A bit of everything around the BCHL.
- Despite collecting five out of a possible six points, the Vees dropped one spot to fifth in the weekly CJHL Top 20 rankings. The slip in the national rankings comes after the Trail Smoke Eaters stunning 3-2 overtime win over Penticton last Saturday. The Penticton Herald as the complete rundown HERE.
- What does that win for Trail mean to its players? Well call-up goalie Patrick Zubick played both games against Penticton, making his BCHL debut and getting his first career BCHL win in just 48 hours. He took to Twitter to express how he felt:
- The Vees are still learning that they’re getting the best from the opposition, no matter who’s in the line-up or where they are in the standings. The Vees bring out the best of their opponents because they think the Vees are one of the best teams and everyone wants to beat the best.
- Speaking of accolades, Tyson Jost was a runner-up for the BCHL Player of the Week award. Jost had three goals in three games for the Vees and was named a 1st and 2nd start in two of the Vees three games last week. Salmon Arm’s Angus Redmond was the Player of the Week after allowing just one goal in three games last week. Redmond posted back-to-back shutout wins on the weekend over Vernon. Now for the league to start announcing these winners before 5pm on a weekday… READ HERE
- Staying with the Penticton theme, local product and current Ohio State Buckeye senior Chad Niddery was featured by the Big Ten Network. Niddery played in the BCHL in Powell River but grew up in Penticton. Good feature on a unique off-season job he did while playing in the BCHL. WATCH HERE
- Speaking of Niddery, Nanaimo Daily News sports columnist Scott McKenzie would have liked him playing for his hometown Vees in junior. McKenzie writes a column proposing the BCHL adopt the BC Junior Lacrosse League’s draft. The concept? If you’re from a town that has a BCHL team, that’s where you play Junior ‘A’ unless traded. Under McKenzie’s proposal Niddery for example would have spent four years with the Vees and not Kings. I think the idea has some merit, as there’s the longstanding “local” debate in junior hockey. However, I could see some problems with this as well. Most notably, you’re putting a lot of pressure and faith on your local minor hockey associations to produce local talent and some associations are simply bigger than others and that’s tied into population and with that dollars. I bet some Lower Mainland minor hockey associations have significantly higher budgets than say Trail, heck even Penticton. Also teams would still have to use imports to fill out their rosters and that still comes down to scouting and commitment. Anyways, it’s worth your time to read Mckenzie’s article. CLICK HERE
- Staying with the Nanaimo Daily News, while reading that draft article I came across one of McKenzie’s stories from earlier this season. He touches on the hiring of Adam Less by the BCHL in a new position: Director of Corporate Partnerships & Marketing. I’ve met Mr. Less in person at league meetings and he’s quite experienced in the marketing and product branding field. He’s got a lot of fresh ideas and as McKenzie writes, his biggest challenge will be getting more butts into seats at BCHL arenas. McKenzie cites some solid examples as to why attendance is down not only in the BCHL but junior hockey and even professional sports. CLICK HERE
- Unofficial BCHL “Insider” (and I say that respectively) Brian Wiebe has updated his blog, providing an early look at the BCHL playoff picture, RBC Cup schedule and a look at what some BCHL alumni are up to. Also he touches on the recent season-ending suspension to Charlie Zuccarini of Trail and a 5-game suspension to Surrey’s Head Coach Blaine Neufeld and forward Sam Chatterley. Brian is a great follow on Twitter if you want the ins and outs of the BCHL. Find him at @Brian_Wiebe
- The Vees are entering the final month of the regular season (?!?!) after posting a 9-2-0-1 record in January. Sour taste in their mouth after the 3-2 double-overtime loss to Trail but the Vees finished with their second-best monthly record in January. Only October, when they ran the table (12-0-0-0), did the Vees have a better record. Good news is on the way, as injured forward Matt Serratore is set to make his return to the line-up since being injured late in November. Serratore suffered a broken ankle in a game in Merritt on November 22nd; he’s been on the IR ever since. Serratore, if all goes well this week, will get back into the Vees line-up in one of their three games this weekend; maybe more. The Vees will be jumping on and off the ferries this weekend, as they start their trip in Chilliwack Friday, before stops in Powell River on Saturday and Port Alberni on Sunday afternoon. Four ferry trips for Penticton in their two and a half days of travel.
- To compound matters, the Vees are playing two of the best home teams in the BCHL in their first two games of the trip. Chilliwack has the fourth most home wins (17) and Powell River is tied for the fifth most (16). Chilliwack and Powell River are a combined 33-8-0-0 at home this season. If you include the always tough Alberni Valley Bulldogs, the Vees will face three teams with a combined home record of 46-19-0-4. The Vees will have their work cut out for them to say the least.