Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Welcome to the November 13, 2018 edition of Around the BCHL.

Hair controversy in the BCHL?

It’s true, according to an article by Penticton Western News editor Kristi Patton. Patton points out a poll that was put on the league’s @goBCHL Twitter account last week, asking fans to identify the player with the best hair.

Ty Westgard (Surrey), Alex Newhook (Victoria), Regan Kimens (Coquitlam) and Diarmad DiMurro (Trail) were the candidates put forth, with Penticton’s Cassidy Bowes the most notable snub.

Bowes has left his hair uncut since the start of the season as he raises money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, pledging to not get a trim until the fundraising target of $9,292 is met.

He’s up to $3,224 so far and his flow is spectacular.

But, according to Patton’s article, the league excluded Bowes from the poll because he’s growing his hair out for a cause.

The Vees Twitter account immediately went to bat for Bowes and teammate Drew Elser, who is also rocking some great hockey hair.

No matter what happens the rest of the season, this is undoubtedly the story of 2018-19.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The Chilliwack Chiefs put a 10 on the scoreboard in a Monday afternoon road rout of the Surrey Eagles.

Cayden Bailey got the start in goal for Surrey, lasting three minutes and 58 seconds.

He faced three shots. All three got by him with Brett Willits scoring twice and Ethan Bowen adding a single. Willits and Bowen ended the game with hat-tricks. Cole Donhauser had a pair with Marcus Tesink and Will Dow-Kenny also scoring as the Chiefs improved their league-leading record to 18-7-0-0.

The Eagles fell to 6-19-0-1. Points-wise they’re tied with Cowichan for last overall, but their .250 win percentage is worst in the 17 team league. What’s most amazing about Surrey is their goals-against. Take away Monday’s game and the Eagles are still the only team to have coughed up more than 100 goals this season (111 without Chiliwack game, 121 with). Only one other team has given up more than 90 (Cowichan with 91).

If you’re looking for silver linings, Ty Westgard is fifth in BCHL scoring with nine goals and 33 points in 23 games.

But that’s about it, and Surrey’s situation could get a lot worse before it gets better.

One other note on the Eagles before moving on.

Surrey has played 11 games at home this season and has just one win. Something about the South Surrey Arena isn’t sitting right with the team this year. Away from home they are much better (only by comparison), with five wins in 15 games.

Normally a team would look at their schedule, see a home-heavy back half and be happy.

The Eagles might be the exception.

On the plus side, here’s Teddy Prior’s first BCHL goal, a small bright spot for Surrey in Monday’s Chilliwack romp.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Updating the Vernon Viper heartbreaking loss index with another defeat.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks beat Vernon by a 4-3 count in overtime Saturday night, with Olson Werenka scoring the winner. That’s six times the Vipers have fallen in OT this season. Add in two shootout losses and more than a third of their games in 2018-19 (23) have ended with a bad result in extra time. What makes the Salmon Arm loss even more heartbreaky is that Vernon rallied to tie the game with 1:08 to go in the final frame on a goal by Ben Helgeson.

Just when they thought a break had finally gone their way, they had the rug pulled out from under them, and you’ve got to think this might be getting into their heads.

I’ve pointed this out in a previous column, but had the Vipers picked up an extra point in half of their overtime and shootout losses, they’d be fourth in the division, three points out of first place. Instead they’re sixth, seven points back of the front-running Merritt Centennials.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Sticking with the Interior division and the Centennials, who continue to boast the league’s top offensive attack.

Merritt tagged the West Kelowna Warriors for eight goals in an 8-3 Remembrance Day win.

The Centennials have 99 goals on the season.

Checking the league leaders this morning, Merritt has three players inside the top seven. Bradley Cocca is third in the points race with 34. Nick Granowicz is fourth with 33 and Mathieu Gosselin is seventh with 30.

We’re only in mid-November but the Centennials already have five players who’ve hit double digits in goals; Cocca (12), Granowicz (18), Gosselin (13), Matthew Kopperud (10) and Rylan Van Unen (10). Brendan Schneider (nine) will join that list with his next goal.

Merritt’s big problem is the other end of the ice, where they continue to bleed goals against.

Only Surrey (121), Cowichan (91) and Trail (89) have given up more goals than the Centennials (87). They’ve been able to out-score those issues so far, but defensive play will tighten up league wide as teams shift into playoff-race mode in 2019, and offence-first clubs have a long history of fading down the stretch.

Merritt will need to fix their 200-foot game if they want to be anything more than a fun-to-watch also-ran next spring.

——————————————————————————————————————————

I was wondering when BCHL points and goals leader Kevin Wall would get an NCAA scholarship and it finally happened.

Wall has signed on with Penn State for the 2019-20 season, one of five BCHL players announcing college commitments over the last few days.

The dynamic Wenatchee duo of Christophe Fillion and Cristophe Tellier have both chosen Quinnipiac University and will join the Bobcats in 2020-21.

That’s hard work paying off for Fillion.

Long-named Cowichan defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis will become a problem for Rochester Institute of Technology radio and newspaper guys in 2020-21 and Powell River’s Ryan Brushett is set to join the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2019-20.

Eric Welsh is the sports editor at the Chilliwack Progress and has been covering junior A hockey in B.C. and Alberta since 2003.

Email eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

On the Wing: Christmas bird count reports, part 1

Haida Gwaii’s bird count report for Port Clements and Rose Spit

Queen Charlotte housing assessment jumps 31 per cent

Port Clements and Masset also see increases, according to B.C. Assessment

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: chief

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements

Power saving measures in effect on Haida Gwaii

B.C. Hydro asks residents to conserve electricity to avoid outages during cold weather

RCMP create access control checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road

Premier says Coastal GasLink project will proceed despite opposition

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Most Read