Once again this week there are no changes in the BCHL divisional standings. However, there were a couple winning streaks broken over the past few days.
The Powell River Kings had their five-game win streak snapped, while the Nanaimo Clippers were winners of ten straight before losing to the West Kelowna Warriors.
Lots going on as always, here’s your BCHL weekly update.
The Penticton Vees remain atop the Interior Division, winning and losing a game against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks last week.
The Vees are without F Tyson Jost and D Dante Fabbro as both are currently playing for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. That tournament is taking place in Ontario and running until December 19th, so the Vees will have to survive another week without two of their biggest contributors.
The Silverbacks picked up two wins to go along with a loss and an overtime loss to stay a comfortable six points up on the Warriors.
The Trail Smoke-Eaters are continuing to gain on the Vernon Vipers. The Smoke-Eaters are on a three-game win streak (longest active BCHL streak), they have four games in hand on the Vipers, and are just four points behind. The two teams play each other in what could be a crucial game on Wednesday, Dec. 16th.
The Clippers have pulled even farther ahead of the Island Division after their ten game win streak. Even after their recent loss to the Warriors, they still sit eight points above the Kings.
It’s a battle for second place now as the Kings picked up two points in three games while the Cowichan Valley Capitals picked up three points in two games. Both clubs have 37 points, with the Capitals having played one extra game.
It’s a tight battle for the final playoff spot. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are three points back of the Victoria Grizzlies but have three games in hand. The Grizzlies were able to win a crucial 4-2 game against the Bulldogs, but the Grizzlies lost their next game while the Bulldogs were victorious in theirs.
Of all the divisions, the Island looks the most poised to have some shifts in the standings in the weeks to come.
The Mainland division looks very similar to how it did last week, spare a few minor shifts.
The Chilliwack Chiefs and the Wenatchee Wild both got back to their winning ways, each picking up a a pair of wins to maintain their lead as the top two teams in the Mainland.
The Langley Rivermen lost their lone game last week while the Coquitlam Express picked up five points in four games. That closes the gap between the two to just three points, though the Rivermen do have a few games in hand, so that lead is safe for now.
Neither the Prince George Spruce Kings nor the Surrey Eagles were able to collect a point last week, and extended their losing streaks to three and six games, repsectively.
With Tyson Jost playing for Canada West, the door opened up for Scott Conway or Sheldon Rempal to run away with the BCHL scoring lead.
Rempal wasted no time and had an absolutely insane week. He picked up eight goals and twelve points in just three games for the Clippers. That stretch included a five goal game in an 8-5 win over the Eagles. Rempal now averages over a goal per game, the only player in the BCHL to do so.
With Dante Fabbro also playing in the WJAC, Clippers’ Yanni Kaldis had ten points in three games to take the scoring lead among BCHL defensemen. Kaldis has 39 points in 34 games while Fabbro has 38 in just 24 games.
The rookie scoring race is as tight as ever. Chiefs’ Vimal Sukumaran retook the lead, as he has 39 points in just 29 games. Right behind him are Easton Brodzinski (PEN) and Austin McIlmurray (COQ) with 38 points.
Jordan Kawaguchi (CHI) has appeared on the list for the first time this season after putting up a three goal performance, a four goal performance, and a two point performance in his last three games.
Top 10 BCHL Scoring Leaders:
|Sheldon Rempal (NAN)||34||37||35||72|
|Scott Conway (PEN)||31||28||36||64|
|Tyson Jost (PEN)||30||24||37||61|
|Devin Brosseau (NAN)||34||14||35||49|
|Colton Kerfoot (COQ)||34||17||30||47|
|Matthew Hoover (NAN)||34||24||22||46|
|Jackson Cressey (COQ)||28||20||23||43|
|J. Kawaguchi (CHI)||30||23||18||41|
|Gavin Gould (MER)||30||19||22||41|
|Liam Blackburn (WK)||34||16||25||41|
Rookie goalie Garrett Nieto has been a reliable backup for the Wild this year, posting a .926 to go along with his five wins in eight games. His 1.85 GAA is the best in the BCHL. He and fellow rookie Chase Perry form a strong tandem for the Wild.
Vees goaltenders Anthony Brodeur and Zachary Driscoll both took slight hits to their numbers, but remain among the best in the league.
The Chiefs’ tandem of Aiden Pelino and Matteo Esposito continues to be among the best tandems in the BCHL.
Grizzlies’ starter Matthew Galajda appears on the top ten list for the first time. Playing on a team below .500, he’s got a very respectable 2.58 GAA and .909 Sv%.
Top 10 BCHL Goalies (Based on GAA):
|Garrett Nieto (WEN)||8||5||1.85||.926|
|Anthony Brodeur (PEN)||19||16||1.91||.934|
|Z. Driscoll (PEN)||14||12||1.93||.935|
|Matteo Esposito (CHI)||13||8||2.06||.914|
|Aidan Pelino (CHI)||22||13||2.28||.919|
|Brandon Kegler (SA)||9||5||2.30||.932|
|Chase Perry (WEN)||27||15||2.33||.901|
|Jeff Smith (PR)||25||16||2.39||.930|
|Matthew Galajda (VIC)||26||11||2.58||.909|
|Bo Didur (LAN)||17||9||2.71||.922|
Player of the Week
Back to the goalies for Player of the Week, and this time it’s new Clippers starter Evan Johnson.
He picked up three wins during the stretch while stopping 87 of 91 for a .956 Sv% during the Clippers ten game win streak.
Johnson made 28 saves in a 2-1 OT win over the Grizzlies, earning 2nd star honours.
He’d earn 1st star against the Chiefs a few nights later, saving 39 in another 2-1 OT win.
Since coming from Major Junior, the Clippers’ goalie has appeared in 12 games and has an 8-3-0 record.