BCHL Playoff Picture, Nanaimo Signs Arsenault as Back-Up Netminder, Oakley Commits to TWU, St. John Commits to EWU:

Saturday Games

Nanaimo def. Langley 8-3
Cowichan def. Vernon 5-3
Prince George def. Coquitlam 7-5
Chilliwack def. West Kelowna 3-2 OT
Penticton tied Powell River 3-3
Trail def. Surrey 2-1
Salmon Arm def. Merritt 7-3

Sunday Games
Langley at Victoria
Vernon at Chilliwack
Penticton at Alberni Valley
Surrey at Salmon Arm

Once again this season, the BCHL will go with a playoff format that 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 remaining teams.

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, Penticton, Chilliwack, Langley, Prince George, Coquitlam, Powell River and Nanaimo have locked up playoff spots. If the regular season ended Friday, these would be the Division Semifinal match-ups:

(1) Penticton vs. (4) West Kelowna
(2) Vernon vs. (3) Merritt

Penticton – 81 points, eight games remaining
Vernon – 65 points, eight games remaining
Merritt – 56 points, eight games remaining
West Kelowna – 55 points, six games remaining
Salmon Arm – 54 points, eight games remaining
Trail – 38 points, eight games remaining
(1) Nanaimo vs. (4) Alberni Valley
(2) Powell River vs. (3) Victoria

Nanaimo – 73 points, seven games remaining
Powell River – 62 points, six games remaining
Victoria – 55 points, eight games remaining
Alberni Valley – 51 points, ten games remaining
Cowichan – 42 points, seven games remaining
(1) Chilliwack vs. (4) Coquitlam
(2) Langley vs. (3) Prince George

Chilliwack – 62 points, nine games remaining
Langley – 57 points, nine games remaining
Prince George – 55 points, eight games remaining
Coquitlam – 45 points, seven games remaining

Nanaimo shuffled its back-up goaltending situation once again. First, the Clippers released 17-year-old Jakob Severson and grabbed 20-year-old Talor Joseph, who was released by the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Portage Terriers. However, Joseph was coming back from an undisclosed injury and wound up not skating with Nanaimo at all. Now the Clippers have signed 18-year-old Jonathan Arsenault, who had been released by Longueuil Collège-Français of the Quebec Junior Hockey League. Arsenault was selected by Baie-Comeau in the 11th round, 189th overall in 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft. He had a 3.83 goals-against-average and an .818 save percentage in one game with Longueuil this season.

If you’re wondering how Nanaimo is able to sign a player after January 10th, the Hockey Canada rule is that February 10th is actually the last day available to sign a player if a team has a card available and is under the limit of 23. The Clippers had a card available and were under the 23-man roster limit, so they could sign Arsenault.

The first place Trinity Western University Spartans announced their first commitment for the 2015-16 season. Heading to TWU this September is 20-year-old forward Daniel Oakley. Oakley is tenth in Pacific Junior Hockey League scoring with the Richmond Sockeyes, posting 53 points (22 goals, 31 assists) in 40 games.
Eastern Washington University announced the commitment of 20-year-old forward Colton St. John for this September. St. John is with Comox Valley of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, where he has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 14 games. He had 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games with the KIJHL’s Princeton Posse before being traded to Comox Valley.

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