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DAILY DISH: BCHL REPORT Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 12 Dec 2017  
By: Stephen Heisler, JuniorHockey.com


The BCHL Report is a weekly look at Canada’s British Columbia Hockey League.  The BCHL Insider is just that. A coach, or employee, that has incredibly close access to all things BCHL.

 

ISLAND

Powell River (18-9-2-2) – The Kings won just one of their three road games last week and play another trio this weekend. It’s a strange feeling to know that the trip to Surrey, Coquitlam, and West Kelowna can be fruitless if the boys are not giving it 100%. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Three day roadies are always tough, and with Coquitlam suddenly no longer a “gimmie”, might be a long trip back home.

Nanaimo (16-12-3-2) – Head Coach Mike Vandekamp’s Clips were given the slip in both games last week. In the last weekend before the Christmas break, Nanaimo visits Trail, Penticton, and Merritt. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: A great chance for the Clippers to make a statement heading into the break. They’ll learn a lot about themselves this week.  

Victoria (16-14-3-1) – Craig Didmon’s Grizzlies lit the lamp 16 times in their pair of wins over the division’s first and second place teams. Victoria visits Alberni Valley tomorrow night before hosting Cowichan Valley and Prince George later in the week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Grizz will have their hands full this weekend, home ice may play a role.

Alberni Valley (9-18-2-4) – Matt Hughes’ Bulldogs chopped the Chiefs Saturday night in their only win in three tries last week. Victoria and the Caps visit the Weyerhaeuser this week. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: This team suddenly has to look over its shoulder as the Capitals have found their sea legs. Too early to say the game with Cowichan Valley has playoff implications, but then again, maybe.

Cowichan Valley (5-22-3-2) – The Caps’ are back! Winners of three straight, it looks like Cowichan Valley is on a mission. The Caps visit Victoria and Alberni Valley Friday and Saturday before hosting Prince George in the final game before Christmas.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Three wins in a row? Is four too much to ask? Even four of the last six before break would be pretty nice.

 

INTERIOR

Vernon (23-7-1-4) – Head Coach Mark Ferner’s Vipers were beaten at home by Coquitlam last week before winning at Salmon Arm Friday and at home against the Killer Vees on Saturday. Welcome to life in the BCHL. Merritt and Trail visit this week in advance of the Christmas break.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The Vipers got a swift kick in the loss to Coquitlam at home, and they’ve refocused which could trouble for the visitors at Kal Tire Place this weekend.

Penticton (22-6-1-2) – Head Coach Fred Harbinson’s Vees won a dozen straight games before coming up with snake eyes at Vernon on Saturday night. That’s going to happen from time to time. Penticton visits West Kelowna Friday before getting the last game in before the Holidays against the Clippers at home on Saturday. INSIDER SAYS: West K will be preaching redemption after last weeks loss, and the Clippers are on a mission to make a statement. Penticton tends to draw opponents best efforts.

Wenatchee (21-9-2-1) – Head Coach Bliss Littler’s Wild were beaten at Prince George on Saturday after winning a tough one at Merritt the night before. Those trips to PG can be difficult for any team. Wenatchee fans get to go Wild this weekend with a rare double when the Silverbacks are in for a pair of games. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Once again, Wenatchee remains solid, but inconsistent. That won’t be good enough in the Interior Division. Their barn remains one of the tougher ones for a road team to win.

Trail (20-10-2-0) – Head Coach Cam Keith’s Smokies picked up a big win at West Kelowna on Saturday and will host Merritt tonight. Nanaimo visits Friday before Trail closes the pre-Christmas schedule at Vernon on Saturday.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Has Trail really shaken off the funk? This weekend will challenge the Smokies, and we’ll see if they have really found their groove.

West Kelowna (17-15-1-0) – Coach Rylan Ferster’s Warriors had a difficult week, dropping both games to Penticton and Trail.  The Vees and Kings visit Royal LePage Place Friday and Sunday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Revenge is a powerful motivator, and this week the Warriors are salivating at another shot at Penticton on home ice. Win or lose, the emotional letdown may cost them the following night.

Merritt (13-14-2-1) – Head Coach Joe Martin’s Cents split the weekend home games, losing to the Wild on Friday before besting Salmon Arm Saturday. Still just a single game under .500, there’s still hope to get over that mark before Christmas with matchups at Trail and Vernon before hosting Nanaimo Sunday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Merritt has a good shot at getting to .500 and have the benefit of a day off between each game. That will help come Sunday.

Salmon Arm (12-18-3-0) – Head Coach Scott Atkinson’s Silverbacks fall to six games under .500 after dropping five straight games. Getting a positive result before the Christmas break is not going to be easy with a pair of games at Wenatchee this weekend. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: The ‘Backs are skating into hostile territory in a building that’s historically tough on visitors. But Salmon Arm did win there earlier this season, so don’t go mailing in your picks on this series just yet.   

 

MAINLAND

Langley (16-9-9-1) – The good news:Head Coach Bobby Henderson’s first place Rivermen managed to put an end to their four-game winless streak Friday with a 4-1 win over Surrey. The Bad? Losing 3-1 at home to the last-place Express. Tis the season… Chilliwack and Surrey come to the George Preston Arena this weekend.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Langley’s hold on first place is under siege with the Spruce Kings breathing down their necks. Hendo’s boys had best defend the Lodge, because PG is coming hard.

Prince George (18-10-2-3) – Head Coach Adam Maglio’s Spruce Kings have won six straight and are knocking down the first place door going into the Christmas break. Prince George visits Coquitlam, Victoria, and Cowichan Valley. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Back on the road after an extended homestand, the Spruce Kings face compelling matchups that two weeks ago would be seen as yawners.

Surrey (17-13-3-1) – Brandon West’s Eagles are playing the win one-lose one game again. That’s OK for teams four games over .500. Powell River visits Friday before going to Langley Saturday. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Expectations are high in Surrey this year, and they’re not going to settle for a few games above .500.

Chilliwack (16-14-2-2) – Head Coach Jason Tatarnic’s Chiefs just got by Coquitlam 4-2 on Friday before getting embarrassed 4-1 at home by Alberni Valley. Chilliwack goes to Langley Friday for the last game before Christmas. BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Yeah, almost every team makes the playoffs and yeah, the RBC berth is guaranteed, but this Chiefs club is determined to finish strong and prove they belong.

Coquitlam (6-23-1-2) – Anytime the Express can take two of three games over the weekend it’s going to be a good thing. I’m liking what’s been seen so far with this new coach. Prince George and Powell River visit this weekend.  BCHL INSIDER SAYS: Two good hockey teams are coming to the Poirier this week, and that’s just what Coquitlam needs to continue their growth. This team will wreck other teams dreams along the way.  

 

Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with the Heisler Hockey Group. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida


Author: Stephen Heisler from JuniorHockey.com
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.


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