Monday, January 16, 2017

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:

Cowichan-Lloydminster Trade:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have transferred the CJHL playing rights to Jake Keremidschieff(98)(D) to the Lloydminster Bobcats of the AJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Clippers' New Additions Will Play With Urgency:

They aren’t here for a long time, but they’ll try to stretch things out as far as they can. Two of the newest Nanaimo Clippers, forward Ben Taylor and defenceman Marcus Joseph, joined the club last week and they’ll be here for a playoff push and then, they hope, a playoff run. Both 19-year-olds were acquired from U.S. Hockey League teams and both expect to go to the NCAA in the fall, Taylor, to Brown University; Joseph, to Sacred Heart. So there’s an urgency to accomplish a lot in a short time. “Coach [Mike] Vandekamp brought me in here knowing I only have two, three months,” said Taylor. “We want to make the playoffs. I’ll do whatever it takes. I want to make playoffs. That’s why I’m here.” He was anticipating being moved from the Tri-City Storm after a talk with his coach there last month. “I wasn’t playing a whole lot and I’m going to school next year, so I wanted to go somewhere where I was going to play a lot and hopefully this is a good fit for me here,” he said. He said Clippers coaches want him to play a power-forward role, be tough in the corners, make plays, shoot the puck and contribute offensively. Chemistry with linemates isn’t instant, Taylor said, but the system is similar to one he played at the prep hockey level so he’s picking it up. Joseph’s circumstances are similar, as he was with the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms. “I wasn’t liking the situation there and one of my advisers told me about this place and I’d heard good things about it,” he said. “It all worked out, so I’m happy I’m here now.” He said Clippers coaches want him to bring his offensive talent, especially on man-advantage opportunities, and play confidently in the defensive end. Joseph said he wants to improve his all-round game while he’s in Nanaimo and thinks Clippers coaches can help him do that. He also said he believes the team can not only make the playoffs, but make a run. Joining a bubble team at this time of year, Taylor said he understands the situation. “We’re trying to make a huge playoff push here. Since it’s pretty late in the year, every game counts, every practice counts, every shift…” he said. “I definitely think we’ve got what it takes. We just need to buy in and focus and play our game and we’ll make a push here.” Clips make transaction at deadline The Nanaimo Clippers brought in some veteran help for their playoff push. The city’s junior A hockey team made a move at the B.C. Hockey League trade deadline Tuesday, acquiring 20-year-old forward Josh Blanchard from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for future considerations. The 5-foot-7, 160-pounder was an alternate captain with the Silverbacks. The last time he was at Frank Crane Arena, he had a goal and two assists in his team’s 4-3 overtime win. “I would like to thank the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for everything they have done in the past two and a half years. In saying that, I am extremely excited to be joining a great organization in the Clippers. Excited to get things going,” Blanchard posted on Twitter. He has played 33 games with the Silverbacks this season and has eight goals, 20 points and 11 penalty minutes. Look for more on Blanchard in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin. Another trade-deadline move that will impact the Clippers saw Manitoba’s Steinbach Pistons acquire forward Danny Pion from the Nanaimo Buccaneers. Pion played 15 games with the Clips as an affiliate, scoring two goals.

Wranglers Name Mick New Head Coach:

Troy Mick climbed the ranks of the hockey world, from player to coach and general manager and finally, several years ago, to a part-owner of a Canadian junior hockey team. That last step disqualified him, by league rule, from coaching his team, the Salmon Arm (British Columbia) Silverbacks, and he figured his days on the bench were done. Mick, however, is there. One of the main figures behind the new local junior hockey team, the Steamboat Wranglers, Mick has taken over coaching duties in Steamboat. The previous coach, Misko Antisin, was bumped up to coach the squad in Salmon Arm after Mick, general manager for that team, fired coach Brandon West midway through his third season as head coach with the club. “It was a natural progression to bring someone in who knew the program,” Mick said of Antisin’s move from Steamboat to Salmon Arm. Both programs are owned by the same group, and Steamboat, a tier 3 junior hockey team, is sort of a farm system for the Salmon Arm team, a tier 1 squad. “I knew what Misko was all about, and it was an easy transition,” Mick said. “Then I didn’t have a coach in Steamboat, so I came down. Here I am coaching again, which I never thought I’d be able to do” The Wranglers, playing in their inaugural season, have settled squarely into the middle of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League, third out of the five teams. They’re 6-9-1, though four of those losses have come in overtime, and the team had amassed 17 points by Saturday — one shy of second-place Aspen, with an 8-7-1 record. Steamboat picked up an important win Friday against Aspen, winning 3-1 in a game played in Glenwood Springs’ open-air rink. Steamboat Springs High School standout Jack McNamara scored a short-handed goal in the game, one of five he’s scored this season. That ranks him tied for second on the team, behind Kameron Fink’s seven goals. McNamara also has 12 assists, and his 17 overall points lead the squad. The team has already sent several players up to play in Salmon Arm, though it’s added players, as well. It recently brought three new Canadians onboard, Easton Jones, Sean Moleschi and Jayden Dale. “We knew we needed a few more players, so I gained these kids, all from my area in Salmon Arm,” Mick said. “We have a full roster for games — a 25-man roster we can use, and it’s going really well.” The team played late Saturday again on the road against Aspen. It is on the road next weekend, as well, with a pair of games against the Colorado Rampage. The Wranglers return home for four consecutive games over two weekends Dec. 16 and 17 and Dec. 30 and 31.

Warriors Sign Demers:

West Kelowna was dealt yet another blow on the season as the team learnt that 17-year-old goaltender Shane Farkas would be leaving to head to Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL). To fill the spot in goal will be another 17-year-old as the Warriors have signed goaltender Cole Demers from the Okanagan Rockets of the BC Major Midget League. Demers, a North Vancouver native, played in two games with the Rockets after being released by the Vernon Vipers earlier this season. Demers had very good numbers with the Vipers in his first Junior ‘A’ season, leaving with a 3-8-0 record along with a 3.20 GAA and a .905 SV%. In addition to Demers, the Warriors will have another new face dawning big pads and goaltender equipment as goaltender Dorian Laganiere will join the team for the weekend as an affiliate. The Granby, Quebec native has split time between the Revelstoke Grizzlies and with the Golden Rockets of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) this season. In 7 games with the Rockets, Laganiere owns a 0-6-1 record with a 3.70 GAA and a .902 SV%.

Williams Lake Submits Bid For KIJHL Expansion:

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League could be continuing its push north to Williams Lake next season. An ownership group from the lakecity led by Rob Sandrock, Tyrel Lucas and Ryan Bailey were in 100 Mile House Sunday meeting with league officials discussing expansion applications submitted by both Williams Lake and Quesnel — led by Matt Kolle — in an attempt to bring junior B hockey to each city. “It went really well,” Sandrock told the Tribune. “They said they couldn’t find any faults in our applications and business proposals. What they are concerned about is extended travel for some teams — they don’t want to jeopardize anybody by increasing travel costs.” Sandrock said the application information, which was submitted to the league on Dec. 1, will now be submitted to each of the KIJHL’s 20 teams where governors for each will review the information and vote on a decision. “I’m hoping we’ll hear something by the end of the month but I’m not exactly sure,” Sandrock said. “Now it’s just a wait and see and hopefully people are excited about it. Everybody we talk to asks what’s been happening. We need a team here and we want a team here. Friends, acquaintances and also business owners want to get behind this. “Our city’s been kind of dormant and we want to see something positive from it.” Tom Bachynski, spokesman for the KIJHL’s franchise committee and governor of the 100 Mile House Wranglers, meanwhile, told Kamloops This Week both Williams Lake and Quesnel have indicated they would be ready for the 2017/18 season. The KIJHL has long considered expansion northward and was approached several years ago about putting a franchise in Quesnel. In 2014, the Storm and 100 Mile House Wranglers played a November game in Williams Lake — a league attempt to drum up interest for a potential franchise in the lakecity. The KIJHL now has the two bids it desired in place, but expansion is far from a done deal. Bachynski called the prospect of adding two new franchises “a double-edged sword.” While the applications are strong, Bachynski said adding two teams north of 100 Mile House, currently home to the league’s northernmost franchise, may stretch the boundaries of the KIJHL by reasonable limits. Should the Spokane Braves ever have to play Quesnel, they’d be in for a nearly 1,000-kilometre drive. “It’s a matter of logistics,” Bachynski said, noting the prospect of expansion would almost certainly have to be coupled with divisional realignment. “Junior B hockey is not a profit-making adventure. So, when you’re adding extra miles onto peoples’ road trips, there’s a cause and effect. “First and foremost, our job as a franchise committee is to make sure our existing franchises are as healthy as possible and, when we’re looking at the applications, are we making them [current franchises] healthier or are we making them weaker?” Sandrock, who played professionally in Ireland, Austria and Germany and split his Western Hockey League career among the Spokane Chiefs, Swift Current Broncos, Medicine Hat Tigers and Kelowna Rockets, however, believes travel logistics won’t be a big deal. “There are ways to get around it through scheduling, so hopefully the league sees it the way we see it,” he said. “As it is right now Okanagan teams only play Okanagan teams, the Kootenay teams all play together until the final series of the playoffs. It doesn’t have to affect the Kootenay teams. It will affect the Okanagan teams a bit, but they’re already coming up here to 100 Mile anyway.” Williams Lake, meanwhile, has not been without a junior hockey team in the past. The Williams Lake TimberWolves played in the junior A British Columbia Hockey League but have not participated since the 2009/10 season after being suspended by the league for being a franchise not in good standing. Sandrock said should the team’s application be approved, though, the ownership group would likely steer away from using the name “TimberWolves.” “We haven’t decided [on a name yet],” he said. “I’m 99.9 per cent it won’t be the TimberWolves, but you can never say no.”

Campese Returns To Warriors:

The Warriors are also pleased to announce the return of forward Matthew Campese (’97) after his release from the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Red Deer Rebels. The West Kelowna, BC native scored one goal and added an assist in 13 games played with the Rebels. Before heading to Red Deer, Campese earned six goals and 17 points in 16 games with the Warriors earlier this season. “Adding Matthew gives us a great addition up front,” quoted Ferster, “He knows our system and will immediately fit into our lineup.”

Surrey-Mirimachi Trade:

The Surrey Eagles transfer the CJHL playing rights to Michael Botiz(98)(G) to the Mirimachi Timberwolves of the MHL in exchange for future considerations.

Vees TV:

The Penticton Vees lost 3-2 to the Merritt Centennials in a third-period upset last Wednesday, followed by a 4-2 loss to the Vernon Vipers who held a strong game from the beginning on Saturday. That marks the second time this season the Vees have lost two games in a row on home ice, but head coach Fred Harbinson says that may help to build the team. In this week's edition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson, a look at how some adversity in the regular season can help the team prepare for the playoffs. James Miller and Jamie Harbinson had their return from injuries this past week, which Harbinson says can take some getting used to after an extended period off of ice. Finally, a look ahead at the upcoming games this week against the West Kelowna Warriors, away at Merritt and against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Surrey-Cobourg Trade:

The Surrey Eagles transfer the CJHL playing rights to Nick Minerva(96)(D) to the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Warriors Sign Morency:

The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the addition of goaltender Gabriel Morency (’98) after his release from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Morency, 18, spent the beginning of the 2016/17 season with the Rimouski Oceanic, playing in 10 games while registering a 3.87 GAA and a .866 SV% before being traded to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada where he would not get into game action before being released by the team. Prior to his time in the QMJHL, the Quebec, Quebec native spent 16 games in the Queen’s Court Hockey League (QCHL) with the Sainte-Foy Dynamiques where he would play 16 games and post a solid 2.15 GAA and a .915 save percentage. The 6’3”, 192 pound netminder was originally drafted in the 5th round, 183rd overall by Rimouski in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft. “We were looking to add a goaltender and when Gabriel became available, we felt he was the right option,“ stated Warriors head coach and general manager Rylan Ferster, “He’s a big goaltender who will be a good fit for our team.”

Nanaimo Closing In On WHL Franchise?

A referendum on an event centre in Nanaimo, estimated to cost up to $86.6 million, is recommended for this March. Nanaimo city council will decide Monday (Jan. 16) if it should hold a referendum March 11 on an event centre with a $130,000 budget proposed in a staff report. It will also be asked to appoint a chief election officer and deputy election officer. The City of Nanaimo has been working through a laundry list of tasks on the event centre given by Nanaimo council in December, including public engagement, preparation of the referendum on financing, and the planning and construction of the event centre. A total budget for the third phase is expected Feb. 6, along with a funding model for the event centre. The city has hired a legal advisor, financial advisor and put out requests for qualifications for architects, project management and an operations manager. Negotiations with the Western Hockey League leading to a memorandum of understanding for one of its teams is underway, according to staff members. The city has also hired Ernst and Young for a third-party review of Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects’ feasibility study with the initial results of performance and funding models for council to consider being presented in-camera on Monday. The company, which its first phase will cost $25,000, will test the assumptions in the feasibility report to see if they are reasonable and compare them to other recently built event centres in comparable jurisdictions, said Victor Mema, the city's chief financial officer, who told the News Bulletin once the financing piece is done the company will be part of the city team in starting lease negotiations with the WHL. A two-part public engagement process, budgeted at $40,000, is expected to get underway at the end of January. Engagement events will take place in north, south and central Nanaimo. There will also be an information campaign if council moves ahead on a referendum. “We’re obviously listening and modifying things as we go forward and taking every opportunity we can to reach out and hear what people have to say about this particular topic,” said Philip Cooper, city communications manager.

Misko Antisin Talks Trades:

Salmon Arm Silverback’s Head Coach Misko Antisin talks about the trades that were made at the BCHL trade deadline. The team moved four players including sending captain Mitch Skapski and Haydn Hopkins to Cowichan Valley while sending Josh Blanchard to Nanaimo and Carter Cochrane to Trail.

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