March 25 — Nanaimo 1 at Penticton 4 (2,433)
March 27 — Chilliwack 3 at Nanaimo 7 (1,700)
March 29 — Penticton 4 at Chilliwack 3 OT (2,489)
March 31 — Chilliwack 2 at Penticton 5 (2,508)
April 2 — Penticton at Nanaimo – 7 pm
x-April 4 — Nanaimo at Chilliwack – 7 pm
x-April 6 — TBA at TBA – TBA
With Penticton’s 5-2 win over Chilliwack on Tuesday night, it takes the Chiefs fate out of their hands. In order for Chilliwack to stay alive in the BCHL round robin semifinals, it needs a Vees win on Thursday in Nanaimo. If the Clippers win that game, it books their ticket to the BCHL Fred Page Cup Final. If the Vees win that game, the Chiefs will still be alive and can force the tie-breaker game with a win on Saturday, April 4th at home against Nanaimo.
Alberni Valley forward Mitch Makin committed to Western Michigan University and will play for the Broncos starting this September. The 21-year-old from Lethbridge, AB, led the Bulldogs in scoring in 2014-15, putting up 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in 58 games. He added eight points (two goals, six assists) in seven playoff games with AV. In 141 career BCHL games, Makin finishes his career with 100 points (42 goals, 58 assists).
The Trail Smoke Eaters added two players to their new recruits on the BCHL website. Committing to the Smokies for the 2015-16 season are 17-year-old Ross Armour and 17-year-old Spencer McLean. Both players skated with the junior B Beaver Valley NiteHawks in 2014-15, finishing second and third respectively in scoring. Armour had 57 points (14 goals, 43 assists) in 49 games and McLean notched 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 51 games this season, which are impressive totals for 16-year-olds making their first foray into junior hockey. Amour played seven games as an affiliate player with the Smoke Eaters and McLean played five games as an AP with Trail, each posting two assists.
Forward Matt Garbowsky (Powell River, 2009-11) signed a one-year American Hockey League contract with the Buffalo Sabres for 2015-16. The 24-year-old signed an amateur tryout contract with the Rochester Americans, who are the Sabres AHL affiliate, so he can join them for the final nine games of the season. Garbowsky was one of the top scorers in NCAA hockey this season with 54 points (26 goals, 28 assists) in 40 games. He is one of the Top 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.
Defenseman Joey Laleggia (Penticton, 2008-11) signed a two-year entry level contract with the Edmonton Oilers. The Burnaby, BC product recorded 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 37 games with the University of Denver this season. He’s also a Top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Laleggia was named 2014-15 NCHC Player of the Year, NCHC Defenseman of the Year, and Offensive Defenseman of the Year. He was selected by the Oilers in the fifth round, 123rd overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Forward Brendon Kearney (Langley, 2013-14) committed to Ohio State University, starting with the 2015-16 season. He’s played the last two seasons with the Chicago Steel, posting 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 95 games. Kearney started the 2013-14 season with the Rivermen and had two goals in 16 games. Langley struck a deal with Chicago that saw the Steel get Kearney while the Rivermen took Liam McDermott.