Former BCHL Defenceman Dave Simoes Signed By CHL’s Missouri Mavericks:

D Dave Simoes, who played in the BCHL from 2001-06 with five different teams (Prince George, Williams Lake, Victoria, Merritt, Burnaby) has been signed by the Central Hockey League’s Missouri Mavericks for the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

Here are the career statistics of the Vanderhoof native:
Here’s the story on the signing from the Mavericks website:

December 27, 2011

Missouri signs defenseman Dave Simoes, trades defenseman and goaltender

INDEPENDENCE, Missouri – The Missouri Mavericks announced Tuesday the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has signed defenseman Dave Simoes, traded defenseman Zach Carriveau, and traded goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson to the Bloomington Blaze. The Mavericks also announcec forward Carlyle Lewis has been activated from injured reserve.

“This is a move that allows us to add stability and leadership to our hockey club,” said Mavericks’ Head Coach Scott Hillman. “We have been working very hard to improve the performance of our blue line, and David Simoes is a veteran of the CHL that our fans will appreciate. He plays a hard-nosed brand of hockey. We are excited to make this change and wish Zach and Brian great success with their new clubs. They both made significant contributions to our club in their short time with us.”

Simoes, 26 (3/9/85), returns to the CHL after starting this season with the Louisiana IceGators of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). In 17 games with the IceGators, the Vanderhoof, British Columbia native accounted for 10 points (2-8=10) and 38 penalty minutes.

Prior to playing in Louisiana, the 5-foot-10, 205-pound defenseman played the previous four seasons in the CHL with five different teams. Simoes has played in a total of 219 CHL contests with 47 points (10-37=47) and he has added 672 penalty minutes.

He played five seasons of junior hockey in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) before turning pro.

What’s Next for Timberwolves Players?

Now that the BCHL’s Governors have decided to suspend the Williams Lake franchise, the status of their sixteen eligible returnees is up in the air. The last time the T-Wolves took a hiatus, their players were dispersed in a draft which was shrouded in secrecy. Here are the players and where they ended up to start the 2007-08 season:

Adam Knopp – Prince George (BCHL)
Tim Holloway – Prince George (BCHL)
Matt Lees – Prince George (BCHL)
Mike Leidl – Quesnel (BCHL)
Kenny Carpenter – Quesnel (BCHL)
Jared Collen – Powell River (BCHL)
Neil Chambers – Powell River (BCHL)
Trevor Wilson – Powell River (BCHL)
Ben Payne – Alberni Valley (BCHL)
Lee Patzer – Alberni Valley (BCHL)
Adam Baldassarre – Alberni Valley (BCHL)
Brian Matte – Cowichan Valley (BCHL)
Warren Muir – Merritt (BCHL)
Dustin Sobchak – Victoria (BCHL)
Alex Evin – Penticton (BCHL)
Raj Toor – Abbotsford (PIJHL)
Joe Vetere – Calgary (AJHL)
Clay Cumiskey – Edmonton (WHL)

I asked BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale about the draft procedure three years ago and he stayed pretty coy on the subject. I’m not saying that the BCHL did things wrong, but I think the fans should know how everything broke down once the dust settled and player’s CJHL rights changed hands. Based on a straight standings determination, the teams heading into the dispersal draft should have chosen like this:

1. Quesnel
2. Surrey
3. Alberni Valley
4. Westside
5. Merritt
6. Powell River
7. Langley
8. Burnaby
9. Prince George
10. Salmon Arm
11. Trail
12. Vernon
13. Cowichan Valley
14. Victoria
15. Penticton
16. Nanaimo

Arguably the most sought after player from Williams Lake in 2007 was their goaltender Alex Evin. So the question is, how did Evin get picked up by the second place Penticton Vees when Quesnel had first pick in the dispersal draft? Now that’s not to say Mike Leidl wouldn’t have been a worthy choice first overall and he very well may have been, but the fact is we don’t know. I find it hard to believe that if every carded player on the T-Wolves roster at the end of 2006-07 season was available that Evin would drop all the way to 15th. If Penticton made a trade to move up and take Evin, no problem, but that didn’t happen as far as anyone knows.

If each player was released and free to find their own place to play for 2007-08, that’s fine too, but there were a number of articles online (including Powell River’s own website) that referred to the former Williams Lake players being dispersed in a draft, so it seems clear that’s what happened.

Here are the players eligible to return to the BCHL in 2010-11:

F – Trent Murdoch (91)
F – Justin Bardarson (90)
F – Danny Merth (91)
F – Anthony DeLong (91)
F – Keenan Bailey (91)
D – Kyle Beaulieu (91)
D – Jake Harcoff (91)
D – Clayton McEwan (91)
F – Cameron Hoffman (91)
D – Brady Fuller (91)
F – Calvin Johnson (92)
F – Jordan Hirano (92)
F – Tanner Clarkson (93)
D – Stefan Virtanen (92)
F – Cody Wiseman (93)
G – Sean Donnelly (90)

If the BCHL does a true dispersal draft based on standings, here’s how the draft order would shake down:

1. Prince George
2. Coquitlam
3. Merritt
4. Trail
5. Quesnel
6. Cowichan Valley
7. Nanaimo
8. Salmon Arm
9. Surrey
10. Langley
11. Victoria
12. Powell River
13. Westside
14. Alberni Valley
15. Penticton
16. Vernon

Regardless which way the sixteen eligible returning players find teams for next year, I only hope that the process is transparent for fans and media to digest.

EDIT: Word is now that there will be no dispersal draft and all of the above players are free to tryout or sign with any team.

Interior Conference Playoff Picture:

It was good news/bad news scenario for the Merritt Centennials on the scoreboard tonight.

The good news is that Trail lost in regulation 3-2 to Surrey to keep the Smoke Eaters tied with the Cents at 46 points.

The bad news is that Quesnel beat Burnaby 4-1 to move two points ahead of both Trail and Merritt with a road game in Williams Lake left on the schedule for the Mills.

So basically it breaks down like this, in order for Merritt to finish fifth in the Interior Conference, in addition to beating the Smoke Eaters tomorrow night, they also need Williams Lake to beat Quesnel.

The Timberwolves may just relish the role of playing spoiler and come out with an inspired effort in their final home game of the season, much the same way they scored three third period goals tonight to rally to beat Prince George 4-3 to snap a 24 game losing streak – at least that’s what Cents fans are hoping for.

5. Quesnel Millionaires: 21-32-0-6 (.407 – 48 points)

Games remaining:

Saturday, Feb. 20 @ Williams Lake

Home record: 12-16-0-2 (.433)
Games remaining at home: 0

Away record: 9-16-0-4 (.379)
Games remaining away: 1

Record vs. Interior Top 4: 1-13-0-2 (.125)
Games remaining vs. Interior Top 4: 0

Record vs. Interior Teams Battling for Last Playoff Spots (Merritt, Trail, Prince George): 8-8-0-2 (.500)
Games remaining vs. Interior Teams Battling for Last Playoff Spots: 0

Record vs. Williams Lake: 7-1-0-0 (.875)
Games remaining vs. Williams Lake: 1

Record vs. Coastal Conference: 4-10-0-2 (.313)
Games remaining vs. Coastal Conference: 0

6. Trail Smoke Eaters: 19-31-1-7 (.397 – 46 points)

Games remaining:

Saturday, Feb. 20 @ Merritt

Sunday, Feb. 21 @ Penticton

Home record: 13-12-0-5 (.517)
Games remaining at home: 0

Away record: 6-19-1-2 (.268)
Games remaining away: 2

Record vs. Interior Top 4: 5-14-1-4 (.395)
Games remaining vs. Interior Top 4: 1

Record vs. Interior Teams Battling for Last Playoff Spots (Merritt, Quesnel, Prince George): 6-6-0-2 (.500)
Games remaining vs. Interior Teams Battling for Last Playoff Spots: 1

Record vs. Williams Lake: 3-1-0-0 (.750)
Games remaining vs. Williams Lake: 0

Record vs. Coastal Conference: 5-10-0-1 (.344)
Games remaining vs. Coastal Conference: 0

7. Merritt Centennials 22-35-0-2 (.390 – 46 points)

Games remaining:

Saturday, Feb. 20 vs. Trail

Home record: 15-14-0-0 (.517)
Games remaining at home: 1

Away record: 7-21-0-2 (.276)
Games remaining away: 0

Record vs. Interior Top 4: 7-16-0-1 (.313)
Games remaining vs. Interior Top 4: 0

Record vs. Interior Teams Battling for Last Playoff Spots (Quesnel, Trail, Prince George): 9-4-0-1 (.679)
Games remaining vs. Interior Teams Battling for Last Playoff Spots: 1

Record vs. Williams Lake: 3-1-0-0 (.750)
Games remaining vs. Williams Lake: 0

Record vs. Coastal Conference: 3-13-0-0 (.188)
Games remaining vs. Coastal Conference: 0

Cents whip Willams Lake 6-1:

Wow, five in a row! The Cents have won five straight for the first time in almost four years. Here’s the official recap from Merritt

January 2, 2010 – Merritt, BC

Alexander MacMillan and Mitch Jones each had a goal and three assists as the Merritt Centennials skated to a 6-1 win over the Williams Lake Timberwolves in BC Hockey League play Saturday night.

Stephen Wall, Dustin Johnson, Colton Sobchak and Andrew Pickering also had goals for Merritt (16-23-0-2) while Johnson added two assists. Keith Hamilton made 22 saves for his eighth win of the season.

Ryan Stanimir had the lone goal for the Timberwolves (9-28-1-0), while Evan Dauenhauer made 43 saves in the loss.

The Cents went 3-for-9 with the man advantage and Williams Lake was 0-for-5 on its power plays.

Merritt’s next game is Sunday in Westside while the T-Wolves are off until they visit Penticton next Friday.

News & Notes: Dustin Johnson is now tied for fourth in the BCHL with 26 goals … Johnson is also riding a three game goal scoring streak and a two game assist streak … Andrew Pickering is on a two game goal scoring streak … Mitch Jones and Alexander MacMillan’s four point games established a career best for each of them … Alex Valenti and Ryne Bodger were the scratches for Merritt as both are still recovering from injuries … The five game winning streak is Merritt’s best since the 2005-06 season when the team won five in a row from February 16 – 25, 2006 … The Cents outscored their opponents during that streak 27-11 while during their current streak, they’ve outscored the opposition 25-12.

Cents edged 4-3 in Williams Lake:

Here’s the recap on last night’s game from Merritt

Williams Lake, BC – December 4, 2009

Williams Lake’s Darren Tarasoff scored a pair of goals as the Timberwolves topped the Merritt Centennials 4-3 in BC Hockey League action Friday.

The loss drops the Cents to 10-20-0-1, while the T-wolves improve to 8-19-0-1.

Cameron Hoffman and Danny Merth also scored for Williams Lake.

Jeff Jones, Jordan Soquila and Derek Hills replied for Merritt. Hills also added an assist for the Cents lone multi-point performance.

Richard Virtanen stopped 35 shots to pick up the win for the Timberwolves, while Keith Hamilton made 37 saves in taking the loss for the Centennials.

Merritt finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play. Williams Lake went 3-for-7 with the man advantage.

The Centennials will try to snap their 14 game road winless streak Saturday in Quesnel. The Timberwolves are back in action Saturday on home ice against Westside.

News & Notes: Lucas Blinkhorn and Caleb Roy made their Centennials debuts as affiliate players from the KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies…Blinkhorn assisted on Derek Hills’ third period power play goal…Keith Hamilton made his first goaltending start in more than month after sitting out with an illness…Mitch Jones missed his third straight game with a sore wrist…Alex Valenti was scratched with an undisclosed lower body injury and is listed as day-to-day…Valenti’s injury forced the Cents to play with only 10 regular forwards.

Cents romp over Williams Lake, Santa Claus Parade, Teddy Bear Toss:

Here’s the recap of last night’s 7-3 win over Williams Lake from Merritt

Alexander MacMillan had three goals and Colton Sobchak added two goals and two assists as the Merritt Centennials snapped their five game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Williams Lake Timberwolves on Thursday night in the BC Hockey League.

Dustin Johnson and Steve Tresierra, with his first as a Centennial, each added singles for Merritt (9-19-0-1) while Jeff Zmurchyk and Derek Hills chipped in with two assists each.

Trent Murdoch had a goal and an assist for the Timberwolves (6-18-1-0) while Jason Diehl and Cameron Hoffman each added singles.

Cole Holowenko made 31 saves in goal for the Cents for his fourth win of the season. Sean Donnelly stopped 37 shots in the Williams Lake goal.

Merritt was 0-for-3 on the power play. The T-Wolves went 1-for-6.

The Centennials next game is Saturday at home against Quesnel. Williams Lake visits Penticton Friday night.

News & Notes: Thursday marked the head coach and GM debut for Luke Pierce, who was promoted from his assistant coach’s position on Wednesday, replacing Dylan and Tyler Forsythe … Former Vernon Vipers assistant Maury Grant has stepped in as an assistant coach for Pierce on an interim basis … Mitch Jones missed the game with an upper body injury, he’s currently listed as week-to-week … Joey McEwan sat out the first of his three game suspension after receiving a match penalty in Sunday’s 3-2 loss in Alberni Valley.

I also had the chance to speak to Luke Pierce immediately following his first career BCHL head coaching victory last night.

Cents interim Coach and GM Luke Pierce
Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.


Tonight is Merritt’s annual Santa Claus Parade starting at 7 p.m. The Centennials have teamed up with the Merritt Junior Girls team for their float. The parade itself is one of the biggest nighttime Christmas parades in North America. Close to 80 floats (or more) from all over Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest have registered to be in Merritt!

Tomorrow is also the opening of Merritt’s Spirit Square. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Q101 gang (minus me, I’ll be on-location at Murray GM) will be at the Spirit Square for our first annual “Five Buck Bear” fundraiser. Here’s how it works:

1) We sell you a stuffed animal for $5.
2) For buying a stuffed animal, we give you a ticket to the Cents game against Quesnel.
3) You take your ticket and stuffed animal to the game and throw it on the ice when the Cents score their first goal.
4) The Cents donate the toys to needy kids in the Nicola Valley.
5) We donate all the proceeds from the stuffed animals sold to the Merritt Soup Kitchen’s Christmas dinner.

It’s a win-win situation! Of course, if you can’t make it to our fundraiser, just bring your own stuffed animals to the game and get ready to toss them!

Q&A with Luke Pierce, McEwan Suspended:

I had the chance to talk with Cents interim head coach and GM Luke Pierce this morning ahead of tonight’s game at home against Williams Lake.

Although one of the youngest coaches in the BCHL, Luke was always a leader as a player and was even named captain at RMC while playing there.

It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on a Centennials team, which a number of people in this community believe has been underachieving.

Luke and I didn’t touch so much on the circumstances behind his promotion, but more what impact he’ll have in the new roles.

Cents interim Coach and GM Luke Pierce
Click here to download

All audio property of Merritt Broadcasting Ltd.


Cents forward Joey McEwan will sit out the first of his three game suspension tonight for receiving a match penalty in Sunday’s 3-2 loss against Alberni Valley. McEwan got the gate at 19:14 of the first period for hitting Bulldogs goaltender Frank Slubowski. He’ll be eligible to return for next Saturday’s game in Quesnel.


Former Cents forward Jacob Verheyden is back in BC after being acquired by Quesnel from the Winnipeg Saints of the MJHL for future considerations. Verheyden was first picked up the Saints from the Dauphin Kings before being flipped to the Mills. He’s expected to play Saturday when Quesnel visits Merritt. The 20-year-old from Vancouver had 6 points in 66 games with the Cents as a 16-17-year-old during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.