Monday, July 11, 2016
BCHL News & Trades:
BCHL News & Trades:
Chilliwack Chiefs Set To Retire #9
The Chilliwack Chiefs announced today that they will retire number nine as a tribute to Gordie Howe who passed away last week at the age of 88. Howe, known to everyone as “Mr. Hockey” played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League and six seasons in the World Hockey Association. He retired after the 1979-80 season at the age of 52. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 and into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1998 The Hockey News named Howe the third best player of all time, behind only Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr. Both Gretzky and Orr have said it was Howe who deserved the number one spot. “Gordie Howe symbolized class,” said Chiefs President Glen Ringdal. “We are proud to permanently recognize and honor his life and accomplishments by retiring the number 9 from our team.” Returning forward Jesse Lansdell, who wore number nine last season has no problem moving to a different number. “It was an honor being able to wear his number. It’s great to see Mr. Howe get the respect he deserves.” Number nine is the first to be retired by the Chiefs and Head Coach Jason Tatarnic says the decision was an easy one to make. “Gordie Howe will always be remembered as Mr. Hockey and we want our fans and players to remember and honor the greatest ambassador of our game on and off the ice. Our goal as an organization is to develop good people. We preach to our players all the time that they will be a person longer than they will be a hockey player and with that in mind it’s important to become a good person and we feel there is no better example of this than Gordie Howe. We are honored and privileged to retire number 9.”
Welsh & Lentz Commit To Bulldogs:
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are please to announce the signing of two new defensemen for the 2016-17 season. Connor Welsh, a 5’8, 160lb, defenseman from Halifax, NS is coming off an excellent final season with Stanstead College where he scored 43 points (5 goals and 38 assists) in 68 games. Welsh is a very intelligent, mobile defenseman who possesses a lot of skill with the puck. “I’m excited to be a Bulldog and play in the BCHL,” says Welsh. “I look forward to meeting my new teammates along with playing in front of the best fans in the BCHL.” The Bulldogs would also like to welcome Tyler Lentz, a native of Calgary, AB to the team. Lentz played last season for the Calgary Northstars Midget AAA program where he scored 21 points (5 goals and 16 assists) in 32 regular season games and added 10 points (2 goals and 8 assists) in 7 playoff games. Lentz who stands at 6-feet, 185lbs, is another strong skating defenseman who has the ability to join the rush and move the puck to his teammates. “I am looking forward to moving on to the next level in my hockey career as well as becoming a part of the Port Alberni community,” says Lentz. “I am excited to work with the coaching staff every day and improve both on and off the ice.” Both athletes are bright students and will have many doors open in their NCAA future. The Bulldogs are very excited to welcome Connor and Tyler to the Bulldogs family. The Bulldogs continue to prepare for their Main Camp, which opens August 22nd at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.
The Penticton Vees Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Club has sent defenceman Domenic Masellis to the Coquitlam Express for future considerations the team announced Thursday. Masellis was acquired by the Vees from the Langley Rivermen in November of last season and played in 30 regular season games for Penticton, picking up a goal and four points; between Langley and the Vees he had eight points in 47 games. The stay-at-home defenceman has played three seasons in the BCHL and nearly 150 regular season games between Surrey, Langley and Penticton. He also has another 20 games of post-season experience under his belt, eight of which were with the Vees last spring. The Vees thank Domenic for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best in his future with the Express organization.
Smoke Eaters Name Keith New Head Coach:
Assistant coach, Cam Keith, of the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL has accepted the role of head coach of the Trail Smoke Eaters. Along with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL the Cyclones are a minor league affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators. The ECHL is a tier below the AHL and both leagues are the only minor leagues recognized by the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players Association. Cam is a native of Nelson, BC and made his coaching debut with Cincinnati after completing a 10-year playing career, spanning three leagues as well as overseas. In 146 games in the AHL with Hartford, St. John’s and Peoria he amassed 36 points, (14 goals, 22 assists). In 213 regular season games in the ECHL he scored 54 goals along with 98 assists for a total of 152 points. In the ECHL he played for the Pensecola Ice Pilots and the Alaska Aces winning the Kelly Cup with the Aces in 2006. The Partrick J. Kelly Cup is awarded annually to the playoff champions of the ECHL. In that playoff year he finished 7th overall on the Aces with 12 points (6 goals and 6 assists) in 17 games and was instrumental in helping his team capture the cup. In post season contests, playing for the Kelly Cup, Cam was nearly a point-per-game player stockpiling 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) in 49 games. During his tenure in collegiate hockey, playing for University of Alaska-Fairbanks. he accrued 100 points with 41 goals and 59 assists in 144 games. He finished in the Nanooks top six in scoring during each of his four seasons. During his BCHL career Cam played for the Victoria Salsa in 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons. He played for the Trail Smoke Eaters during the 1999/2000 season and in 54 games had 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points. Cam also played in the CHL, Italy Serie A, a European Elite hockey league and Del-2 (Germany), the second highest level in Germany. On bringing Cam on board with Cincinnati, Matt Macdonald, head coach, said he was confident Cam would bring a high level of professionalism, work ethic and knowledge to the team. The Smoke Eaters are also confident that Cam will bring those same attributes to our organization. “My past experience in Trail and my roots in the Kootenays have drawn me back to Trail hockey and the BCHL,” quoted Cam. “My history with the Trail community gives me the confidence and pride to recruit the character players that best exemplifies Trail Smoke Eater Hockey.” “I am deeply honored to be selected as the Head Coach for the Trail Smoke Eaters and look forward to giving back to a community that gave me so much.” The Smoke Eaters welcome Cam and his family to Trail and wish him the best of luck for the coming season.
The Nanaimo Clippers have acquired forward Vincent Millette from the Montreal-Est Rangers of the QJAAAHL in exchange for future considerations. The 1998 born forward had recently been acquired by the Rangers from the Arctic de Saint-Leonard. During the 2015-2016 season with the Arctic, the 5’10”, 180lb, Blainville, Quebec native tallied 27 goals and 19 assists for 46 points in 48 games played.
Vees Prepping For Western Canada Cup:
Fred Harbinson is encouraging fans to take advantage of early-bird ticket prices and secure their tickets now for the 2017 Crescent Point Western Canada Cup Junior-A hockey championship. The Penticton Vees president, GM and head coach said the club is at around 30 per cent of their ticket sales target for the tournament, which the city will host for the first time ever April 29 to May 7, 2017. The price for the 13-game package is just $129 until July 1, then it goes to $149 until April, and then up to $179 for the final month leading up to the five-team competition. “Things have been pretty steady but we’re just hoping to keep the momentum going and avoid the lull in July,” explained Harbinson. “Why spend the extra money if you don’t have to?” Harbinson said the Vees are continuing to make it more affordable for everyone to enjoy watching games at the South Okanagan Events Centre – be it the league, playoffs or an event such as the WCC. He said fans can book their WCC tickets with a minimum $25 deposit and can pay the balance of the $129 through an installment plan. “We recognize every dollar is important to families,” said Harbinson. He said it will cost around $700,000 to stage the tournament, which features the host Vees and the champions from the B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Junior-A leagues. The top two teams advance to the RBC Cup national championship later in May. “When I took over as president (before 2013-14), we had our eyes on hosting one of those two big competitions and the timing of the WCC made most sense for us,” said Harbinson. “People have been asking for us to host, we put together the bid and now here we are … and we need people on board, especially with the early-bird promotion we have going now.” Harbinson noted the WCC ticket packages were much more expensive the past two years — $250 this past year in Estevan and $275 in 2014-15 when the Vees won the WCC in Fort McMurray, Alta. “We have the nicest arena in Junior-A hockey and we’ve had consistently the best on-ice product over the last several years,” said Harbinson. “We’re really excited with what we’ve created here.” Harbinson said with hosting the WCC, the Vees have asked sponsors to give a little bit extra this season. “The response has been positive,” said Harbinson. “We’ve emphasized their importance and how they’re a big part of the team and what we do here.” Thanks to a partnership with Penticton-based Peter Bros. Construction, fans age 18 and under have been admitted to Vees games free of charge the last two years. That initiative continues again this season and also includes the WCC games, Harbinson said. “We’re really excited to be able to offer that to our younger fans,” said Harbinson. The partnership with Peter Bros. has helped boost the Vees average attendance, though it had been trending in that direction after the Vees dropped their season’s ticket prices dramatically when Harbinson became president. “We upset a lot of other teams in the league because they felt we were undervaluing our product,” said Harbinson. “But we wanted to make it more affordable, and with our corporate involvement on promotions like the ‘Wicked Wednesdays’, coupled with a top-notch on-ice product, we’ve now got an outstanding atmosphere for every home game.” The Vees averaged 1,786 fans in 2012-13, down significantly after the Vees magnificent 2011-12 national-championship winning season when they averaged 2,108 in the regular season and 2,762 overall. This year, the Vees averaged 2,560 overall including playoffs. In the last two seasons, they have only had four crowds under 2,000 fans. Harbinson has also been busy with his GM’s duties in the past few months, building a team capable of again contending for a national championship. “We’re going to have a real solid team again … a bit older with real good size,” said Harbinson. “We’re going to be exciting to watch again.”
Riddle Commits To Surrey:
The Surrey Eagles have officially announced that Tyler Riddle, an 18-year-old forward from Springfield, Pennsylvania, has committed to the team for the 2016-17 season. Riddle spent the majority of last season with the U18 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers of the AYHL. He led his team in scoring with 15 goals and 15 assists in only 22 games. Weighing in at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Riddle is known to be a smart and skilled playmaker. His coach in Philadelphia, Bud Dombroski, describes him as “a consistent player that works hard, and competes every game.” He added, “Tyler is very strong with the puck and should do well in the BCHL next year.” Although he has never been to Surrey, Riddle explained in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca that the Eagles were his first choice for a variety of reasons. “I decided not long after my season ended that I wanted to play for the Eagles,” Riddle recalled. “The BCHL is known for highly skilled and fast paced powerhouse type players, and [the Surrey area] seems like one of the most beautiful places in the world.” The Eagles’ revamped offensive unit contains newcomers Jordan Robert, Jesse Nelson, and Ryan Foley, as well as the recent acquisition of 20-year-old Darius Davidson, and returning forwards Paul McAvoy and Jeff Stewart. Riddle, who models his game after St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, feels like he will fit in nicely with the group – providing yet another scoring punch. “I want to make a positive impact in my first season by learning and adapting quickly to the Eagles system,” said Riddle. “I pride myself on my hockey IQ, and ability to quickly make the right decisions in every zone. Even though I was brought in to score goals, I plan on adding a physical element to my game.“ Riddle expects the jump to junior hockey to be a difficult, but smooth transition. The Eagles are extremely excited to be able to land another dynamic forward to their roster. “Making the jump to the BCHL won’t be easy,” explained Riddle. “You’re playing against the best junior players in North America every night, but I’m more than willing to play in the dangerous areas to set up my teammates.”
Crossley Commits To Clippers:
The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Austin Crossley has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season. The 1999 born defenceman joins the Clippers after playing last season for the Kamloops Storm of the KIJHL. During the 2015-2016 season the 6’1”, 205lb, Fort St. John native tallied 1 goal and 8 assists for 9 points and added 64 penalty minutes in 40 games played for the Storm.
Salmon Arm Silverback’s Head Coach Brandon West talks about the end of last season and losing to the eventual RBC Cup Champions West Kelowna Warriors. He also talk about what it’s like to compete in the BCHL’s Interior Conference which has won six national titles in the past twenty years plus talks about recruiting for the upcoming hockey season which is only about three months away.
The Merritt Centennials announced Wednesday that 20-year-old defenseman Malik Kaila has been traded to the Coquitlam Express for future considerations. “This trade was a hard one for me. Malik was our captain last year and has been a great Centennials player during his career,” said Cents GM and Head Coach Joe Martin. “However, we had too many 1996-born players and now Malik gets a fresh start and can strictly focus on his final year of junior hockey to help him attain a scholarship. Malik is a true gentleman. On behalf of our entire organization, thank you to Malik and his parents who never missed a game, they will always be Centennials in our eyes.” Kaila played 54 regular season games with Merritt last year, posting eight assists and 51 penalty minutes. The Squamish native was recruited by the Centennials from the Vancouver NW Giants of the BC Major Midget League in 2013. Kaila has appeared in 131 career BCHL games in Merritt, scoring 20 points (one goal, 19 assists) along with 161 penalty minutes. He also appeared in four Fred Page Cup playoff games with the Centennials in 2014. Kaila served as Cents captain in 2015-16 and was also named the team’s Most Dedicated Player at the 2016 post-season awards.
McGeen Commits To Powell River:
The Powell River Kings are pleased to announce Windsor, Ontario native Ted McGeen will be joining the team for the 2016-17 season. The 6′ 170-pound forward played last season in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Chatham Maroons, scoring 27 goals and adding 18 assists in 48 games. He then scored twice with two more helpers in 11 playoff games. “I’m really excited. It’s an opportunity for me to test myself against players who are either looking to finalize their NCAA recruitments or are already committed to the NCAA,” the 1997-born McGeen said. “I’m looking forward to being surrounded by players who have the same mindset as me. My game is pretty focused around speed, and I think I’m pretty good at making quick decisions. I know the Kings are going to be very deep upfront this year and I’m looking forward to being part of that group. I can’t wait to be surrounded by people who are serious about the game.” Kings head coach and general manager Kent Lewis thinks McGeen could be a key contributor this season. “He’s a hard working player,” Lewis said. “He has good speed and has no problems going to the gritty areas. He’s the kind of player who can compliment any line.” McGeen continues trending upwards, as over the last few seasons he has moved up a level of hockey each year. He has gone from Midget AAA to Junior ‘C’, then to Junior ‘B’ last season and now to Junior ‘A’. Kings fans will get their first look at McGeen and the rest of the 2016-17 Powell River Kings when he hits the ice for the team’s training camp in August.