Doing some catching up here after a pretty crazy week which saw not much time spent on my laptop, so let’s get to it!
The BCHL goes with a playoff format which sees best-of-seven playoff series in Rounds One (Division Semifinals) and Two (Division Finals), a three-team round robin in Round Three designed to eliminate one team and then a best-of-seven Fred Page Cup final between the two teams surviving Round Three.
The top four teams from each division make the post-season, meaning that only four of the BCHL’s 12 teams get in. Right now, Chilliwack, Langley, Prince George, Coquitlam, Powell River and Nanaimo have locked up playoff spots. If the regular season ended Saturday, these would be the Division Semifinal match-ups:
(1) Penticton vs. (4) West Kelowna
(2) Vernon vs. (3) Merritt
Penticton – 78 points, 10 games remaining
Vernon – 63 points, 11 games remaining
Merritt – 52 points, 11 games remaining
West Kelowna – 52 points, nine games remaining
Salmon Arm – 50 points, 10 games remaining
Trail – 35 points, 11 games remaining
(1) Nanaimo vs. (4) Alberni Valley
(2) Powell River vs. (3) Victoria
Nanaimo – 69 points, 10 games remaining
Powell River – 59 points, eight games remaining
Victoria – 52 points, 11 games remaining
Alberni Valley – 49 points, 12 games remaining
Cowichan – 40 points, eight games remaining
(1) Chilliwack vs. (4) Coquitlam
(2) Langley vs. (3) Prince George
Chilliwack – 58 points, 12 games remaining
Langley – 57 points, 11 games remaining
Prince George – 51 points, 10 games remaining
Coquitlam – 43 points, 10 games remaining
Hockey Canada came out with the schedule for this year’s RBC Cup National Junior A Championship, which is hosted by Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and runs from May 9 – 17. The Western Canada Cup (BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL) winner opens against the host Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The entire sked is available here.
The BCHL has suspended Surrey forward Sam Chatterley five games for instigating a fight at the end of the third period in Friday’s 5-2 loss to Coquitlam. As a result, Eagles coach Blaine Neufeld is also suspended three games for the same infraction. Both missed Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Prince George. Chatterley is eligible to return on Friday, February 13 at home against Chilliwack while Neufeld is back behind the bench on Monday, February 9 at the South Surrey Arena vs. the Express.
By now you’ve probably heard about the BCHL suspending Trail scoring leader Charlie Zuccarini for abuse of an official. The Smoke Eaters released an official statement here.
Scott McKenzie, who is the Sports Editor at the Nanaimo Daily News, throws around the idea that the BCHL adopt a draft similar to that of the BC Junior A Lacrosse League. It’s an interesting topic of discussion, check it out here.
Merritt Centennials forward Gavin Gould has committed Michigan Tech University for the 2016-17 season. The 18-year-old from North Vancouver has 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 47 games this season for the Cents, which is second on the team, two points back of John Schiavo.
West Kelowna Warriors forward Brett Mennear will attend Bentley University starting in the fall of 2017 after committing to the Falcons. Mennear, who’s from West Kelowna, has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 41 games with the Warriors in 2014-15. He was West-K’s first round pick in the 2011 BCHL Affiliate Player Draft (remember that!?)
Left winger Curt Fraser (Kelowna, 1973-74) was announced as one of the inductees into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame last week. Fraser turned 16 midway through his lone BCHL season and had 64 points (32 goals, 32 assists) for the Kelowna Buckaroos. He was the Canucks’ second-round pick in 1978 after four seasons in the WHL and also a member of Vancouver’s 1982 team that reached the Stanley Cup Final. He is currently an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars.
Forward Anthony Collins (Merritt AP, Prince George, Burnaby, Victoria, 2006-09) was traded in the East Coast Hockey League on Monday from South Carolina to Quad City. The Langley native had two assists in 19 games with the Stingrays this season.
Defenseman Nathan Oystrick (South Surrey, 2000-02) has been released by the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. Oystrick had four points (one goal, three assists) in 12 games with the Falcons this season. He’s a veteran of 338 career AHL games.
Defenseman Garrett Noonan (Vernon, 2009-10) has been recalled to the AHL by Milwaukee from the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. Noonan, who won the 2010 Fred Page Cup as a member of the Vipers, has eight points (four goals, four assists) in 27 AHL games with the Admirals this season. He has no points in five games with the Cyclones.
Blueliner Mathew Berry-Lamontagna (Surrey AP, West Kelowna, Coquitlam, Cowichan, 2009-14) is the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League player of the week. The 21-year-old from Vancouver had a goal and an assist, plus the shootout winner as his Simon Fraser University team beat Eastern Washington 5-4 on Saturday. Berry-Lamontagna has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 19 games with SFU this season and is second in rookie scoring by defensemen in the league.