One change in the Interior Division standings from last week, as the Trail Smoke-Eaters move above the Merritt Centennials at the bottom of the standings. Both teams have 18 points, trailing fourth place Vernon by 5 pts, but the Smoke-Eaters have four games in hand.
The Centennials have been in a downward spiral lately, having won just two of their last thirteen games. They snapped their seven game losing streak with a win against West Kelowna, but have lost the last three since then. Merritt will try to snap that streak on November 18th, when they play Vernon Vipers. The Centennials won the last meeting against the Vipers, 4-1.
23 games in, and still, nobody has an answer for the Penticton Vees. After losing the opener, the defending champs have won 22 straight games. They have scored the most goals (101) and also allowed the fewest (43), an incredible 23 fewer than second place Salmon Arm. On top of that, they have the league-leaders in scoring for both forwards and defencemen. Not surprisingly, their goaltenders (Brodeur and Driscoll) are among the league leaders in Sv% and G.A.A.
If any team is capable of slowing down the Vees, they have yet to show it.
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks continue to be a strong team, with just 5 losses in 23 games, and hold a solid 13 point lead over third place West Kelowna.
The standings in the Island Division continue to be extremely tight. First place Cowichan Valley is separated from last place Alberni Valley by only nine points. In contrast, Penticton has an eleven point lead over the second-place Silverbacks in the Interior. On the Island, every team’s goal-differential is within +/- 20, illustrating just how evenly matched these teams are over the first 23 games.
The Cowichan Valley Capitals are still holding down first-place, and have actually increased their lead on the Nanaimo Clippers from last week from one point to two. Just three points separate the Clippers from the third place Powell River Kings, and only three points separate the Kings from fourth place Victoria Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies have edged ahead of the fifth place Alberni Valley Bulldogs by a single point for the time being, but the Bulldogs have three games in hand.
Expect the teams in the Island Division to bounce around a bit in the next few weeks.
There’s a new Mainland division leader, and it’s the hottest team outside of Penticton, the Chilliwack Chiefs.
The Chiefs have won nine straight games, and eleven of their last twelve. Vimal Sukumaran has continued to excel for the Chiefs as a rookie, and Jordan Kawaguchi and Darien Craighead have also been key contributors to a strong Chiefs offense.
Despite the recent winning streak, the Wenatchee Wild are hot on their heels, just one point back.
After the top two, the standings aren’t all that close. Langley and Coquitlam have strong holds on third and fourth place but are eight and eleven points back of second place Wenatchee.
Prince George and Surrey bring up the rear. Prince George has passed Surrey, as the Eagles have now lost 11 straight games, the longest losing streak of any team this season, and have just four wins, 25 points back of first place.
The top three remain unchanged, Penticton’s Tyson Jost (1998) remains on top with 46 points, with the Clippers’ Sheldon Rempal (1995) just one point behind. Vees’ Scott Conway (1995, ex Big 10) is third with 41, and is also on a twenty game point streak.
The Vees captain, Dante Fabbro (1998) leads all defencemen with an impressive 27 points in 17 games. He’s also on a 15-game point streak, elite territory for a defenceman. Both Jost and Fabbro breaking ground for the team, and league, as prospective first round NHL draft prospects.
Chiefs’ Vimal Sukumaran (1996) still leads all league rookies in scoring with 29 points. Penticton’s rookie Easton Brodzinski (1996) is just one point behind with 28.
Coquitlam’s Colton Kerfoot (1996) and Langley’s Matthew Graham (1995) have climbed into the top ten scorers after having solid weeks.
Top 10 BCHL Scoring Leaders:
|Tyson Jost (PEN)||23||21||25||46|
|Sheldon Rempal (NAN)||24||19||26||45|
|Scott Conway (PEN)||21||16||25||41|
|Devin Brosseau (NAN)||24||11||21||32|
|Matthew Hoover (NAN)||24||18||13||31|
|Vimal Sukumaran (CHI)||21||17||12||29|
|Matthew Graham (LAN)||24||14||15||29|
|Colton Kerfoot (COQ)||22||11||18||29|
|Nick Hutchison (SA)||23||11||18||29|
|E. Brodzinski (PEN)||23||18||10||28|
When looking at starting goalies, Anthony Brodeur for the Vees has the best statistics, which makes sense being on a team that’s currently 23-1.
Jeff Smith has been the MVP for Powell River, and is arguably the best goalie in the league, posting a .929 Sv% through 17 appearances on an average Kings team.
Vernon’s Andrew Shortridge (.927) and Chilliwack’s tandem of Aiden Pelino (.922) and Matteo Esposito (.916) round out the goaltenders from the top four defensive teams in the BCHL.
Vees’ backup Zachary Driscoll has the highest save percentage of any goaltender (.941).
Top 10 BCHL Goalies (Based on GAA):
|Anthony Brodeur (PEN)||14||13||1.72||.939|
|Z. Driscoll (PEN)||8||8||1.75||.941|
|Garrett Nieto (WEN)||4||3||2.01||.921|
|Matteo Esposito (CHI)||10||6||2.08||.916|
|Brandon Kegler (SA)||6||3||2.26||.936|
|Aidan Pelino (CHI)||16||9||2.26||.922|
|Chase Perry (WEN)||19||11||2.29||.902|
|Jeff Smith (PR)||17||10||2.46||.929|
|A. Shortridge (VER)||15||9||2.54||.927|
|C. Schamerhorn (AV)||11||5||2.67||.905|
Player of the Week
The streak of goalies as Player of the Week is over, thanks to Cowichan Valley Capitals’ Ryan Burton (1996).
Burton had six points in three games in the week, helping the Capitals pick up four of six points on the road.
He had a goal and added two helpers in a 6-1 win over Trail. Burton didn’t collect a point in the next game, a loss against Penticton, but he rebounded with a two goal, one assist performance, including the OT winner in a 3-2 win over Merritt.
A Thunder Bay Ontario native, Ryan Burton has 26 points in 23 games this season.