Welcome to the October 11, 2018 edition of Around the BCHL, a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.
We start today with another college commitment as West Kelowna’s Wyatt Head chooses Quinnipiac University.
The 1999-born blueliner is in his second full season with the Warriors, and is nearly point-per-game with four goals and six assists in 11 outings. Last season the six-foot-one and 175 pound defenceman posted three goals and 21 points in 58 games.
He’s a former top prospect with the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League’s Okanagan Rockets.
Head will join one of the top teams in the East Coast Athletic Conference. The Quinnipiac Bobcats had a down year in 2017-18 (6-27-4), but the program is only a couple seasons removed from its best year ever. In 2015-16, the Bobcats set a school record for wins (32), won their first-ever ECAC championship and advanced to the NCAA where they lost to North Dakota.
Quinnipiac has been a friend to the BCHL, and this year’s roster is full of BCHL grads.
Names you might recognize are Michael Lombardi (West Kelowna), Ethan de Jong (Prince George), Chase Priskie (Salmon Arm), Luke Shiplo (Vernon), Nick Jermain (Merritt), TJ Friedmann (Victoria), Craig Martin (Trail), Scott Davidson (Chilliwack), Desi Burgart (Surrey) and Andrew Shortridge (Vernon).
Seems like just yesterday I was writing about Trevor Peca joining the Chilliwack Chiefs.
It was actually last week, and Peca survived just four games in a Chiefs uni before being shuffled off to Trail. The son of ex-National Hockey Leaguer Mike Peca was shipped to the Smoke Eaters in a trade for future considerations.
“I’m thrilled to add Trevor Peca to our roster,” said Smoke Eaters head coach and general manager Jeff Tambellini in a news release, “Trevor is a strong two-way forward who can play anywhere in our lineup. We believe he will be a great fit for our team, and our organization will help prepare him for his transition to the University of Miami Ohio.”
Peca is committed to the University of Miami-Ohio for the 2019-20 season.
He had one goal, one assist and six penalty minutes in his four games with Chilliwack.
To make room on Trail’s roster, Tambellini cut loose 18 year old forward Logan Harris, an Anaheim native who had no points and six PIMs in seven games.
I’ve seen teams do lots of interesting things since pink became symbolic of the fight against breast cancer.
Pink tape. Pink gloves. Even pink skates. But the Salmon Arm Silverbacks went next-level during a game last weekend against the West Kelowna Warriors.
Check out this pic from Jodi Brak at the Salmon Arm Observer.
Is there a captain’s curse with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The team released Tyler Vanuden last weekend, just one month after sewing the C onto his sweater.
It’s a continuation of an alarming trend with the team.
According to this article in the Alberni Valley News, Vanuden is the fourth Bulldogs captain in the last few seasons to be traded or released.
Uneasy times for whoever’s named captain next.
I mentioned in Tuesday’s column that the Wenatchee Wild are finally back home after playing their first 11 games on the road.
The team finally gets to raise its BCHL championship banner to the rafters of the Town Toyota Centre as they host the Nanaimo Clippers.
The players get rings. Fans get free cowbells and everyone is super excited.
Another BCHL grad has scored his first National Hockey League goal, but the stories of Dennis Cholowski and Ben Street are very, very different.
Cholowski is 20 years old, a first round draft pick and lit the lamp in his first ever NHL game.
Street is a 31 year old undrafted player who’s been kicking around the minor leagues since 2010-11 and went without a goal in 38 previous big-league games with Calgary/Colorado/Detroit before finally getting one Wednesday night.
Playing for the Anaheim Ducks against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Coquitlam kid and Salmon Arm Silverbacks alum flew down the left wing and squeezed a short side shot past Yotes stopper Aanti Raanta.
ARI@ANA: Street goes short side for first NHL goal https://t.co/pW4SINyndm— NHL Goal Tracker (@NHLGoalTracker) October 11, 2018
A great moment that he’ll never forget.
Eric Welsh is the sports editor at the Chilliwack Progress and has been covering junior A hockey in B.C. and Alberta since 2003.