With its win 5-2 win over Powell River on Monday, Nanaimo clinched top spot in the Island Division and is guaranteed home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. 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.
Vernon will be without two of its top forwards after the BCHL handed down suspensions stemming from Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Cowichan. Vipers forward Colton McCarthy is suspended two games for participating in a fight at the end of a period, as is Capitals forward Ryan Hogg. Vernon forward Anthony Latina was also suspended three games for provoking an incident at the end of a game. At the 20 minute mark of the third period, Latina was assessed two minute minor penalties each for slashing and instigating, a five minute major for fighting, and two game misconducts. Both McCarthy and Latina sat out Vernon’s 4-3 overtime loss to Chilliwack on Sunday. McCarthy is eligible to return on Friday, February 13 at home vs. Salmon Arm while Latina can rejoin the Vipers lineup on Saturday, February 14 at home against Nanaimo. Hogg can return to the Capitals on Sunday, February 15 at home vs. Merritt.
Defenseman Shayne Taker (Cowichan, 2008-10) has been recalled by the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage from the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. The Vancouver product has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 37 games with Cincinnati this season. Taker played five games with San Antonio last season after wrapping up a four-year college career at Notre Dame, where he recorded 47 points (eight goals, 39 assists) in 152 games.
The junior B Golden Rockets of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League are looking for a GM/Head Coach for the 2015-16 season. Ty Davidson tendered his resignation from the Rockets, effective at the end of this season. He’s a former Head Coach of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks who also played in the BCHL for Nanaimo and Penticton and cited being closer to home and family as the reason for his resignation. The Rockets job posting is here.