, March 10 @ Langley Rivermen, Time TBA

*Game 6: Tuesday, March 11 @ Surrey Eagles, Time TBA

*Game 7: Wednesday, March 12 @ Langley Rivermen, Time TBA

*if necessary

Prince George (2) vs. Coquitlam (3)

Game 1: Tuesday, March 4 @ Prince George Spruce Kings, 7 pm

Game 2: Wednesday, March 5 @ Prince George Spruce Kings, 7 pm

Game 3: Friday, March 7 @ Coquitlam Express, Time TBA

Game 4: Saturday, March 8 @ Coquitlam Express, Time TBA

*Game 5: Monday, March 10 @ Prince George Spruce Kings, 7 pm

*Game 6: Tuesday, March 11 @ Coquitlam Express, Time TBA

*Game 7: Wednesday, March 12 @ Prince George Spruce Kings, 7 pm

*if necessary

Island Division

1st Place Island vs. 4th Place Island

2nd Place Island vs. 3rd Place Island



1st seed Interior vs. 2nd seed Interior

Game 1: Friday, March 14 @ 1st Seed Interior, Time TBA

Game 2: Saturday, March 15 @ 1st Seed Interior, Time TBA

Game 3: Monday, March 17 @ 2nd Seed Interior, Time TBA

Game 4: Tuesday, March 18 @ 2nd Seed Interior, Time TBA

*Game 5: Thursday, March 20 @ 1st Seed Interior, Time TBA

*Game 6: Friday, March 21 @ 2nd Seed Interior, Time TBA

*Game 7: Saturday, March 22 @ 1st Seed Interior, Time TBA

*if necessary

1st seed Mainland vs. 2nd seed Mainland

Game 1: Friday, March 14 @ 1st Seed Mainland, Time TBA

Game 2: Saturday, March 15 @ 1st Seed Mainland, Time TBA

Game 3: Monday, March 17 @ 2nd Seed Mainland, Time TBA

Game 4: Tuesday, March 18 @ 2nd Seed Mainland, Time TBA

*Game 5: Thursday, March 20 @ 1st Seed Mainland, Time TBA

*Game 6: Friday, March 21 @ 2nd Seed Mainland, Time TBA

*Game 7: Saturday, March 22 @ 1st Seed Mainland, Time TBA

*if necessary

1st seed Island vs. 2nd seed Island



Game 1: Friday, March 28: 2nd Seed @ 1st Seed

Game 2: Sunday, March 30: 3rd Seed @ 2nd Seed

Game 3: Tuesday, April 1: 1st Seed @ 3rd Seed

Game 4: Thursday, April 3: 3rd Seed @ 1st Seed

Game 5: Saturday, April 5: 1st Seed @ 2nd Seed

Game 6: Monday, April 7: 2nd Seed @ 3rd Seed

*Game 7: Wednesday, April 9: Tie-Breaker if necessary

Three BCHL Alumni Win Olympic Gold!

With Team Canada’s 3-0 win over Sweden this morning in the men’s hockey gold medal game at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, three BCHL alumni are golden!

Former Quesnel Millionaires goaltender Carey Price, former Penticton Panthers defenseman Duncan Keith and former Victoria Salsa/Grizzlies forward Jamie Benn are the three BCHL alumni featured on Canada. Keith is the only former BCHLer on this year’s team who also played in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Quinnipiac Men’s Hockey Program Found Gold Mine in British Columbia:

Great article here from the New Haven (Connecticut) Register newspaper on the pipeline of players from the BCHL who have attended Quinnipiac University over the years.
Quinnipiac men’s hockey program found gold mine in British Columbia
Connor and Kellen Jones spent their first three years of college bumming rides from friends to get around town. But when it was their senior year, the identical twins decided it was time they had a car on campus.

So when last summer ended, the brothers purchased a used car from an aunt and made the 44-hour cross-continent drive from their home in Montrose, British Columbia, to Quinnipiac.

They drove 18 hours, caught a few hours of sleep in South Dakota, and then plowed straight through the final 26 hours to Hamden. No speeding tickets; no tailgating. The make and model of the vehicle — a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria — certainly helped in that regard.

“It’s an old cop car,” Connor Jones said. “Whenever we pulled up behind people they’d slam on their brakes and switch lanes. They’d look over and see two twins sitting in the front seat listening to country music.”

There are easier ways to get to Quinnipiac from British Columbia, and vice versa. Terry and Loretta Jones, the twins’ parents, took a red-eye flight late Thursday night to catch the Bobcats’ Senior Weekend games at High Point Solutions Arena against No. 13 Cornell (Friday night at 7) and No. 19 Colgate (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Both games will be televised on NESN.

Still, there can be two or three connections in what amounts to a half-day or more spent traveling. Just ask Quinnipiac assistant coaches Bill Riga and Reid Cashman, who both make the trip several times a year to recruit.

But Quinnipiac hockey’s pipeline to British Columbia, long ago established by head coach Rand Pecknold, has been essential to the program’s construction and ultimate realization as a national power.

“It’s been the backbone of our program,” Pecknold said. “It’s our bread and butter. If players are good in that league, they’re going to be good for us.”

Over the last 15 years, no Division I college team has as much success recruiting Canada’s westernmost province. Last winter, there were nine players from British Columbia on the Bobcats’ roster, a team which dominated ECAC Hockey and came within a game of the national championship. Seven skate for the Bobcats this winter, again the highest B.C. representation in the college game.

Pecknold was hired 20 years ago when the hockey team skated at the Division II level with no scholarships. As the program developed and was elevated, more money was ear-marked for scholarships. It became obvious to Pecknold that he needed to tap into Canadian Junior ‘A’ leagues. Ontario was a relatively easy drive, but there was an army of unclaimed talent in the western provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

His recruiting budget was microscopic. Yet Pecknold managed to establish a foothold for Quinnipiac in western Canada during the late 1990s. Good fortune helped make it possible. His parents had moved to Bellingham, Wash., an hour’s drive from Vancouver. An uncle resided in Surrey, B.C.

For the price of a round-trip plane ticket, Pecknold could stay with family and spend extensive time scouting the region. All he had to do was persuade players to travel 3,000 miles across the continent and help build a program from scratch at his tiny school with the funny sounding name.

Pecknold proved to be quite a salesman. Many of the program’s top players ever — Brian Herbert, Jamie Holden, Matt Erhart, Ben Nelson, Bryan Leitch, Brandon Wong, Scott Zurevinski — have come from the BCHL. Over the years, Quinnipiac’s reputation spread quickly.

“We tell everyone how great the coaches have been to us,” Connor Jones said. “When coaches ask us what Quinnipiac’s all about, we say it’s a great program with great coaches, unreal fans. With our influence, and other guys who’ve come through, we have so many BCHL guys on our team, it’s hard to not know about Quinnipiac.”

The school’s first Frozen Four team last April featured nine from the BCHL, including team captain Zach Currie and fellow defenseman Zach Davies. The Jones twins, perhaps the two most significant recruits in program history, returned this year, as did play-making sophomore Travis St. Denis and senior Brooks Robinson, both forwards.

Goaltender Michael Garteig, a two-time BCHL goaltender of the year, inherited the starting job and has five shutouts and 21 wins so far. Freshman defensemen Devon Toews and Brayden Sherbinin both see regular ice time.

The well is far from dry. Eight recruits from British Columbia are scheduled to enroll over the next two seasons, including highly regarded forward Landon Smith — currently leading the BCHL in scoring — brothers Bo and Canon Pieper and another set of twins, Jonah and Nathan Renouf.

“Every year there’s more and more guys coming in,” Kellen Jones said. “That’s credit to the coaches. They find great players and they are good at finding diamonds in the rough. The BCHL has become a pretty great league turning out players. That’s good for them, and that’s good for us.”

As for the car? It’s toreador red with bench seating, drives like a dream and intimidates fellow motorists. Needless to say it’s been a colossal hit on campus.

“We might have to sell it at the end of the year, though,” Connor Jones said. “I’m not sure we want to drive it all the way back home.”

Over 2,030 CJHL Alumni on College and University Rosters in North America:

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) is proud to announce that over 2,030 CJHL alumni are pursuing their academic and hockey careers at colleges and universities across North America in the 2013-2014 season. 
Number of CJHL alumni competing at universities and colleges in Canada and the US (% of rosters):

  •     578 in NCAA Division I (37%)
  •     595 in NCAA Division III (27%)
  •     857 in Canadian universities and colleges (61%)

“Year after year the Canadian Junior Hockey League graduates hundreds of elite hockey players and outstanding students who go on to hockey and academic careers at universities and colleges all over North America,” said CJHL President and Chairman Kirk Lamb.  “Junior A provides the opportunity to develop as a player, as a student and as an individual.  It allows players and their families time to make a fully-informed and confident decision without ever sacrificing athletic development or exposure.  It’s clear that the Junior A experience is working for our student-athletes and their families.”

Over 850 former CJHL players spent the 2013-2014 season competing in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC) and BC Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL).  This represents 61% of players on Canadian university and college team rosters.

University of Prince Edward Island veteran Dana Fraser is excelling in the CIS and attributes his success to the development he experienced in the Maritime Hockey League (MHL), one of ten Junior A leagues in the CJHL.  “Junior A hockey prepared me for playing in the CIS and I owe a lot to Junior A for helping me become the player I am today, ” said Fraser.  “I took the systems and training I received with me to the CIS and it helped me develop into a much better and complete player.”

CJHL alumni helped lead Canada’s best university and college programs to success in 2012-2013.   In March 2013, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds captured the 2013 University Cup with the aid of 11 CJHL alumni.  The NAIT Ooks men’s hockey team won the 2013 ACAC Championship with a roster that included 24 CJHL alumni.  The ACAC final was dominated with CJHL talent as 48 alumni filled the rosters of the two teams competing in the championship final.

CJHL alumni are not just making their mark north of the border.  In the US, a total of 578 CJHL alumni competed on NCAA Division I rosters in the 2013-2014 season.  These CJHL alumni account for 37% of all Division I hockey players.  Another 595 CJHL alumni can be found at the NCAA Division III level, representing 27% of all Division III players.  In 2013, 19 CJHL alumni competed in the NCAA Championship Game, four of which became National Champions as members of the Yale Bulldogs.   In total, 32 alumni of the Canadian Junior Hockey League were on the rosters of the four NCAA teams that competed at the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four.

Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) alumnus and 2014 Hobey Baker nominee, Ben Hutton, describes his NCAA experience with the University of Maine and journey to this point as ‘incredible’.  “The CJHL was a great experience for me and was instrumental in my development,” said Hutton.  “It allowed me to keep my options open while still playing very high level hockey.”  Hutton was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

“Maine was the right fit for me in many aspects. I was able to get quality minutes as a freshman and got the opportunity to play in front of the best fans in college hockey. It’s a program full of rich history and development.”

Goaltender Sam Brittain graduated from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) to the University of Denver and believed the CJHL was the ultimate path to his goal of education and hockey in the NCAA.  “The biggest thing for me was that I wanted to play in the NCAA and I knew the best route was through Junior A,” said Brittain.

“I grew up and learned a lot of important lessons when I started in the CJHL.  It was my first time away from home, and the first time that there was a real pressure to perform, which forced me to develop as a player and a person.  Everything went very well for me and it was a great beginning.”

Victoria Grizzlies Home Rink Renamed 100.3 The Q Centre:

West Shore Parks & Recreation is excited to announce that our 3,000 seat spectator arena will now be known as the 100.3 The Q Centre.

West Shore Parks & Recreation joined into a naming rights partnership with radio station, 100.3 The Q (CKKQ‐FM), a division of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, to rename and rebrand the facility formerly known as Bear Mountain Arena. 100.3 The Q, Southern Vancouver Island’s longest‐running adult rock station, is looking forward to seeing their name on a facility of this size.

100.3 The Q prides itself on being active in the community on many levels, and is already a major partner in the West Shore with events such as Rock the Shores, Victoria Shamrocks Lacrosse, the Victoria Grizzlies and local hockey teams. 

“This partnership is a natural extension of The Q’s mandate to support strong family‐oriented community groups and events. We felt like this would be a great opportunity to reach out to the community in the West Shore” says 100.3 The Q!’s General Manager, Dan McAllister.

West Shore Parks & Recreation, owners and operators of Victoria’s premier mid‐sized arena, reached an agreement with the radio station in early February and couldn’t be more thrilled. The agreement will include financial compensation but also advertising air time in exchange for the naming rights to the building.

“It is more than just a naming rights partnership. We put a lot of value on The Q being able to assist with programs and events happening in the West Shore.” said Linda Barnes, West Shore Parks & Recreation Society Administrator.

“Our decision came down to finding a partner that provided not only a financial benefit but one that could increase our presence in the community, and who better to do this than The Q?” says Rob Martin, West Shore Parks & Recreation Society Board Chair and Colwood Councillor.

Users of the facility can expect very few changes to the arena. 100.3 The Q will be hoisting a new sign this spring and all onsite directional signage will be updated. 100.3 The Q Centre will continue to house major tenants including the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL Jr. “A” Hockey) and the Victoria Senior Shamrocks (WLA Senior “A” Lacrosse).

Prince George Coaching Staff Signs Two-Year Extension Through 2015-16:

The Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) are very pleased to announce a two year contract extension of head coach, Dave Dupas through to the end of the 2015-16 season with a club option for the following season.

Dave Dupas was currently in his final year of his contract, the extension comes after the team has secured a playoff berth for its third consecutive season under Dupas. In his first year, the Spruce Kings finished 3rd in the Interior Division with 72 points in 60 games. Last season the Spruce Kings finished with 59 points in 56 games and this year the team is fighting for top spot in the Mainland Division with 63 points in 50 games and eight games remaining.

“Our organization has come a long way in the past few seasons and Dave has been a huge part of that progression,” said Spruce Kings General Manager, Mike Hawes. “The players have responded well to Dave as he has worked towards changing the culture and changed what it means to be a Spruce King.”

In conjunction with Dupas’ contract extension, Hawes is also pleased to announce that assistant coaches Colton Buffie and Jason Garneau have also been signed to two year contract extensions.

“I’m very pleased to be able to continue moving forward with this group of coaches,” added Hawes. “I think that the job that has been done by Dave, Colton and Jason has been excellent and they deserve to continue to work towards bringing a championship to the city of Prince George.”

The Spruce Kings will play three games this weekend beginning with a double header against the Langley Rivermen on Thursday February 13th and Friday February 14th followed by a matinee game on Sunday February 16th versus the Nanaimo Clippers.

For more information contact the Spruce Kings office at 250.564.1747.

Victoria Forward Leo Fitzgerald Named BCHL Player of the Week:

Victoria Grizzlies forward Leo Fitzgerald has been named the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 9, the league announced Monday.

Playing just his eighth and ninth games of the season after missing four months due to injury, Fitzgerald he racked up three goals and two assists in a pair of Victoria wins. The Port Alberni, B.C. product was in on each goal, scoring twice including the game-winner, and set up another in a 3-1 win over the Coquitlam Express where he was 1st Star. He followed that with a goal and a helper in a 4-3 overtime win against the rival Powell River Kings.

Honourable mentions:

West Kelowna Warriors F Liam Blackburn: 3G, 3A, 1st Star, 3rd Star

West Kelowna Warriors G Cody Porter: 2W, 85 saves/92 shots, 0.924 sv%, 2.25GAA

Alberni Valley Bulldogs F Justin Georgeson: 3G, 2A, 1st Star, 3rd Star, GWG

Penticton Vees F Cody DePourcq: 1G, 3A, 2nd Star, FortisBC Energy Player of the Game

Chilliwack Chiefs D Carter Cochrane: 2G, 3A

Coquitlam Express D Zach Hodder: 1G, 2A, 1st Star