December 20, 2015
After a few weeks of no shifting in the BCHL standings, a couple of teams have moved around their divisions a bit.
Most notably, the Trail Smoke-Eaters have passed the Vernon Vipers and now hold the final playoff spot in the Interior division.
Here’s what’s been going on around the British Columbia Hockey League this week.
Every team in the Interior outside of the Vipers picked up wins last week. Salmon Arm picked up a single win in two games, while Penticton, West Kelowna, and Merritt all picked up two wins.
Trail had five games last week, winning three of them and taking a one point lead over the Vipers for fourth in the division. The Smoke-Eaters still have two games in hand on the Vipers, who have lost three straight games, and seven of their last nine.
Merritt picked up a couple wins at the end of the week but still have a bit of a climb ahead of them if they want to make the playoffs in the Interior.
Every team but the Powell River Kings picked up wins last week in the Island division. Just like the Vipers in the Interior, that resulted in the Kings dropping a spot in the standings.
The Cowichan Valley Capitals moved up after going 2-2 in four games last week. The Kings now sit three points back of the second place Capitals in the division with three games in hand, so this battle will be one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Another interesting battle is for the final playoff spot, between the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the Victoria Grizzlies. The Bulldogs sit three points behind the Grizzlies, but also have three games in hand.
Continuing the trend, every team in the Mainland division picked up wins, except the Surrey Eagles.
Things are continuing to go smoothly for the Chilliwack Chiefs and Wenatchee Wild. The Chiefs have the second-best record in the league, and the Wild have managed to stay nipping at their heels throughout the course of the year.
The Langley Rivermen sit comfortably in third, six points between them and the closest team, above or below.
The final playoff spot is locked down by the Coquitlam Express, who are fifteen points ahead of the fifth place Prince George Spruce Kings.
The Spruce Kings picked up a 3-0 win against the Capitals to close out their week, while the Eagles managed a tie vs the Rivermen for their only point in the week.
Sheldon Rempal (NAN) had three points in three games last week and now has 75 points to lead the BCHL.
Scott Conway (PEN) picked up five points in three games and now has 69 points for second in league scoring.
Penticton’s Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro were in Coburg for the week with the Canada West at the WJAC, where they were key players in winning Gold vs Russia.
Jost is the only player to average over two points per game this season. Fabbro averages 1.6 points/game, miles ahead of any other defenseman.
Matthew Hoover (NAN) had six points in three games last week to jump a couple of spots to fourth in league scoring.
The top six scorers in the league all come from the Clippers and the Vees.
Vimal Sukumaran (CHI) and Easton Brodzinski (PEN) are tied for the rookie scoring race with 42 points each.
Top 10 BCHL Scoring Leaders:
|Sheldon Rempal (NAN)||37||38||37||75|
|Scott Conway (PEN)||34||31||38||69|
|Tyson Jost (PEN)||30||24||37||61|
|Matthew Hoover (NAN)||37||27||25||52|
|Devin Brosseau (NAN)||37||16||35||51|
|Colton Kerfoot (COQ)||36||17||31||48|
|J. Kawaguchi (CHI)||33||24||20||44|
|Colin Grannary (MER)||36||21||23||44|
|Liam Blackburn (WK)||36||18||26||44|
|Jackson Cressey (COQ)||30||20||23||43|
Jeff Smith (PR) and Matthew Galajda (VIC) have been solid starters for their respective teams, leading the Kings and the Grizzlies to the two lowest goals against totals in the Island.
After getting Player of the Week last update, Evan Johnson (NAN) now appears on the top ten goalie list with a solid .912 Sv% and ten wins in 14 starts.
Storm Phaneuf (CV) has backstopped the Capitals to second in the Island with a solid .921 Sv%.
Top 10 BCHL Goalies (Based on GAA):
|Garrett Nieto (WEN)||8||5||1.85||.926|
|Z. Driscoll (PEN)||15||12||1.87||.937|
|Anthony Brodeur (PEN)||21||18||2.00||.933|
|Matteo Esposito (CHI)||14||9||2.06||.913|
|Brandon Kegler (SA)||10||6||2.26||.933|
|Aidan Pelino (CHI)||24||14||2.34||.919|
|Chase Perry (WEN)||29||16||2.34||.901|
|Jeff Smith (PR)||26||16||2.45||.929|
|Matthew Galajda (VIC)||28||12||2.50||.911|
|Evan Johnson (NAN)||14||10||2.60||.912|
Player of the Week
Player of the Week honours last week went to Elijiah Barriga for producing when it counted most for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
He started things off with a three-point night, including the game winner in a 5-2 win over Vernon.
Barriga followed that up with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over league-best Penticton.
In the final game of the week, also against Penticton, Barriga scored late in the game to force overtime in what was eventually a 4-3 double OT loss.
In his first BCHL season, Barriga has 20 points (10-10) in 33 games for the Silverbacks.