Since last week, not much has changed in terms of team standings in the Interior division. The Penticton Vees (18-1-0-0) continue to dominate the division and league as a whole, collecting three wins last week to stretch their win streak to a whopping 18 games.
The Vees are also #1 on the CJHL weekly top 20 rankings, up from #2 a week ago.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Merritt Centennials (6-13-0-1) lost all three of their games last week, to extend their losing streak to a league-worst seven straight games. In fairness, two of those three losses were against the Vees, and the other was a tightly contested 5-4 loss against Salmon Arm (11-4-2-1). So Merritt’s downward trend may have more to do with facing tougher opponents than usual. No matter the opponent, the Centennials will surely need to improve their league-worst 59.78% penalty kill to turn things around.
The West Kelowna Warriors (11-5-0-2) had a great week, winning all three of their games, including two crucial back-to-back victories over Salmon Arm. The Warriors are now just one point back of the Silverbacks for 2nd in the Interior.
The most notable difference in the Island division is the Powell River Kings (10-9-0-0) going from top spot to third. After starting the year 10-3, they’ve lost six straight games. Their three losses this past week included two against the Cowichan Valley Capitals (10-5-1-2).
The Capitals, with 6-3 and 7-5 victories over the Kings this week, have taken top spot of the division. They don’t have to look far over their shoulder to see the Nanaimo Clippers (11-7-0-0) hot on their trail. Both the Clippers and the Capitals have a game in hand on the Kings.
The Mainland division is probably the tightest of the three in the standings. The Wenatchee Wild (11-5-2-1) are currently seeded atop the division, but the Chilliwack Chiefs (10-5-1-2) and the Langley Rivermen (11-6-0-0) are not far behind and have games in hand.
The Chiefs won their two games last week, and have now won four straight. In those four games the Chiefs have outscored their opponents 18-4.
The Rivermen beat the Coquitlam Express (7-8-1-2) by a score of 6-3 on Friday, the only game of the week for both teams. The loss for the Express puts a five point gap between themselves and the top three teams in the division.
The Surrey Eagles (4-14-0-0) continue to struggle. They’ve lost five straight and in their last three games they have allowed 22 goals. Prince George (5-12-0-1) captured a 3-2 win this week against the division-leading Wild.
Sheldon Rempal put up six points in three games this week for the Clippers, moving him up to 36 points. He, along with Vees forwards Tyson Jost (38) and Spencer Conway (37), are in a three-horse race for the scoring title.
Matthew Hoover is tied for fourth in league scoring with 25 points, now a full eleven points behind his teammate Rempal for third. Hoover is without a point in his last three games. Five players currently have 25 points.
Capitals forward Ryan Burton has goals in four straight games, and 19 points in 18 games.
The rookie scoring race is still led by Chilliwack’s Vimal Sukumuran, who has 25 points. Penticton’s Easton Brodzinski is just one point behind him.
Dante Fabbro and Yanni Kaldis lead defensemen with 22 points each, though Fabbro has played five games less than Kaldis.
Top 10 BCHL Scoring Leaders:
|Tyson Jost (PEN)||19||16||22||38|
|Scott Conway (PEN)||19||16||21||37|
|Sheldon Rempal (NAN)||18||16||20||36|
|Matthew Hoover (NAN)||18||15||10||25|
|Vimal Sukumaran (CHI)||18||14||11||25|
|Jackson Cressey (COQ)||17||11||14||25|
|Liam Blackburn (WK)||18||10||15||25|
|Devin Brosseau (NAN)||18||7||18||25|
|E. Brodzinski (PEN)||19||15||9||24|
|Nick Hutchison (SA)||18||10||14||24|
Zachary Driscoll had two great games for Penticton and now leads all goalies in both G.A.A and SV%. Both he and Anthony Brodeur have contributed to a powerhouse Vees team.
Salmon Arm’s backup Brandon Kegler has posted an impressive .942 SV% in four appearances this season.
Jeff Smith’s numbers have dipped slightly due to Powell River’s recent slide, although that is more due to a lack of offense.
Rookie goalies Matteo Esposito, Nickolas Trenciansky, and Johnathan Reinhart are all having solid starts to their BCHL careers. All three have a .915 SV% in at least eight games played.
Top 10 BCHL Goalies (Based on GAA):
|Z. Driscoll (PEN)||6||6||1.67||.946|
|Anthony Brodeur (PEN)||12||11||1.77||.932|
|Garrett Nieto (WEN)||3||2||2.01||.918|
|Brandon Kegler (SA)||4||1||2.09||.942|
|Bo Didur (LAN)||9||5||2.15||.939|
|Matteo Esposito (CHI)||9||5||2.23||.915|
|Jeff Smith (PR)||14||8||2.33||.932|
|Chase Perry (WEN)||16||9||2.35||.901|
|A. Shortridge (VER)||13||8||2.48||.931|
|Stephen Heslop (WK)||6||3||2.52||.903|
Player of the Week – Zachary Driscoll
As aforementioned, Zachary Driscoll had two exceptional games for the Penticton Vees to earn him Player of the Week honours.
He earned his first BCHL shutout when he turned aside 27 shots in a 3-0 win against Merritt. Driscoll followed that up with a 48 save performance as part of a 6-1 win over Trail. He was awarded first star in both games.
Driscoll now has a record of 6-0 and leads all BCHL goaltenders with a .946 SV% and a GAA of 1.67.