2016-17 Alberni Valley Bulldogs Season Preview:

Once again this year, I’ve gathered interviews with personnel from all 17 BC Hockey League teams ahead of the start of the 2016-17 season. I’ll post a handful each day this week, starting in alphabetical order.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Head Coach: Kevin Willison (5th year)
2015-16 record: 23-27-4-4, 54 points (4th in the Island Division)
2015-16 leading scorer: Chris Schutz (55 points)
2016-17 leading returning scorer: Jordan Sandhu (38 points)
2016 playoffs: Lost in the Island Division Semi-final to Nanaimo, 4 games to 1
2016-17 Division: Island
First regular season game: Friday, September 9 vs. Nanaimo
Home opener: Friday, September 16 vs. Nanaimo
Twitter: @AVBulldogs

Alberni Valley Trades Conrad and Sarault to Dieppe:

  

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Thursday traded forwards Liam Conrad and Chris Sarault to the Dieppe Commandos of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League for future considerations.

“With both players residing from the east coast, Conrad and Sarault requested to play closer to home and begin their post-secondary education.” – Bulldogs GM and Head Coach Kevin Willison

Conrad, 18, had eight goals and 17 points in 57 BCHL games as a rookie in 2015-16. The Sackville, NB native played the previous three seasons in the New Brunswick-PEI Major Midget AAA League with the Moncton Flyers, where he led the league in scoring and was named a First Team All-Star in 2014-15. He also played three games that season with Dieppe as an affiliate player.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=234514


Sarault, a 19-year-old from Denver, CO, also played his rookie BCHL season in 2015-16 and had 12 points (7-5-12) in 44 games. The son of former NHLer Yves Sarault, he was a teammate of Conrad’s in the NBPEIMMHL in 2014-15. The younger Sarault has been drafted by teams in the QMJHL, USHL, and MHL.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=206736

Alberni Valley Bulldogs – Eligible Returnees and Graduating Players:

Bulldogs forward Jordan Sandhu, who led all U17 scorers
 in the BCHL during the 2015-16 season
With the 2015-16 BCHL season officially done for 16 of the circuits’s 17 teams, anticipation is building for next season already.

With future considerations from this season’s trades potentially turning into players for next season, recruiting, and players moving on due to age or college commitments, there’s no shortage of work to be done before the 2016-17 season starts in September at the 5th Annual BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.

I’ll break down what all 17 teams are looking at roster-wise heading into the off-season. These numbers will likely change as players look to move to other leagues like the WHL, USHL, NAHL, are included in trades, retire, or wind up committing to post-secondary institutions before September and don’t return to their BCHL clubs.


The depth chart is based on coaches going with a 22-man roster of 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders.

So let’s start alphabetically, with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs:

Graduating Players
Chris Schutz (Robert Morris University)
Eric Margo (Queen’s University)
Ryan Finnegan (Quinnipiac University)
Garrett Halls (aged out)
Owen Johnson (aged out)
Marshall Skapski (traded to Merritt)
Adam Donnelly (traded to Steinbach – MJHL)

Eligible Returnees
(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and 7 defensemen)

Forwards
*
*
*
*
*

Defensemen
*
*
*
*

Goalies

Bulldogs-Smokies Rescheduled, WJAC Opens Sunday, Grisdale Talks Red Bull, Caps Acquire Jones, Grizzlies Lose Hopkins, Eagles Lose Westgard:








Due to a wicked storm that forced BC Ferries to cancel sailings from the Mainland to Vancouver Island, the Trail Smoke Eaters weren’t able to travel to Port Alberni to face the Bulldogs Saturday night. As a result, the game is rescheduled for the Weyerhauser Arena on Monday night at 6 o’clock. The Smokies are set to face Cowichan Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan.

The 2016 World Junior A Challenge opens Sunday with two preliminary round games. First, the nine BCHL players on Canada West and their teammates face off against the Czech Republic in Cobourg, Ontario at 10 a.m. PST. Then at 2 p.m. PST, Canada East meets Switzerland in Whitby, Ontario.


Both Canada West and Canada East are coming off last year’s tournament where neither team finished with a medal. In the WJAC’s nine year history, Canada West has three gold medals, three silver medals, and one bronze medal. Canada East has never won gold at the tournament, but has claimed four silver medals and one bronze. The United States is gunning for its fourth straight title and seventh in the last eight years.

Earlier this week, the BC Hockey League announced that the U20 Red Bull Salzburg team from Austria will tour through the province next month. I chatted with BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale about the tour.


Grisdale and BCHL Communications Director Brent Mutis also joined former Abbotsford Falcons forward and current Global TV Sports Anchor Jay Janower on the Saturday Morning News to talk about the Red Bull tour along with the CJHL Prospects Game, which is in Surrey next month. That interview is available here.








The Penticton Vees shipped 18-year-old defenseman Sam Jones to Cowichan for future considerations. In 27 games with the Vees this season, the rookie blueliner has four assists and 19 penalty minutes. He put up an astonishing 83 points (21 goals, 62 assists) in 88 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy Red Prep team in 2014-15. Jones is set to make his Capitals debut Wednesday in Nanaimo.


Just a handful of days after signing 18-year-old Haydn Hopkins following his release from the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, the Victoria Grizzlies have lost the hometown forward to the Erie Otters of the OHL. The Otters claimed Hopkins on Canadian Hockey League waivers and he’ll join Erie after playing just one game for the Grizzlies. He had no points and four penalty minutes in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Alberni Valley. The Victoria Times-Colonist has more on the story here.


The Surrey Eagles lost another of their key offensive players on Friday. After trading leading scorer Darius Davidson to Penticton early last week, now 17-year-old forward Ty Westgard is off the Eagles roster following his decision to sign with Victoria Royals of the WHL. The White Rock native was selected by the Royals in the 8th round, 165th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Westgard had 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 24 games with Surrey this season.










Forward Scott Jacklin (Cowichan, Trail, 2007-11) was traded in the ECHL on Saturday to Brampton from Elmira for future considerations.The Kimberley, BC product is in his first season in the ECHL. He had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 16 games with the Jackals.









Eastern Washington University will have a new head coach when the second half of the season begins in January. The Eagles have fired second-year head coach Bret Kellogg and promoted assistant coach Jason Greenwell. Kellogg took over from Bill Shaw in May 2014 and leaves EWU with a record of 9-24-0-1, including 2-8-0-0 this season.


Greenwell, who’s from Spokane, WA, signed on as head coach for the remainder of this season and through 2016-17. He played four seasons at Eastern Washington from 2010-14 and four seasons junior B in the KIJHL, where he was named Top Goaltender in 2009-10. The 26-year-old was hired as an assistant coach with EWU the same season Kellogg was chosen as head coach. The Eagles have retained associate coach Pat Hanlon in his current role.

2015-16 BCHL Season Team Previews:

Since this is the eve of the 2015-16 BCHL season, I caught up with a member of the staff for each of the 17 teams to preview the upcoming year. Although a number of the questions I asked were similar, if not the same, it is interesting to hear each team’s perspective or philosophy when it came to the answers.

I also spoke with BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale, that interview will be posted in this space tomorrow.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs
 



Chilliwack Chiefs





Coquitlam Express




Cowichan Capitals




Langley Rivermen





Merritt Centennials





Nanaimo Clippers




Penticton Vees




Powell River Kings




Prince George Spruce Kings




Salmon Arm SilverBacks




Surrey Eagles




Trail Smoke Eaters




Vernon Vipers




Victoria Grizzlies




Wenatchee Wild




West Kelowna Warriors

Bulldogs Make Two Trades, KIJHL Introduces Suspensions for Players Refusing to Report, May Expand Further North:








The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announced two trades on Tuesday, both involving players entering their final seasons of junior hockey. The Bulldogs sent forward Everett Putz to the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for future considerations. In 57 games with Alberni Valley in 2014-15, the 19-year-old had 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists). The Calgary native added one goal in seven playoff games.

The Bulldogs also sent defenseman Drew Weich to the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder as the future considerations to complete the December 10, 2014 trade which saw Alberni Valley acquire veteran forward Eric Therrien. Weich, who’s also from Calgary, had 18 assists in 39 games with the Bulldogs after being picked up from Okotoks in November. The 20-year-old was selected in the 11th round, 235th overall by the Everett Silvertips in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft.








Forward Ryan MacMurchy (Vernon, 2000-01) signed a two year contract with Adler Mannheim of the German Elite League. The 32-year-old spent 2014-15 with ERC Ingolstadt in the same league, posting 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) in 42 games. Next season is the Regina, SK native’s fifth straight playing in Europe. McMurchy was a 9th round selection, 284th overall, of the St. Louis Blues in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.








The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League held its Annual General Meeting this past weekend, and we’re now hearing some of the details which came out of the meeting. Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman chatted with Phil Iddon, vice-president of the KIJHL’s Eddie Mountain Division, about the discussions in this article.


Among the highlights is the fact that the KIJHL may expand to former BCHL markets in Quesnel and Williams Lake. There are apparently groups in place who could potentially own a team in each of the communities. Iddon feels that one or both cities could be admitted into the KI in 2016-17 as expansion franchises. Currently, the most northern KIJHL team is the 100 Mile House Wranglers, which is 92 kilometres from Williams Lake and 210 kilometres from Quesnel. The minimum expansion fee for the league is $150,000 and the deadline to apply for an expansion franchise is December 1.

The KIJHL has also introduced a 30-day suspension for players failing to report following a trade. The rule mirrors a similar one in place in the BCHL. The intent, according to Iddon, is to help protect small market teams. For many small market or struggling teams, players refuse to report and the team is forced to make another trade, which usually yields a much lesser return.

Vees Force Game Seven vs. Vipers, Spruce Kings Coach Steps Down, VIJHL Sniper Commits to PR, Former Bulldog Signs in TO:




 


SECOND ROUND DIVISION FINAL MATCH-UPS
INTERIOR DIVISION






 

(Best of 7 series tied 3-3)
March 14 — Vernon 3 at Penticton 4 (OT) (2,217)
March 15 — Vernon 2 at Penticton 5 (1,972)
March 17 — Penticton 2 at Vernon 5 (1,777)
March 18 — Penticton 2 at Vernon 5 (2,027)
March 20 — Vernon 4 at Penticton 3 (2OT) (2,747)
March 21 — Penticton 5 at Vernon 1 (3,196)
March 22 — Vernon at Penticton – 6 pm

MAINLAND DIVISION





 
(Chilliwack wins best of 7 series 4-0) 
March 13 — Prince George 2 at Chilliwack 3 (1,479)
March 14 — Prince George 1 at Chilliwack 8 (1,509)
March 16 — Chilliwack 4 at Prince George 3 (1,076)
March 17 — Chilliwack 4 at Prince George 3 (892)

ISLAND DIVISION





 

(Best of 7 series tied 3-3)
March 13 — Powell River 2 at Nanaimo 4 (1,096)
March 14 — Powell River 1 at Nanaimo 2 (1,096)
March 16 — Nanaimo 1 at Powell River 2 (624)
March 17 — Nanaimo 1 at Powell River 2 (694)
March 19 — Powell River 1 at Nanaimo 2 (1,041)
March 20 — Nanaimo 2 at Powell River 4 (842)
March 22 — Powell River at Nanaimo – 7 pm

The Prince George Spruce Kings are in the market for a new Head Coach after Dave Dupas tendered his resignation. Dupas is leaving PG due to family reasons. The 53-year-old’s wife and two kids remained at their home in West Kelowna while he coached the Spruce Kings. In a release on Facebook, the teams says that Dupas felt it was important to be closer to his family. In the same release, Spruce Kings GM Mike Hawes states “I have some potential replacements in mind and I’m going to make some calls over the next few days and have some conversations with guys that I feel would be a good fit. We’re in no rush to fill the spot but that being said I would like to fill the vacancy sooner than later so that the new coach can be heavily involved in the recruiting and building of next season’s team.” During his four and a half seasons with Prince George, Dupas coached the Spruce Kings to a 124-105-9-24 record along with a playoff spot in each of the last four years.








The Powell River Kings announced the commitment of 16-year-old forward Carter Turnbull for the 2015-16 season. Turnbull skated with the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers this season, posting 71 points (31 goals, 40 assists) in 44 games. He added seven points (three goals, four assists) in five playoff games with the Bucs. The Nanaimo native played one game with the Kings as an affiliate player as well as four with Cowichan. He had no points in the lone game with PR, but did have a goal and an assist with the Capitals.


Forward Casey Bailey (Alberni Valley, 2009-11) signed a two-year entry level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday as a college free agent. Bailey, who’s from Anchorage, AK, had 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) in 36 regular season games this season with Penn State University. In 96 career games at Penn State, Bailey posted 80 points (45 goals, 35 assists).

Spruce Kings & Kings Advance, Bulldogs Force Game Seven in BCHL Playoffs, Caps Captain Commits to RMU, BCIHL Announces Award Winners & All-Stars:




The Prince George Spruce Kings eliminated Langley with a 3-2 win in Game Six to advance to the Mainland Division Final. Brogan O’Brien had a pair of goals for the Spruce Kings, who face Chilliwack starting Friday. It’s the first time in ten years PG has won a playoff series.

Alberni Valley won Game Six against Nanaimo 4-3 to force Game Seven Wednesday night at the Frank Crane Arena. The Bulldogs have won three straight after falling behind 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Colton Sandberg scored his first ever goal in the BCHL for Powell River as the Kings won Game Six 5-4 in double overtime to end Victoria’s season. The Grizzlies battled back from a 4-1 third period deficit to force extra time. The Kings await the winner of Wednesday’s Game Seven between Nanaimo and Alberni Valley.

SECOND ROUND DIVISION FINAL MATCH-UPS

INTERIOR DIVISION

March 14 — Vernon at Penticton – 6 pm
March 15 —
Vernon at Penticton – 6 pm
March 17 — Penticton at Vernon – 7 pm
March 18 — Penticton at Vernon – 7 pm
x-March 19 — Vernon at Penticton – 7 pm
x-March 20 — Penticton at Vernon – 6 pm 
x-March 21 — Vernon at Penticton – 6 pm

MAINLAND DIVISION

March 13 — Prince George at Chilliwack – 7 pm
March 14 —
Prince George at Chilliwack – 7 pm
March 16 — Chilliwack at Prince George – 7 pm
March 17 — Chilliwack at Prince George – 7 pm
x-March 20 — Prince George at Chilliwack – 7 pm
x-March 21 — Chilliwack at Prince George – 7 pm
x-March 22 — Prince George at Chilliwack – 7 pm

FIRST ROUND DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCH-UPS

INTERIOR DIVISION






(Penticton wins best of 7 series 4-1)
March 3 — West Kelowna 4 at Penticton 3 (2OT) (1,502)
March 4 — West Kelowna 2 at Penticton 3 (OT) (1,672)

March 6 — Penticton 4 at West Kelowna 3 (3OT) (1,188)
March 7 — Penticton 3 at West Kelowna 2 (1,154)
March 9 — West Kelowna 0 at Penticton 7 (1,877)







(Vernon wins best of 7 series 4-0)
March 3 — Merritt 2 at Vernon 3 (OT) (1,261)
March 4 — Merritt 1 at Vernon 2 (1,338)
March 6 — Vernon 1 at Merritt 0 (947)
March 7 — Vernon 6 at Merritt 5 (888)

ISLAND DIVISION






(Best of 7 series tied 3-3)
March 3 — Alberni Valley 1 at Nanaimo 6 (838)
March 4 — Alberni Valley 1 at Nanaimo 3 (840)
March 6 — Nanaimo 4 at Alberni Valley 3 (1,065)
March 7 — Nanaimo 4 at Alberni Valley 5 (OT) (1,060)
March 9 — Alberni Valley 2 at Nanaimo 1 (977)

March 10 — Nanaimo 3 at Alberni Valley 4 (1,253)
March 11 — Alberni Valley at Nanaimo – 7 pm

 





(Powell River wins best of 7 series 4-2)
March 3 — Powell River 7 at Victoria 2 (520)
March 4 — Powell River 1 at Victoria 2 (OT) (614)
March 6 — Victoria 2 at Powell River 5 (643)
March 7 — Victoria 6 at Powell River 1 (630)

March 8 — Victoria 1 at Powell River 5 (572)
March 10 — Powell River 5 at Victoria 4 (2OT) (936)

MAINLAND DIVISION






(Chilliwack wins best of 7 series 4-1)
March 3 — Coquitlam 1 at Chilliwack 4 (1,451)
March 4 — Coquitlam 2 at Chilliwack 6 (1,466)
March 6 — Chilliwack 5 at Coquitlam 6 (OT) (607)
March 7 — Chilliwack 7 at Coquitlam 2 (650)
March 9 — Coquitlam 2 at Chilliwack 4 (1,558)

 





(Prince George wins best of 7 series 4-2)
March 3 — Prince George 1 at Langley 0 (145)
March 4 — Prince George 2 at Langley 4 (412)
March 6 — Langley 2 at Prince George 4 (1,037)
March 7 — Langley 4 at Prince George 1 (937)
March 9 — Prince George 5 at Langley 4 (OT) (912)
March 10 — Langley 2 at Prince George 3 (1,352)

Cowichan Capitals captain Kyle Horsman committed to Robert Morris University starting this September. The 20-year-old from Sechelt was third on the Capitals in goals with 18 this season while setting career highs in goals, assists and points. On RMU, Horsman joins BCHL alumni Chase Golightly, Rob Mann, Jeff Jones and Scott Jacklin.







Forward Adam Tambellini (Vernon, Surrey, 2011-13) signed an entry level contract with the New York Rangers. In 65 games this season with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, the 20-year-old from Edmonton has 79 points (45 goals, 34 assists). Tambellini was the Rangers’ third round pick, 65th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Defenseman Nicholas Rioux (Quesnel, Prince George, 2005-07) signed a pro tryout contract with the AHL’s Iowa Wild. The 28-year-old has 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 35 games with the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL this season. He also has no points in five games with Iowa.








The BC Intercollegiate Hockey League announced its 2014-15 award winners and post-season All-Stars on Tuesday.

Most Valuable Player – Silas Matthys, Trinity Western University

Top Defenseman – Dylan Hykawy, University of Victoria

Top Goaltender – Silas Matthys, Trinity Western University

Rookie of the Year – PJ Buys, Trinity Western University

Most Sportsmanlike Player – Luciano Somerville, University of Victoria

Coach of the Year – Barret Kropf, Trinity Western University

BCIHL First All-Star Team
F Cody Fidgett, Trinity Western University
F Beau Walker, Eastern Washington University
F Shawn Mueller, University of Victoria
D Dylan Hykawy, University of Victoria
D Stefan Gonzales, Selkirk College
G Silas Matthys, Trinity Western University

BCIHL Second All-Star Team
F PJ Buys, Trinity Western University
F Ryan Edwards, Selkirk College
F Jono Ceci, Simon Fraser University
D Mathew Berry-Lamontagna, Simon Fraser University
D Jake Harcoff, Trinity Western University
G James Prigione, Selkirk College

Alberni Valley Secures Two Commitments for 2015-16, Trail Forward Calvin Commits to Selkirk College, Travel Day for BCHL Playoffs, SFU Wins BCIHL Playoff Opener:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announced their first two player commitments for the 2015-16 season. Coming to the Dogs are two 18-year-old players from the US High School system, defenseman Paul Meyer, who plays for Edina High School, and forward Nathan Dingmann, who plays for Wayzata High School. Meyer had 17 points (one goal, 16 assists) in 25 games for Edina this season while Dingmann notched 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 25 games for Wayzata. He was selected in the 10th round, 156th overall by the Lincoln Stars in the 2014 USHL Entry Draft.

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Dallas Calvin secured his post-junior hockey future and committed to attend Selkirk College of the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League this September. He was fourth in scoring on the Smoke Eaters this season with 45 points (19 goals, 16 assists) in 32 games. Prior to 2014-15, the 20-year-old was a prolific scorer in the junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, tallying 273 points (122 goals, 151 assists) in 165 career games.







Thursday was a travel day in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, as all best-of-seven series continue tomorrow night with Game 3. Three of the six series’ are tied at one game apiece while the other three series see the higher seed with a 2-0 lead.

FIRST ROUND DIVISION SEMIFINAL MATCH-UPS

INTERIOR DIVISION







(Best of 7 series tied 1-1)
March 3 — West Kelowna 4 at Penticton 3 (2OT) (1,502)
March 4 — West Kelowna 2 at Penticton 3 (OT) (1,672)

March 6 — Penticton at West Kelowna – 7 pm
March 7 — Penticton at West Kelowna – 7 pm
x-March 9 — West Kelowna at Penticton – 7 pm
x-March 10 — Penticton at West Kelowna – 7 pm
x-March 11 — West Kelowna at Penticton – 7 pm







(Vernon leads best of 7 series 2-0)
March 3 — Merritt 2 at Vernon 3 (OT) (1,261)
March 4 — Merritt 1 at Vernon 2 (1,338)
March 6 — Vernon at Merritt – 7:30 pm
March 7 — Vernon at Merritt – 7:30 pm
x-March 9 — Merritt at Vernon – 7 pm
x-March 10 — Vernon at Merritt – 7 pm
x-March 11 — Merritt at Vernon – 7 pm

ISLAND DIVISION







(Nanaimo leads best of 7 series 2-0)
March 3 — Alberni Valley 1 at Nanaimo 6 (838)
March 4 — Alberni Valley 1 at Nanaimo 3 (840)
March 6 — Nanaimo at Alberni Valley – 7 pm
March 7 — Nanaimo at Alberni Valley – 7 pm
x-March 9 — Alberni Valley at Nanaimo – 7 pm
x-March 10 — Nanaimo at Alberni Valley – 7 pm
x-March 11 — Alberni Valley at Nanaimo – 7 pm

 





(Best of 7 series tied 1-1)
March 3 — Powell River 7 at Victoria 2 (520)
March 4 — Powell River 1 at Victoria 2 (OT) (614)
March 6 — Victoria at Powell River – 7:15 pm
March 7 — Victoria at Powell River – 7:15 pm
x-March 8 — Victoria at Powell River – 4 pm
x-March 10 — Powell River at Victoria – 7 pm
x-March 11 — Powell River at Victoria – 7 pm

MAINLAND DIVISION







(Chilliwack leads best of 7 series 2-0)
March 3 — Coquitlam 1 at Chilliwack 4 (1,451)
March 4 — Coquitlam 2 at Chilliwack 6 (1,466)
March 6 — Chilliwack at Coquitlam – 7 pm
March 7 — Chilliwack at Coquitlam – 7 pm
x-March 9 — Coquitlam at Chilliwack – 7 pm
x-March 10 — Chilliwack at Coquitlam – 7 pm
x-March 11 — Coquitlam at Chilliwack – 7 pm

 





(Best of 7 series tied 1-1)
March 3 — Prince George 1 at Langley 0 (145)
March 4 — Prince George 2 at Langley 4 (412)
March 6 — Langley at Prince George – 7 pm
March 7 — Langley at Prince George – 7 pm
x-March 9 — Prince George at Langley – 7 pm
x-March 10 — Langley at Prince George – 7 pm
x-March 11 — Prince George at Langley – 7 pm
Goaltender Grant Rollheiser (Trail, 2007-08) was traded in the ECHL on Thursday, from the Brampton Beast to the Wichita Thunder. The Chilliwack product is 8-17-0-0 with Brampton this season with a 3.58 goals-against-average, a .902 save percentage and two shutouts.





Adam Callegari scored twice as Simon Fraser University drew first blood in its best-of-three BCIHL semifinal series with a 3-2 win over Trinity Western University. Jono Ceci had the other goal for the Clan while Nick Sandor chipped in with two assists. Mattias Schmitt and Jake Harcoff each scored for TWU in the loss. Clan netminder Jordan Liem kicked out 34 shots to get the win and Silas Matthys made 33 saves for Trinity Western. SFU can win the series and advance to the BCIHL Championship Final with a win on home ice Friday night. 

Vees Move Russell to Cowichan, Cents Nab Bowles from Bulldogs, BCHL Alumni Among Hobey Finalists, SFU Hockey Announces First Recruit for 2015-16:

 

The BCHL trade deadline arrives Saturday evening at 6 o’clock for transfers with other leagues, 8 o’clock for transfers among BCHL teams, and midnight for rosters to be set.


The Penticton Vees sent 18-year-old defenseman Connor Russell to Cowichan for future considerations on Wednesday. The Vees placed forward Matthew Serratore on injured reserve back on December 5th, which allowed Penticton to be over the BCHL roster limit by one.
Now that Serratore is back in the line-up, Penticton had to make a decision about its roster and that’s why Russell was moved to the Capitals. The Guelph, Ontario product was recruited by the Vees from Northwood Prep School last spring and posted seven points (one goal, six assists) in 27 games with Penticton this season.
With forward Devin Oakes being placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season, the Merritt Centennials filled a roster spot by acquiring 19-year-old Zak Bowles from Alberni Valley for the junior A rights to 19-year-old forward Luke Bertolucci and future considerations. Bowles, who’s from Kelowna, is in his second BCHL season and one point away from matching his total from last season.

All told, Bowles has 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 80 career games with the Bulldogs. He also chipped in with a goal and two assists in Alberni Valley’s seven game first round playoff series against Victoria last year. The move leaves the Bulldogs with 21 players on their roster (not including the injured Evan Tironese).

Bertolucci hasn’t played in the BCHL since the 2011-12 season, spending the last three years with the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings. He had two goals for the Oil Kings en route to winning the Memorial Cup last spring.
Here’s a list of trades since the December 1st roster deadline:

07-Jan-15: Merritt acquires F Zak Bowles (95) from Alberni Valley for F Luke Bertolucci (95) and future considerations

07-Jan-15: Cowichan acquires D Connor Russell (96) from Penticton for future considerations

02-Jan-15: West Kelowna acquires D Braeden Jones (94) from Grande Prairie for future considerations

01-Jan-15: West Kelowna trades F Michael Buonincontri (94) and D Greydon Robinson (96) to Prince George for D Tyler Kunz (94)

01-Jan-15: Salmon Arm trades D Cole McCaskill (96) to Prince George for future considerations

16-Dec-14: Powell River trades D Jordan Burns (95) to Salmon Arm for future considerations

11-Dec-14: Alberni Valley trades D Jeff Rose (96) and future considerations to Drayton Valley for F Eric Therrien (94)

11-Dec-14: Trail trades D Sheldon Hubbard (95) to Grande Prairie for future considerations

02-Dec-14: Trail trades D Viktor Dombrovskiy (96) to Prince George for D Stephen Penner (95) and F Cooper Leitch (96)

02-Dec-14: Prince George trades D Taylor Allan (95) and future considerations to Lloydminster for D Tyler Kunz (94)

01-Dec-14: Vernon trades F Branden Wagner (96) to Salmon Arm for future considerations

BCHL TRADE TRACKER (since Dec. 1)
Trades Made: 11
Trades Made Within BCHL: 7

Trades Made With Teams Outside BC: 4
Players: 18
Future Considerations: 9
12 BCHL alumni are in the running for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award as the top NCAA men’s hockey player this season. The winner is chosen by vote, and fans are eligible to vote for their favourite player once per day. Eleven of the BCHL’s 16 teams (Alberni Valley, Chilliwack, Langley, Merritt, Nanaimo, Penticton, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Surrey, Victoria, West Kelowna) are represented among the finalists. Only Trail, Cowichan, Coquitlam, Prince George and Vernon don’t have alumni as finalists.
Voting is available at www.hobeybaker.com
Forward Matt Waddell (Merritt AP, Vernon, 2000-03) and ESV Kaufbeuren, which plays in Germany’s second level pro league, have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with the team. The 30-year-old from Vernon had 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 34 games with ESV Kaufbeuren this season.
Simon Fraser University announced its first recruit for the 2015-16 season on Wednesday, with Nelson Leafs defenseman Robson Cramer set to join the Clan.
Cramer, who’s from Summerland, BC, leads the Leafs in scoring this season with 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists) in 37 games this season. The Nelson Star and Nelson Daily have stories here and here.