Tuesday, November 8, 2016

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Bulldogs Make Roster Moves:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have traded forwards Ryan Finnegan (Tecumseh, KS) and Quinn Syrydiuk (Toronto, ONT) in two separate transactions. Syrydiuk served as an alternate captain for the 71 games he played in a Bulldogs uniform. He will be joining the Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, who are hosting the 2017 Royal Bank Cup. “Quinn is a great kid and brought a lot to our team both on and off the ice,” says Head Coach & GM Kevin Willison. “Unfortunately with our team’s performance and Quinn only producing 3 Points (1 Goal and 2 Assists) in 14 Games, we felt a change was needed for him to get back on track.” Finnegan led the Bulldogs in scoring during the playoffs last season but was unable put up a goal in 16 Games thus far (0 Goals and 4 Assists). Finnegan will be joining the Jersey Hitmen of the United States Premiere Hockey League. “Ryan is another great kid but was struggling to produce offensively for us,” says Willison. “We want to thank both young men for their efforts and contributions to the community of Alberni Valley and wish them both the best in their hockey careers.” Both players were traded for Future Considerations.

Vees TV:

The Penticton Vees had their first home-game loss of the season over the weekend against the Nanaimo Clippers. That follows two wins at home and in Langley against the Rivermen last week, putting the team at 11 wins and two losses so far. The team is still leading the league, but what matters most is where they are at by the end of the season, according to Vees head coach Fred Harbinson in this week's edition of Vees' View. Harbinson talked the week past, games to come and Vee Johnny Tychonick representing Canada.


Quesnel Arena Construction Ahead Of Schedule:

Ahead of time and possibly under budget. That’s Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson’s take on the progress crews are making on the new arena in town – the West Fraser Centre. He says the contract stipulates work must be complete by next September but it looks right now like they’re a month or two ahead. “If things continue the way that it’s going right now – fingers crossed – we could have access to the building in July,” says Simpson. “It’s beginning to look like a real building which is the main thing for our community with the steel up and the concrete floors and sub floors all done and now some of the cinder block going up its starting to really take shape.” He says the building will hold around 1,400 seats give or take a hundred or so while they decide on the size of the seats. It will also feature an NHL-sized rink, an indoor walking track, two multi-purpose rooms, referee rooms, change rooms, a wood ceiling and office space. Simpson says it’s been budgeted at a ceiling cost of $20.6 million but hopes it will come in below that by using what’s known as value engineering. “So when you bid on a project like this, the architects and the engineers spec out your heating and ventilation system where they spec out in the case of an arena the floor system,” he says. “The project gets costed to that specification but a lot of contractors who actually do the work, know of other systems that would meet the specifications but aren’t as pricey or can be sourced more locally. And the cost reductions associated with that are called value engineering.” Aside from some parking hassles – the new rink is being built in the parking lot of the Twin Arenas and curling rink – he says the community is excited for the new building to open noting it will allow the city to do things that it couldn’t do before, like hosting regional and provincial tournaments. “So as we have more users and tournaments, as we have more people coming down to watch some of the games, that just drives economic activity into our business community and hotels. It’ll be a big shot in the arm above and beyond what our current hockey, figure skating and lacrosse groups do for our community.”

Western Hockey League Coming To Wenatchee?

Reports from several hockey blogs state the Western Hockey League will be moving one of their franchises to Wenatchee. Rumor is it’s the Kootenay Ice will be moving south of the border.

Penticton Vees Sign Campbell:

The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club has added a veteran piece to their line-up. The team announced they’ve signed former Western Hockey League (WHL) forward Duncan Campbell. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson,“Anyone who has coached or played with Duncan immediately speaks of his great character and his strong work ethic; he’s the definition of a two-way player. Duncan brings championship experience which will be vital come the end of the year.” Campbell, 20, spent his entire hockey career in his hometown of Brandon, Manitoba. Last year with the Wheaties, Campbell had 10 goals and 22 points in 72 regular season games. The 6’3, 196 pound forward played in 21 WHL playoff games last spring, as the Wheaties won the Ed Chynoweth Cup, the WHL championship,  and went on to participate in the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Red Deer, Alberta. The year prior, Campbell played in 68 regular season games, picking up 12 goals and 21 points, as the Wheaties lost out to the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL Final. That post-season he played in 17 playoff games, picking up a goal and an assist, to go along with six penalty-minutes. Campbell brings plenty of junior hockey experience to Penticton, having played in 148 career regular season games in the WHL over three seasons, and has played in another 38 playoff games, plus the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup. He also played three seasons of Midget AAA hockey in his hometown, playing in 124 games in the Manitoba Midget Hockey League; he was the Captain in his third and final year. In 124 career games at the Midget level, Campbell amassed 80 goals and 158 points. Campbell is expected to arrive in Penticton tomorrow and will wear number 24. He’ll make his Vees debut next week when the Vees face the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Powell River Kings.

Smyl Inducted Into Chilliwack Sports Hall Of Fame:

A stoic presence behind BCHL benches for two decades, Harvey Smyl racked up 554 career wins and was named the league’s Coach of the Year three times. Harvey Smyl will be inducted into the Chilliwack Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night. He will be an honoured guest at that night’s Chilliwack Sports Dinner, presented by Royal LePage. He’ll also be honoured at Friday night’s Chilliwack Chiefs game at Prospera Centre. Here is Smyl’s Hall of Fame story. There is no name more synonymous with Chilliwack hockey than legendary coach Harvey Smyl. For 16 seasons he patrolled the bench for the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, sending dozens of players off to the NCAA hockey ranks. For 15 seasons he served as the team’s general manager, building it into one of the premier junior A programs in Canada. “As corny as it sounds, it’s the friendships that were made and the development of kids into fine young men that stuck with me,” Smyl says, looking back on his storied career. “When I talk to individuals I coached or worked with and I hear how they cherished those years they spent as a Chief, to me that means everything.” Smyl took over as Chilliwack’s bench boss in 1993-94, leading the team to a 28-28-0-4 record and a playoff spot. That started an amazing run that saw Smyl-led teams qualify for the postseason every year for 20 straight seasons. The only certainties in life were death, taxes and Smyl in the playoffs. In just his second year Smyl led the Chiefs to a 39-18-0-3 record and their first BCHL championship. “The year prior to me coming to Chilliwack the team was absolutely horrendous,” Smyl recalls. “They lost one of their games 22-2 or something like that.” “So having that quick turnaround within two years was a nice accomplishment.” “Mr. and Mrs. Brew (Al and Sheila) were so pleased, so happy with us.” The Brews owned the Chiefs during those early years and Smyl calls Al Brew the most incredible man he ever met. “He left a huge impression in my life,” Smyl says. “Wins and losses were important to him and finances too. But he truly cared about individuals and would go to any extent to help.” “He truly cared.” Many players Smyl coached through the years would say the same about him. “I still run into former players now and then and they’ll tell me stories about things they think I didn’t know,” Smyl laughed. “Or they’ll talk about people, the billets and volunteers they met in Chilliwack.” “I can put a face to all those names.” He went on to win two more BCHL titles and lead the Chiefs to a bronze medal finish at the 1999-00 Royal Bank Cup. Smyl won three BCHL Coach of the Year awards, in 1995-96, 1997-98 and 2000-01. But the one-ice accomplishments were secondary to the relationships he forged. “I had a kid phone me up eight years after he was done playing for me and he wanted to tell me that I was the one person who made the biggest difference in his life,” Smyl says. “He said, ‘You preached lots and you were hard at times, soft at others but in my life now I try to deal with people the way you dealt with me.” “To make that much of an impact on his life, that is rewarding.”

WHL commish talking to Nanaimo?

“Been told WHL commissioner Ron Robison was in Nanaimo on Monday to talk with city officials about a new arena.” The WHL in Nanaimo, home of the BCHL’s Clippers? Of course, the WHL would love to have a franchise in Nanaimo, something that would allow teams from the mainland to visit Vancouver Island and play games against more than one team. However, there simply isn't an arena on the island, other than the one that is home to the Victoria Royals, that meets the league’s standards. Furthermore, the City of Nanaimo has flat-out refused to get involved in the construction process. I have been told by someone who is involved with a group that apparently kicked the tires on the Kootenay Ice that there “never” will be an arena in Nanaimo that would be capable of housing a WHL team. “Nanaimo and Chilliwack are 2 cities the WHL is keeping an eye on for the future.” Of course, the WHL used to be in Chilliwack — you may remember the Bruins and the messy situation that led to them becoming the Royals. Has enough water gone under the bridge that the good hockey fans of Chilliwack would forgive and forget?

Warriors Acquire Martin:

The West Kelowna Warriors are pleased to announce the addition of goaltender Trevor Martin (’96) to the team after his release from the Western Hockey League. Martin, 20, joins the Warriors after being released by the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels. The Ardrossan, Alberta native is a veteran of 70 major junior games split between the Saskatoon Blades and the Rebels. Martin appeared in three games this season with Red Deer with a 4.14 GAA and a .888 save percentage. Last season was one of the 20-year old’s best as he appeared in 38 games while boasting a 2.63 GAA and a .911 SV% for the Memorial Cup hosts. The 6’2”, 180 lbs netminder is no stranger to Junior ‘A’ hockey, playing the end of the 2014/15 season with the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) where he played in 21 games, earning a 2.15 GAA and an impressive .929 SV%. With the addition of Martin, the Warriors have released 20 year-old forward Mitchell Barker (’96). The Kamloops, BC native had 2 goals and 6 points in 12 games played with the Warriors this season. “Adding Trevor will hopefully solidify our goaltending situation,” stated Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster, “He’s a veteran with a good amount of games under his belt both at the Major Junior and the Junior ‘A’ level.” The Warriors would like to welcome Trevor to the community of West Kelowna and the Okanagan and thank Mitchell for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best in his future. Martin make his debut when West Kelowna begins a three-game Island road trip Friday night at Frank Crane Arena when they face-off against the Nanaimo Clippers.

Penticton-Minnesota Trade:

The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club has acquired the playing rights to forward Matt Gosiewski (98) from the Minnesota Magicians of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for future considerations, the team announced Friday. In a separate transaction, Gosiewksi’s playing rights were first traded to Minnesota from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the United States Hockey League (USHL). President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson, says Gosiewski’s addition is key moving forward, “We are very excited to add size and experience to our line-up, which will create a deep forward group, which is always extremely important come playoff time.” The 6’4, 215 pound centerman played parts of the last two seasons in the USHL with the RoughRidgers. In 44-games, Gosiewski collected seven goals and 13 points. Before playing in the USHL, Gosiewski played two seasons of prep hockey at Millbrook School, where he amassed 14 goals and 49 points in 66 games.  Between the prep level and the USHL, the hulking centerman spent some time with the U.S. National Under-17 Team and the U.S. National Team Development Program. The power forward is committed to Harvard University. The Crimson men’s hockey team plays in the ECAC conference and their roster includes one former Vee in Lewis Zerter-Gossage. To make room for Gosiewski, the Vees placed defenceman Gabe Bast (96) on the injured reserve with an upper-body injury. The good news however, is Bast will likely be ready to return to the line-up in two weeks. Gosiewski will wear number nine for the Vees and could make his debut this weekend.

Prince George-Truro Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to announce the team has traded 19 year old defenseman Mark O’Shaughnessy to the Truro Bearcats of the Maritime Hockey League (MHL) in exchange for future considerations. The 5’11” 195lb O’Shaughnessy is from Kelowna, B.C. and played in four games as a Spruce Kings. In that time he had one assist and zero penalty minutes. In his previous 56 games with the Merritt Centennials, the defenseman had four goals and 14 assists for 18 points.

Alberni Valley-Brockville Trade:

After a not so stellar October, the Bulldogs announce the acquisition of forward Gary Dhaliwal (Richmond, BC) from the Brockville Braves in exchange for Future Considerations. Dhaliwal originally began the season with the Trenton Golden Hawks of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League scoring 7 Points (1 Goal and 6 Assists) in 8 games before being traded to Brockville. People of the Alberni Valley may remember Dhaliwal from the 2014-15 season when he and current Bulldog captain Jordan Sandhu made their BCHL debuts as affiliate players. During their 2 Games as call-ups, both were acknowledged with loud cheers for their numerous relentless shifts applying offensive pressure. Head Coach & GM Kevin Willison hopes that Dhaliwal can bring some magic back to town. “We are excited to have Gary, who is already familiar with our program join us,” says Willison. “He has grown in size and improved a lot over the past two years and we look forward to seeing what he can bring to our hockey team.” Dhaliwal is expected to be in the line-up this Friday when the Bulldogs travel to Victoria to face the Grizzlies, and then host the Merritt Centennials on Saturday.

Cowichan-Langley Trade:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have acquired forward Trevor Ayre (98) from the Langley Rivermen, the team announced today. Ayre is in his second BCHL season; he’s totaled three goals and six points in 16 games this season. In his BCHL career to date, the Surrey, BC native has five goals, 16 points and 23 penalty minutes in 66 games. Ayre spent two seasons with the Valley West Hawks in the BC Major Midget League (BCMML) from 2013-2015 prior to beginning his Jr. A career. In 80 games with the Hawks, Ayre posted 25 goals, 73 points and 68 penalty minutes, including 20 goals and 55 points in 40 games during the 2014-15 campaign. Going the other way in this trade from the Capitals is forward Darren Hards (98), who had two goals and three points in 13 games with the Caps this season. Cowichan originally acquired Hards from the Surrey Eagles in June; the Prince George, BC native Hards had four goals and eight points as a BCHL rookie with the Eagles last season. The Capitals welcome Ayre to the Cowichan Valley, and wish Hards the best moving forward in his playing career.

Penticton-Brooks Trade:

The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club has traded forward Jacob Kamps (97) to the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), in exchange for future considerations, the team announced Saturday. Kamps had one goal and three points in 12 games with the Vees this season. The Pickering, Ontario, product is committed to Vermont University. Prior to arriving in Penticton, Kamps played prep hockey at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. The Bandits are second in the AJHL’s South Division with a 10-3-2 record through 15 games. The Bandits are also the defending AJHL Gas Drive Cup champions. The Vees would like to thank Jacob for his contributions to the team and in the community, and wish him all the best going forward with Brooks.

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