April 10 — Nanaimo 5 at Penticton 2 (2,341)
April 11 — Nanaimo at Penticton – 6 pm
April 13 — Penticton at Nanaimo – 7 pm
April 14 — Penticton at Nanaimo – 7 pm
x-April 16 — Nanaimo at Penticton – 7 pm
x-April 17 — Penticton at Nanaimo – 7 pm
x-April 19 — Nanaimo at Penticton – 6 pm
The Prince George Spruce Kings did the expected, and unveiled their new head coach at a news conference on Friday morning. Replacing Dave Dupas, who stepped down last month to be closer to family in Kelowna, is Chad Van Diemen. The 33-year-old has held the title of assistant coach, assistant GM, and associate coach for the Powell River Kings for the last six seasons. During his time in Powell River, the Kings posted a 205–122–35 record.
Van Diemen is also a former BCHL player, skating four seasons in the league with stops in Nanaimo, Powell River and Quesnel. In 2001-02, the Kamloops, BC native had 53 points in 56 games with Millionaires. He then went on and played four seasons of NCAA hockey with Iona College and Manhattanville College, graduating with a degree in business management.
With the departure of Van Diemen, Powell River added Brock Sawyer to its team as a full-time assistant coach. Sawyer, who played for the Kings from 2006-08, was a part-time assistant to head coach Kent Lewis in 2014-15 following a two year pro career in the Southern Professional Hockey League and a four year NCAA Div. III career at Elmira College.
The Chilliwack Chiefs announced the completion of the January 10th trade that saw the team acquire forward Scott Davidson from Trail for defenseman Evan MacEachern and future considerations. The futures going to the Smoke Eaters are 20-year-old forward Kurt Black. The Winfield, BC, native has played the last two seasons in Chilliwack, posting 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 56 games in 2014-15. Black is no stranger to the Kootenays as he spent the 2012-13 season with the Beaver Valley NiteHawks of the KIJHL, tallying 38 points (25 goals, 13 assists) in 46 games.
Defenseman Rylan Ball has committed to the Powell River Kings for the 2015-16 season. The 20-year-old is a junior B veteran, playing 107 games in the VIJHL over the last three seasons, posting 84 points (35 goals, 49 assists). The Powell River native played nine games this past season with the Kings and scored four points (two goals, two assists). He also got into 30 games with Cowichan in 2013-14, recording three assists.
Defenseman Callum Volpe committed to play for the Vernon Vipers in 2015-16. Volpe, who’s from Coquitlam, BC, led all blueliners on the Vancouver NE Chiefs of the BC Major Midget League in scoring with 44 points (10 goals, 34 assists) in 40 games. The 16-year-old added seven points (four goals, three assists) in six playoff games. He skated in one game with the Langley Rivermen as an affiliate player, notching no points.
Defenseman Troy Robillard has committed to join the Coquitlam Express for 2015-16. The 16-year-old had seven assists in 37 games this season for the BC Major Midget League’s Vancouver NE Chiefs. He added one assist in four BCMML playoff games with the Chiefs. Robillard also played one game with the Express as an affiliate player, failing to register a point.
Forward Tyler McNeely (Surrey AP, Coquitlam, Burnaby, 2003-07) signed a contract extension for one year with Starbulls Rosenheim of DEL2, which is the second-level of hockey in Germany. The Burnaby, BC native had 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists) in 47 games with Starbulls in 2014-15. Next season is McNeely’s third with the team.
Goaltender Jeff Malcolm (Quesnel, 2007-09) has been recalled to AHL Hartford from the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. The 25-year old is 17-10-1 with a 2.52 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage with Greenville this season. In 10 appearances with Hartford, he holds a 6-4-0 record with a 3.40 goals against average and .893 save percentage.
Netminder Laurent Brossoit (Cowichan, 2009-10) was reassigned to the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons by the Edmonton Oilers. The 22-year-old made his NHL debut on Thursday against San Jose, stopping 49 shots. Brossoit appeared in 49 games for Oklahoma City this season, posting a 22-21-4 record with a 2.65 goals-against-average, a .916 save percentage and two shutouts.