February 26, 2019
Chiefs finish first overall
BCHL teams wrapped up the regular season on the weekend, with the Chilliwack Chiefs finishing as the league’s top team, posting a 42-15-1-0 record, and 85 points.
The first round of the best-of-seven playoff series starts Friday.
In the Island and Mainland Divisions, it will be the No. 1 seeds against the No. 4 seeds and No. 2 against No. 3 in the opening round with the winners facing each off in the Division finals.
In the eight-team Interior Division playoff, the teams will be re-seeded after Round 1 with the highest seed to advance playing the lowest seed to advance.
The Chiefs edged out division rival Prince George Spruce Kings for #1 by a single point. Although the Chiefs posted three more wins over the season, points gained in the Spruce Kings’ league leading five shoot out losses kept things tight.
The two rivals faced each other in their final three games, with Chilliwack winning the critical first match on February 17 at home, 2-1, to clinch first place overall for the first time in 17 years.
The teams then travelled to Prince George this past weekend to wrap the season, with the Spruce Kings winning both games at home, 5-2 and 4-1; to finish the regular season up 5-3 on the Chiefs.
The Chiefs will open the playoffs at home Friday, March 1 vs. #4 Langley (27-27-2-2).
The Spruce Kings will face off against #3 Coquitlam Express (28-24-3-3).
The Spruce Kings’ 2-1 loss to the Chiefs on February 17 was their only loss in February, vs 10 wins.
The Express lost 7 of their final 10 games, including one in a shootout and two in OT.
In a thrilling finish to the regular season, the Penticton Vees also edged out their closest rival, the Merritt Centennials for the division title by the narrowest of margins.
Both teams finished with 79 points. The Vees posted one more win and suffered one less OTL and one less SOL – 37-16-3-2 vs 36-15-4-3 for the title.
The Vees finished the regular season with wins in a home and home series vs Salmon Arm, 5-2 and 4-0 to clinch first place. Attendance at the final Vees home game was 3,488.
Penticton will open the playoffs on at the Okanagan Events Centre on Friday vs Cowichan Valley who finished #5 in the Island division, with a 17-35-5-1 record, 159GF vs 220 GA.
Strong finish by Cents
Merritt Centennials downed Penticton 4-2 in Penticton on February 15, and then finished with four more wins to wrap up their season, including a shootout win in Langley on Friday and an OT win vs Vernon on Saturday.
The Cents will meet Trail Smoke Eaters at home Friday to start their playoffs. Trail finished at the bottom of the Interior division in 7th place, with a record of 23-24-8-3.
Trail finished February with a record of 5W-4L. Three of their wins were in extra time, including wins over both Penticton and Merritt, illustrating they can upset the favorites anytime.
Wentachee finished third in the division, nine points back of the Vees and Cents, and will match up vs West Kelowna, #6 in the Interior (28-28-1-1). The series gets underway Saturday at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee.
The Victoria Grizzlies finished first on the Island, with a 36-18-0-4 record, for the fourth best record overall.
The Grizzlies finished five up on #2 Powell River Kings, posting a 6-2-2-0 record through February, which included a 1-1-1-0 record vs the Kings.
The Grizzlies will meet Alberni Valley (21-34-3-0), who finished #4 on the Island. The series gets underway Friday night at the Q Centre in Victoria.
Powell River will host Nanaimo Clippers also starting Friday. The Clippers finished 27-30-1-0, sixteen points back of the Kings in the regular season.
The winner of the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup as league champion will move on to face the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion in the best-of-seven Doyle Cup. The Doyle Cup begins on April 26.
The National Junior A Championship (formerly Royal Bank Cup), will be held in Brooks, Alberta, beginning May 11.
BCHL 2018-2018 Regular season records
|1||xy – Victoria Grizzlies||58||36||18||0||4||76||3||231||188||43||0.655||628|
|2||x – Powell River Kings||58||34||21||2||1||71||1||217||180||37||0.612||694|
|3||x – Nanaimo Clippers||58||27||30||1||0||55||6||180||213||-33||0.474||750|
|4||x – Alberni Valley Bulldogs||58||21||34||3||0||45||3||156||199||-43||0.388||679|
|5||x – Cowichan Valley Capitals||58||17||35||5||1||40||1||159||220||-61||0.345||942|
|1||xyz – Chilliwack Chiefs||58||42||15||1||0||85||4||209||169||40||0.733||726|
|2||x – Prince George Spruce Kings||58||39||13||1||5||84||2||181||120||61||0.724||536|
|3||x – Coquitlam Express||58||28||24||3||3||62||3||209||198||11||0.534||640|
|4||x – Langley Rivermen||58||27||27||2||2||58||1||167||173||-6||0.5||795|
|1||xy – Penticton Vees||58||37||16||3||2||79||2||200||143||57||0.681||617|
|2||x – Merritt Centennials||58||36||15||4||3||79||5||220||182||38||0.681||817|
|3||x – Wenatchee Wild||58||32||20||2||4||70||5||202||170||32||0.603||549|
|4||x – Vernon Vipers||58||26||21||8||3||63||2||166||160||6||0.543||659|
|5||x – Salmon Arm Silverbacks||58||27||26||4||1||59||4||170||203||-33||0.509||713|
|6||x – West Kelowna Warriors||58||28||28||1||1||58||3||210||220||-10||0.500||669|
|7||x – Trail Smoke Eaters||58||23||24||8||3||57||3||184||207||-23||0.491||664|
Final Scoring Stats:
2001 born Alex Newhook (St. John’s, NF) 0f the Victoria Grizzlies finished with spectacular 12 points over his last three games to win the scoring title by 18 points over #2, 1998 born Ryan Brushett of the West Kelowna Warriors (Verdun, QC).
North Vancouver defenseman Carter Berger (99) of the Victoria Grizzlies finished as the top ranked BC raised player, notching 27G-26A for 63 points, to finish #9 overall in the scoring race.
Four other BC players finished in the Top 20, including three 20 year olds, #11 Chase Dubois, #13 Ben Brar, #18 Nicholas Wicks, and 2001 born Harrison Blaisdell at #19.
|1||Alex Newhook||’01||VIC||53||38||64||102||1.92||St.John’s, NL|
|2||Ryan Brushett||’98||PR||55||41||43||84||1.53||Verdun, QC|
|3||Mike Hardman||’99||WK||58||39||33||72||1.24||Hanover, MA|
|4||Dustin Manz||’99||PG||58||33||37||70||1.21||Vanderbilt, MI|
|5||Matt Holmes||’99||CHW||54||28||40||68||1.26||Rye, NY|
|6||Bradley Cocca||’99||MER||58||23||45||68||1.17||Mississauga , ON|
|7||Alexander Campbell||’01||VIC||53||21||46||67||1.26||Chateauguay, QC|
|8||Kevin Wall||’00||CHW||49||31||33||64||1.31||Fairport, NY|
|9||Carter Berger||’99||VIC||54||27||36||63||1.17||North Vancouver, BC|
|10||Levi Glasman (total) +||’99||PR||58||24||39||63||1.09||Lacombe, AB|
|11||Chase Dubois||’98||WK||58||21||41||62||1.07||Williams Lake, BC|
|12||James Miller||’98||PEN||58||18||44||62||1.07||Spruce Grove, AB|
|13||Ben Brar||’98||PG||57||35||26||61||1.07||Abbotsford, BC|
|14||Mathieu Gosselin||’99||MER||53||22||38||60||1.13||Quebec City, QC|
|15||David Silye||’99||PEN||54||21||39||60||1.11||Arnprior, ON|
|16||Nick Granowicz||’98||MER||58||32||27||59||1.02||Macomb, MI|
|17||Ryan Miotto (total) +||’99||AV||54||20||39||59||1.09||Thorold, ON|
|18||Nicholas Wicks||’98||MER||58||18||41||59||1.02||Delta, BC|
|19||Harrison Blaisdell||’01||CHW||51||33||25||58||1.14||Abbotsford, BC|
|20||Matthew Verboon||’00||SA||50||28||30||58||1.16||Richmond Hill, ON|
Top Goalies – Final Stats, by GGA
Prince George Spruce Kings’ Logan Newton, of Brighton, Michigan (99), finished at the top of the BCHL goalie stats page at the end of the regular season with an amazing 1.92 GGA average, and .914 save percentage in 47 games played, and most minutes logged overall.
Jack LaFontaine of the Penticton Vees (98, Mississauga) had the second best GGA at 2.19, while Kurtis Chapman of Wenatchee posted the best save percentage, at .933, and fourth best 2.53 GGA.
Victoria’s Cal Sandquist (01, Evergreen, CO) at #3, with 2.48 GGA and .890 save percentage is the youngest goalie in the Top 20, and the only 2001 born.
Chilliwack’s Mathieu Caron an Abbotsford native, (00) is the top ranked BC goalie, at #6 overall with a 2.71 GGA and a 914 save percentage.