Saturday, December 31, 2011

Salmon Arm-Coquitlam Trade:


Salmon Arm and Coquitlam hooked up on a trade late Thursday night with D Taylor Love going to the Silverbacks for future considerations. There's been no confirmation of the deal on either team's website, nor under 'Transactions' on the BCHL site, but the Express did confirm it on their Twitter account and Love made his Silverbacks debut on Friday against Vernon.

To Salmon Arm:
D Taylor Love (92)

To Coquitlam:
Future Considerations

Penticton Signs Former Surrey Defenceman D.J. Jones:


Two weeks after being released by Surrey following the Eagles signing of F Trevor Cameron, D D.J. Jones (92) has been signed by Penticton as a free agent.

The Wayzata, Minnesota native had been practicing with the Vees prior to the Christmas break on a tryout of sorts. Jones is a former teammate of Penticton star Mario Lucia.

Here are the stats on Jones:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Former BCHL Forward Matt Siddall Signs With Medvescak Zagreb:

 

Former Powell River Kings and Langley Hornets F Matt Siddall has left the Fife Flyers of the British Elite Hockey League, where he was a player/assistant coach, and joined Medvescak Zagreb of the Erste Bank Hockey League (Austria).

Here's the line on Siddall:

Matt Siddall new players in Zagreb bears BRLOGA

And although loosely translated, here's the release from Medvescak's website:

Canadian Matt Siddall new reinforcement Zagreb bears. The 27-year-old hockey player was born in Vancouver, where he made the first hockey steps.

The KHL Zagreb Centar comes from the British EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) team Fife Flyers in which this season has played 32 matches and reached 31 points.

Siddall has played four seasons for the University of Northern Michigan, where he played with the new-old team-mate Geoff Waugh. That same season, when he entered college, Siddall has been selected and the NHL Draft pick as''270''9-round draft pick by the Atlanta Trashers (now Winnipeg Jets). In four seasons playing in the NCAA college-division has appeared in 147 games and scored 76 points.

Since the 2008/2009 season. to 2010/2011. Siddall has played 20 games in the AHL in the Chicago Wolves, and even 177 games in the ECHL in playing for the team's Gwinnett Gladiators and Victoria Salmon Kings. In the season 2011/2012. signed to EIHL team Fife Flyers in which he was the assistant coach.

Matt Siddall comes in Zagreb as the third replacement of the season. Unfortunately due to severe injuries Pascal Morencya, we were forced to look for players who will replace him, take his position and strengthen the team. Siddall is a player who a lot of work for the team on the ice and off ice, and we believe will be a valuable member of the team, but also the community. We hope that you will quickly fit in, and even faster to play with his new teammates - said in front of the KHL Zagreb Centar general manager of the club Markoantonio Belinić.

It is expected that Matt Siddall to join the team Monday, the 2nd January, and its premiere in front of Zagreb's audience should have the first match in the Arena Ice Fever spectacle against Slovenian Acroni Jesenice.

Counting BCHL Alumni in the NHL:




Many following the BC Hockey League count it as the best junior 'A' league in Canada and it got me thinking about how many current NHL rosters feature alumni from the BCHL.

Alan at the "Small Thoughts At Large" blog did the same calculation for the WHL, so I thought I would for the BCHL.

Number of Alumni in the NHL by BCHL Franchise:

Coquitlam: 5
Nanaimo: 5
Penticton: 5
Salmon Arm: 3
Alberni Valley: 2
Chilliwack: 2
Langley: 2
Surrey: 2
Vernon: 2
Victoria: 2
Kelowna: 1
Powell River: 1
Prince George: 1

And the team-by-team listing of each player, with their current NHL club:

Coquitlam (5): (Milan Lucic - Boston, David Jones - Colorado, Brandon Yip - Colorado, Kyle Turris - Ottawa, Andrew Ladd - Winnipeg)
Nanaimo (5): (Ryan O'Byrne - Colorado, Jason Garrison - Florida, Colin Greening - Ottawa, Byron Bitz - Vancouver, Tanner Glass - Winnipeg)
Penticton (5): (Brendan Morrison - Calgary, Zac Dalpe - Carolina, Duncan Keith - Chicago, Chuck Kobasew - Colorado, Ryan Johansen - Columbus)
Salmon Arm (3): (Riley Nash - Carolina, Travis Zajac - New Jersey, Andrew Ebbett - Vancouver)
Alberni Valley (2): (Paul Gaustad - Buffalo, Harry Zolnierczyk - Philadelphia)
Chilliwack (2): (Carey Price - Montreal, Brett Festerling - Winnipeg)
Langley (2): (Shawn Horcoff - Edmonton, David Van Der Gulik - Colorado)
Surrey (2): (Ben Maxwell - Anaheim, Scott Gomez - Montreal)
Vernon (2): (Mike Santorelli - Florida, Aaron Volpatti - Vancouver)
Victoria (2): (Jamie Benn - Dallas, Tyler Bozak - Toronto)
Kelowna (1): (Willie Mitchell - Los Angeles)
Powell River (1): (Clayton Stoner - Minnesota)
Prince George (1): (Rod Pelley - Anaheim)

Couple notes:

- Remember that these are FRANCHISE counts. So the Chilliwack count includes players who may only have played with the Quesnel Millionaires and the Langley count includes former Chilliwack Chiefs players.

- Players who played for more than one BCHL team are credited to the franchise they made the biggest impact with.

- There are four BCHL teams which don't feature an alumni in the NHL: Cowichan Valley, Merritt, Trail and Westside.

- And lastly, this is a snapshot in time only. Obviously there are many other BCHL alumni who are currently in the AHL and who may even have played games in the NHL this season, but they are not currently on NHL rosters TODAY and therefore they aren't counting in these totals.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chilliwack Defenceman David Thompson Commits to Penn State:


The Chilliwack Chiefs have their first college commitment since relocating from Quesnel as D David Thompson (92) has accepted a scholarship to Penn State University.

The Pennsylvania native won't head to his home state for school until the Fall of 2013, so the Chiefs will have his services for one more season after 2011-12.

D David Thompson (92)

Here's the official release from the Chiefs website:

The Chilliwack Chiefs organization would like to congratulate defenseman David Thompson on his acceptance of a scholarship to Penn State University beginning with the 2013-14 season.

Thompson, in his second BCHL season leads all Chiefs defensemen in scoring with four goals and 12 assists in 31 games.

"He's just settling in to become a nasty player to play against with all kinds of ability," said Chiefs Head Coach HarveySmyl. "He's very deserving of this scholarship. It's nice to see him rewarded for all his hard work."

Forward Ben Greiner Signs With Langley:


After speculating where F Ben Greiner (93) would wind up after being released from Surrey following the Eagles signing of F Trevor Cameron (92), he's now resurfaced with the Langley Rivermen.

Despite reports that Greiner played with the Rivermen last night in their 6-1 loss to Cowichan Valley, there's no evidence on either Langley's roster or the box score from the game. Regardless, he is listed on the Rivermen's roster.

F Ben Greiner (93)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merritt Defenceman Brandon Pfeil Commits to Brown University:

 

The Merritt Centennials have their second commitment for the 2012-13 season as now D Brandon Pfeil (92) is off to Brown University starting in September. Pfeil is the second Cents' defenceman to commit as well, after Reece Willcox committed to Cornell University two weeks ago.

Here's the line on Pfeil:

Here's the release from the Cents' website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Merritt, BC - December 28, 2011

The Merritt Centennials are please to announce the commitment of defenceman Brandon Pfeil to Brown University starting with the 2012-13 season.

Pfeil has played 83 games over the last two seasons with the Cents and has already eclipsed his point total from the 2010-11 season. To this point in his BCHL career, the 6'2" West Vancouver native has posted 13 goals and 27 assists. Three of his career goals have been game-winners. Pfeil also had 1 goal in 4 playoff games last season.


"As an organization we are extremely proud of Brandon’s commitment to Brown University next season," said Cents GM and Head Coach Luke Pierce. "Brandon has come a long way and established himself as an elite defenceman in our league."

"He is vital to our success and has provided significant offence from our blueline," Pierce continued. "Brandon is the second player in as many weeks to commit to an Ivy League school and much like Reece Willcox, his hard work both in the classroom and on the ice has provided him this fantastic opportunity."

"Brandon has been an excellent representative of the Merritt Centennials organization and will be very successful in his future endeavours," added Pierce. "We fully expect him to contribute immediately at Brown and to remain a key contributor to our line-up for the remainder of this season."

For further information, please contact Cents Head Coach and GM Luke Pierce at 250-378-3607.

The Merritt Centennials, proudly celebrating 39 seasons as the BCHL's longest continuously run franchise, is a non-profit, community owned Junior 'A' Hockey Club run by a dedicated team of investors, directors, and volunteers.

Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.merrittcentennials.com. In addition, stay connected with the Cents on Facebook (/merrittcentennials) and Twitter (@merrittcents)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BCHL Prospects Playing at Mac's Midget Tournament:



The annual Mac's Midget Tournament is underway in Calgary through to January 1st.

There are a number of players taking part who have skated in the BCHL this season as affiliate players/prospects. I've taken this format from the Small Thoughts At Large WHL blog.

If you are interested in following your team's prospects in this year's tourney, the Mac's website is linked earlier in this post and they'll have game summaries there as the tournament progresses.

And to help you know which prospects your team has in the tournament, here's the list of BCHL prospects in this year's tournament, by midget team. I've given the player name, his position and birth year and the BCHL team owning his AP rights for this season.

If I've missed a player or messed up some info on a player, corrections are most welcome.

Cariboo Cougars:
Chase Astorino (F-94) - Prince George
Hayden-James Berra (F-94) - Prince George
Tanner Fjellstrom (F-94) - Prince George
Eli Jarvis (F-95) - Powell River
Jake LeBrun (F-95) - Prince George
Tyler Povelofskie (F-96) - Prince George
Colby Braaten (D-94) - Prince George
Kenny Nordstrom (D-96) - Prince George
Nathan Warren (G-95) - Prince George

Greater Vancouver Canadians:
Matthew Ho (D-94) - Powell River

Valley West Hawks:
Sam Chatterley (F-95) - Surrey
Mitchell Friesen (F-96) - Surrey
Rhett Willcox (F-96) - Merritt
Latrell Charleson (D-95) - Prince George
Jordan Klimek (D-95) - Surrey
Justin Klimek (D-94) - Surrey
Jerret Smith (D-95) - Surrey

Vancouver Northeast Chiefs:
Truman Gonzales (F-95) - Cowichan Valley
Jace Hennig (F-95) - Coquitlam
Nick Hermary (F-95) - Coquitlam
Adam Rockwood (F-95) - Coquitlam
Jamie Waddington (F-94) - Cowichan Valley
Daniel Urbani (G-95) - Penticton

Vancouver Northwest Giants:
Mitch Crisanti (F-94) - Alberni Valley
Cam Marks (D-95) - Penticton

Upon looking at the players taking part in the tournament who are affiliated with BCHL clubs, there are a number of teams who don't have any representation. They are Chilliwack, Langley, Nanaimo, Salmon Arm, Trail, Vernon, Victoria and Westside.

Players in the tournament this year, by BCHL club:

Prince George: 9
Surrey: 5
Coquitlam: 3
Cowichan Valley: 2
Penticton: 2
Powell River: 2
Alberni Valley: 1
Merritt: 1

Former BCHL Defenceman Dave Simoes Signed By CHL's Missouri Mavericks:

D Dave Simoes, who played in the BCHL from 2001-06 with five different teams (Prince George, Williams Lake, Victoria, Merritt, Burnaby) has been signed by the Central Hockey League's Missouri Mavericks for the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

Here are the career statistics of the Vanderhoof native:

Here's the story on the signing from the Mavericks website:

December 27, 2011

MAVERICKS CONTINUE TO SHUFFLE ROSTER
Missouri signs defenseman Dave Simoes, trades defenseman and goaltender

INDEPENDENCE, Missouri – The Missouri Mavericks announced Tuesday the Central Hockey League (CHL) club has signed defenseman Dave Simoes, traded defenseman Zach Carriveau, and traded goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson to the Bloomington Blaze. The Mavericks also announcec forward Carlyle Lewis has been activated from injured reserve.

“This is a move that allows us to add stability and leadership to our hockey club,” said Mavericks’ Head Coach Scott Hillman. “We have been working very hard to improve the performance of our blue line, and David Simoes is a veteran of the CHL that our fans will appreciate. He plays a hard-nosed brand of hockey. We are excited to make this change and wish Zach and Brian great success with their new clubs. They both made significant contributions to our club in their short time with us.”

Simoes, 26 (3/9/85), returns to the CHL after starting this season with the Louisiana IceGators of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). In 17 games with the IceGators, the Vanderhoof, British Columbia native accounted for 10 points (2-8=10) and 38 penalty minutes.

Prior to playing in Louisiana, the 5-foot-10, 205-pound defenseman played the previous four seasons in the CHL with five different teams. Simoes has played in a total of 219 CHL contests with 47 points (10-37=47) and he has added 672 penalty minutes.

He played five seasons of junior hockey in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) before turning pro.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Farewell to Making Cents:

I know there hasn't been a lot of activity on the blog lately, and that's because my life has undergone some major changes.

You likely noticed the new header a couple of weeks ago which removed my references (at least graphically) to both the Centennials and Q101 and also introduced a new name for the blog. I also removed the Canucks logo too, but that had nothing to do with personal changes in my life or pledging allegiance to another NHL team. It's simply because I want Brian's Banter to be a hub for BCHL info and although I'll obviously mention the NHL, it won't be a focus at all.

As of last Friday, December 9th, I am no longer employed at Q101 in Merritt. I had an amazing nine and a half years there with Radio NL at first, and then with Q101 for the last two years, but this fall, an opportunity presented itself to me that I just couldn't give up. And with that, I started my new job as Assistant Instructor with BCIT's Radio Program and Operations Manager for Evolution 107.9 here in Burnaby.

How the new job affects me is that I've moved from Merritt to the Lower Mainland and although my accommodations are temporary right now, the move is a permanent one. I'm definitely going to miss everyone in Merritt who listened to the Brian Wiebe Morning Show for the last nine years and truly appreciate all the kind words and support.

How the new job affects the Centennials is that I'm no longer webmaster, etc. for the club, although I will continue to help on a volunteer basis with alumni information and media releases, etc. There are a number of things I can do from afar to maintain a good working relationship with the entire Cents organization and I plan to do those things as long as they let me.

And finally, the relocation from Merritt to the Lower Mainland affects the blog in that, as mentioned earlier, it's no longer going to be a strict Merritt focus. Over the last six months, I've been gradually moving towards a more broad BCHL focus anyway, that was my plan before this new job even came to fruition. That focus takes effect immediately, although I plan on still keeping the Centennials facts, etc. on the left hand side for now. They will likely be relocated in the future, just not right now.

I want to thank Elizabeth Laird, Al Clarke (who's been a Cents fan almost longer than anyone in the Nicola Valley) and everyone I've worked with during my time at Merritt Broadcasting Ltd. for encouraging and supporting the extensive BCHL and Centennials coverage on the air, not only during the morning show, but throughout the entire programming day - year round - with sports stories, promos, interviews, etc. I'm sure the coverage of the Cents in Merritt will continue to be second-to-none with Alex and Graham Turnbull at the station. I hope my replacement has even a fraction of as much interest in the BCHL and the Centennials as I do.

I also have to thank all of the play-by-play announcers I've had the priviledge of working with in Merritt. Starting out with Todd Miller (now voice of the Vernon Vipers), Marlon Martens (who I replaced on the morning show and is now calling Victoria Royals games), Keegan Goodrich (now working in media relations for Hockey Canada in Calgary) to Alex Grebenyuk, who's grown immensely as a broadcaster since I hired him four years ago. A huge thanks goes out to all past and current BCHL broadcasters as well for their cooperation.

Within the Cents organization, there are too many people over the years to mention who have been so helpful and accommodating (most of the time) to my requests. I apologize if I miss mentioning you, I assure you that it doesn't underscore your efforts nor diminish my appreciation of our time working together. From the Board of Directors level, special thanks - in no particular order - to Rick Mettler, Fred Riley, Saug Sekhon, Don Jones, Cathy Frizzell, Tom Reynolds, Patrick Lindsay, Josh Statham, John Morash, Gary Dixon, Jerry Canuel, Brian Barrett, Beth Nadeau, Betty Doberstein, Nonie Miyazaki, Frank Rizzardo, Tod Dean, Scott Hostrawser, Paul & Andrea Barnes, Frank Etchart, Harry Doberstein and Rusty Brewer just to name a few.

On the coaching level, I have to thank Al Glendinning, Joey Bouchard, Dylan Forsythe, Luke Pierce, Joe Martin, Joe Quewezance, Gilles Leberre, John Bradley, Bill Birks, Richard Molenaar, Tyler Forsythe, Chad DeLeeuw, Wayne Wittal, Kyla Knox, Jason Kitzan and Paul Ayotte. Again, I apologize if I've missed anyone.

There are countless volunteers who devote their precious time to the Centennials to ensure that they remain the BCHL's longest continuously-run franchise. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make my time in Merritt so enjoyable.

I've also had the pleasure of connecting with some of the Cents alumni through Facebook and it seems that almost all of them look fondly upon their time in Merritt, just as I will. It certainly seems that being involved on any level with the Centennials has left a positive impression on them and they consider themselves part of the community forever. I definitely consider Merritt a second home now and will always proudly talk of the Centennials and the efforts by all involved to keep the smallest market in the BCHL with a team.

One of the most-asked questions I've gotten since I've told people I am working at the station that carries Coquitlam Express games is whether my allegiances now shifts to that franchise. The short answer is no. I can't imagine myself cheering for any other team in the BCHL other than the Centennials. They are in different conferences, so we'll see how things go once I'm settled in.

And with this blog shifting from a Centennials focus, the door has opened for Alex to take over the Merritt aspect of blogging and you can find his blog at centscentral.blogspot.com. I know I'll be checking it every day!

So although this is the end of the "Making Cents" Merritt Centennials blog as you know it, this the beginning of what I hope becomes THE online source for all BCHL coverage (next to the official league site of course!) with "Brian's Banter". So please leave comments, share stories and share, tweet and Facebook anything you think anyone else might like to read. Thanks for stopping by!

Please make a note that very soon, the new URL for the blog will be http://bchlbriansbanter.blogspot.com. So change your bookmarks!

Cheers,
Brian

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cents Featured In Today's BCHL Insider Newsletter:

The Centennials are profiled in the BCHL Insider Newsletter as sent out by the league office today.

Cents In Rarified Air Of Interior Conference For The First Time In A Long Time

At this point, it seems unlikely anyone is going to catch the Penticton Vees for the Interior Conference lead. But the season is just approaching the halfway point and the team with the best shot at catching them is the Merritt Centennials.

Yes, you read that right. The Cents, who haven't had a winning record since the 2005-06 season and staggered to consecutive 13-win seasons in 2008 and 2009, are in second place with a 15-7-2-4 record.

Merritt native Luke Pierce, who really began putting his stamp on this club at the start of last season, is the youngest coach in the league at 28 but is already getting results with his hometown team.

"This all started at the beginning of last year," said Pierce. who was a forward in his playing days with the Cents and Vernon Vipers before going to school at Royal Military College for five seasons. "I don't think there's any real secret to it; it's a great bunch of kids and we're a balanced team."

While the team isn't a real high-scoring bunch, leaders Regan Soquila, Chad Brears and Evan Stack are reliable and every night it seems another player is making the difference.

"Throughout our lineup, I could name every guy and they've all contributed," said Pierce. "We try to use four lines as much as we can, our goalies (Lino Chimienti and Tyler Steel) are splitting (playing time) and that speaks to the unselfishness of our group, which is rare in today's game."

Still, there are some rough spots Pierce would like to iron out. The team has allowed more goals (90) than it has scored (88), and is second-last in the BCHL in both power play and penalty killing. Yet they're getting timely saves and goals and are 6-2-1-1 over their last 10 games.

"I think the goals for and against, obviously we didn't have a great start (to the season) and if you crop that out, we'd have a much better stat there," said Pierce. "We went a long stretch there without Reece Willcox (who was at the World Junior A Challenge) and Brandon Pfeil was hurt for a while. It's a part of our game we want to improve on. Every team has something they need to work on and that's ours."

And fans in the Nicola Valley have not failed to take notice. Attendance is up significantly over last year's average and some recent games have seen near-capacity crowds pack Nicola Valley Arena.

"It's been great," said Pierce. "The town is excited about it. The results have changed here but they just expect a good effort; that's what junior hockey is all about."

Former Centennials Defenceman Kevin Willison Named Head Coach of Alberni Valley Bulldogs::

This is posted on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs website today:

December 7th, 2011
For Immediate Release

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are pleased to announce Kevin Willison as the teams new Head Coach.

Kevin comes with a long history of playing and coaching in the professional and amateur levels. Kevin was drafted by the St. Louis Blues 72nd overall in the 1978 draft. He proceeded to have a tremendous career in the IHL playing seven seasons of Pro with Port Huron, Muskegon and Milwaukee. In 2004 his jersey was retired by the Milwaukee Admirals honouring his time with the club. He was twice awarded the Governors Trophy which is awarded to the top defensemen in the league. He also spent one season as the Head Coach of the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL and one season as the Head Coach of the Virginia Lancers of the East Coast Hockey League.

Kevin’s amateur coaching career spans from minor hockey in the city of Calgary for multiple years prior to taking on a position with the Edge School in Calgary as the Head Coach of their prep midget team where they were consistently a top team in western Canada. Most recently Kevin was the head coach of the Olds Grizzlies in the AJHL where he has just resigned from last week.

Kevin has coached young notable players such as Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers and Matt Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels who is an invitee to the Canadian World Junior Team along with the Bulldogs very own Brandon Halls.

“We are very excited to be able to find a coach of Kevin’s calibre at this time of year and believe he will bring with him the discipline, work ethic and experience that will give us a chance to be a playoff hockey club”, stated president Andy Oakes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cents Get Honourable Mention in CJHL Top 20:


For the second time this season, the Centennials received an honourable mention in the CJHL Top 20 rankings after a 1-1-1-0 record last week that included a win and tie against Vernon and a loss to Trail.

Here's the official release:

The Canadian Junior Hockey League today announced its Weekly Top 20 rankings. Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.
The weekly rankings are selected in consultation with NHL Central Scouting and are proudly presented by PlayingUpHockey.com:

  1. Woodstock Slammers(MHL) (1)
  2. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (2)
  3. Penticton Vees(BCHL) (4)
  4. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (5)
  5. Fort McMurray Oil Barons(AJHL) (3)
  6. Trenton Golden Hawks(OJHL) (6)
  7. Nepean Raiders (CCHL) (7)
  8. Dauphin Kings(MJHL) (9)
  9. Wisconsin Wilderness(SIJHL) (10)
  10. Newmarket Hurricanes(OJHL) (8)
  11. Soo Thunderbirds(NOJHL) (13)
  12. Brooks Bandits(AJHL) (14)
  13. Wellington Dukes(OJHL) (15)
  14. Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL) (17)
  15. Carleton Place Canadians(CCHL) (12)
  16. St. Michael’s Buzzers(OJHL) (11)
  17. Portage Terriers(MJHL) (16)
  18. Cowichan Valley Capitals (BCHL) (HM)
  19. Winnipeg Blues(MJHL) (19)
  20. Les Cougars du College Champlain - Sherbrooke(LHJAAAQ) (20)

Honourable Mention: Merritt Centennials (BCHL), Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL), Humboldt Broncos (SJHL), Georgetown Raiders (OJHL), Cornwall Colts (CCHL).

Weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the teams play, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.

The CJHL is comprised of the ten Junior A hockey leagues across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website. www.cjhlhockey.com

Friday, December 2, 2011

Summary of December 1st Moves:

Details are starting to trickle in about the trades made ahead of last night's roster deadline.

Although none of these moves have been confirmed by the BCHL, they've all been reported by the teams themselves or media outlets in the team's market.

As I continue to hear about more moves, I'll keep updating this thread. I did receive confirmation from Centennials Coach and GM Luke Pierce that he wasn't active in making any deals yesterday.

Prince George Spruce Kings-St. Albert Steel Trade

To Prince George:
G Ty Swabb (92)

To St. Albert:
F Stefan Bazar (92)

Westside Warriors-Okotoks Oilers Trade

To Westside:
F Marcus Basara (93)

To Okotoks:
F Tyler Krause (91)

+ Future Considerations

In addition to acquiring Basara, Westside also released F Taylor Fauchoux (92) and reassigned D Mitch Steinke (94) to the KIJHL's Kelowna Chiefs.

Trail Smoke Eaters-Nanaimo Clippers Trade

To Trail:
F Tanner Clarkson (93)

+ Future Considerations

To Nanaimo:
F Adam Boytinck (92)

D Nicholas Wong (91)

Nanaimo Clippers-Grande Prairie Storm Trade

To Nanaimo:
F Dan Correale (91)

F Mike Sones (92)

To Grande Prairie:
F Adam Boytinck (92) & D Nicholas Wong (91)

Victoria Grizzlies-OCN Blizzard Trade

To Victoria:
F Mike Collins (91)

To OCN Blizzard:
Future Considerations

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Salmon Arm Fires Assistant Coach Dan Cioffi:

This is posted on Salmon Arm's website:

SilverBacks Make Coaching Change

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks wish to announce that they have made a coaching change. They have released Associate Coach Dan Cioffi from his position effective immediately. “My vision for this hockey club differs from Dan’s an enormous amount. I feel that our club needed to have one unified vision and we needed to make this change in order to accomplish our goal. As an organization we wish Dan all the best and thank him for the time he spent in Salmon Arm” stated Head Coach and General Manager Colin O’Hara.


The SilverBacks have promoted Jayson Reardon to fill the vacant position. Jayson recently played for Coach O’Hara and is very familiar with the expectations that are put in front of this group. “Jayson still has a fire and passion for this team, community and league. He understands where this group should be and that the work ahead needs to be unified” said Coach O’Hara

Weekly Recap With Cents Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce:

Cents Head Coach and GM Luke Pierce joined me on the Q101 Morning Show earlier this week to talk about the protest of Westside's roster for last Wednesday's game, the home-and-home weekend series with Prince George and any potential moves ahead of tomorrow's December 1st roster cut-down deadline.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The End of the Doyle Cup:


As was confirmed on Dan Marshall's Clippers radio show on 106.9 The Wolf tonight, 2012 represents the last year the BCHL and AJHL champions will face off for the Doyle Cup.

It's also the last year that the SJHL and MJHL champions compete for the Avanet Cup.

Starting in 2013, the five team tournament will be a Memorial Cup style format, except it'll feature the four league champions from the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL and MJHL, plus the host team.

It's already been determined that a BCHL team will host the inaugural tournament from April 26 - May 5, 2013. Teams around the circuit have until December 15 to submit a hosting bid, with Nanaimo owner Ken Wagner being the first to go public with the Clippers desire to host.

Word is that the top two teams in the Western Canadian Junior A Championship would advance to the RBC National Junior A Championship, which is in Summerside, PEI.

The Centennials won the predecessor to Doyle Cup -- the Pacific Centennials Cup -- in 1978.

Here's a list of previous Doyle Cup winners:

1985 - Penticton Knights
1986 - Penticton Knights
1987 - Richmond Sockeyes
1988 - Calgary Canucks
1989 - Vernon Lakers
1990 - New Westminster Royals
1991 - Vernon Lakers
1992 - Vernon Lakers
1993 - Kelowna Spartans
1994 - Olds Grizzlys
1995 - Calgary Canucks
1996 - Vernon Vipers
1997 - South Surrey Eagles
1998 - South Surrey Eagles
1999 - Vernon Vipers
2000 - Fort McMurray Oil Barons
2001 - Camrose Kodiaks
2002 - Chilliwack Chiefs
2003 - Camrose Kodiaks
2004 - Nanaimo Clippers
2005 - Camrose Kodiaks
2006 - Burnaby Express
2007 - Camrose Kodiaks
2008 - Camrose Kodiaks
2009 - Vernon Vipers
2010 - Vernon Vipers
2011 - Vernon Vipers
2012 - TBD

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Penticton-Salmon Arm Trade:

(Bryce Gervais is the newest member of the Penticton Vees)

On the heels of a pretty big trade last week between the Vees and Silverbacks, the future considerations involved in the deal have been revealed. The original deal was F Myles McCauley (91), F Garrett Hendrickson (92) and futures from Penticton to Salmon Arm for futures.

Thanks to the power of the internet, the particulars of the future considerations are becoming public sooner than the parties involved wanted.

Fraser Rodgers has the deets on his blog (over there on the left), but essentially the completion of F Bryce Gervais (92) moving to Penticton was supposed to announced on Monday after he played this weekend for Salmon Arm. After the deal was leaked online (on the BCHL Message Board among other places), Fred Harbinson felt it necessary to inform D Shane Hanna (94) that he would be the Vees player joining the Silverbacks in the trade.

The trade officially breaks down like this:

To Penticton:
F Bryce Gervais (92)

To Salmon Arm:
D Shane Hanna (94)

F Myles McCauley (91)

F Garrett Hendrickson (92)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Centennials Continue Their Winning Ways:

This was is Thursday's Merritt Herald:

Centennials continue their winning ways

By Ian Webster - Merritt Herald
Published: November 10, 2011 1:00 PM
Updated: November 10, 2011 1:52 PM

The Merritt Centennials racked up three more wins this past week – two of them in overtime - to maintain their strong third place position in the BCHL’s Interior Conference standings.

The Cents (22) currently sit just two points back of second place Vernon (24) and only four points behind division-leading Penticton (26).

More importantly, Merritt is beginning to create some breathing space between themselves and the chasing pack. In a fourth-place tie, Chilliwack and Prince George (17) now sit five points in arrears, while Westside (16) is another point back in sixth. At the bottom of the heap are Salmon Arm (12) and Trail (9).

Last Wednesday, in Salmon Arm, a dramatic overtime goal by 20-year-old centre Chad Brears lifted the Centennials to a 3-2 victory over the Silverbacks. The game winner came just 45 seconds into the first period of OT on a great scoring play by the team’s number one forward line of Brears, Evan Stack and Regan Soquila.

Other Cents’ goals on the night were netted by Brent Fletcher and Brendan Lamont in a span of four minutes at the beginning of the second period. It was 17-year-old Lamont’s first goal in the BCHL and a fitting start to a stellar week of play by the über-talented rookie.

Between the pipes, Merritt netminder Tyler Steel was as solid as a rock in turning aside 26 of 28 shots and giving up only one even-strength goal.

Friday night’s rematch between the Cents and Backs at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena was every bit as exciting as Wednesday’s game, especially since the result turned out the same: a 3-2 win for the Centennials, and Brears once again the last-goal hero.

On a night that saw plenty of rubber directed at both goalies (the Cents’ Lino Chimienti and the Backs’ Kurt Williams), the two teams traded goals evenly through the first 40 minutes. Scoring for Merritt were Payton Schaefer in the first period and Brears in the second, while Bryce Gervais and Kody Dhaliwal replied for the visiting Apes.

With time winding down in the third, and another round of overtime seemingly imminent, Brears latched onto a pass from defenseman Richard Sabourin and wired a wicked shot from the left face-off dot past Williams for the game winner.

Chimienti held the fort for the remaining 3:38 of regulation, and the Cents skated off with their second win in three nights over the Silverbacks.

If the two wins over Salmon Arm were the appetizer and the entrée on the weekend menu, then Saturday night’s 3-2 victory over the first-place Vees, in Penticton no less, was indeed the dessert.

The win was especially delicious given that the Cents had not won in the Lakeside city in almost six years – a span of 18 games.

Merritt got off to a great start in Penticton, scoring the game’s first two goals at timely points of the opening stanza. Hard-working Evan Stack tallied at the 5:27 mark on the powerplay, then Billy Marshall added another with just 30 seconds remaining in the period.

The Cents continued to dominate through a scoreless second period, but let things slip in the third. A pair of powerplay goals by Connor Reilly and Grant Nicholson, the latter with less than a minute remaining, evened things on the scoreboard and sent the contest into extra innings.

Victims of an OT loss to the Vees on the same ice one week earlier, the Cents were not about to have history repeat itself in a span of seven days.

Merritt came out four-on-four with guns ablazing, and were promptly rewarded. A tenacious forecheck by Fletcher behind the Vees’ net resulted in a turnover. The 19-year-old Pitt Meadows native fed the biscuit to a pinching Richard Sabourin, and the blueliner made no mistake, putting the puck smartly past Pen stopper Michael Garteig for the victory.

The Cents will be looking to make it four in a row this coming Friday when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings for the first time this season. Game time is 7:30 pm.

Five-On-Five, The Cents Are a Force to be Reckoned With:

This was in Thursday's Merritt Herald:

Five-on-five, the Cents are a force to be reckoned with

By Ian Webster - Merritt Herald
Published: November 10, 2011 1:00 PM
Updated: November 10, 2011 1:49 PM

Even strength, the Merritt Centennials​ might just be one of the best teams in the BCHL right now.

The Cents are currently on a three-game win streak, following victories over Salmon Arm (twice) and Penticton in the past eight days. They also own a record of 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games, the best in Canada’s top Junior A league.

To top things off, the Merritt Centennials were an honorable mention in this week’s Canadian Junior Hockey League nationwide Top-20 rankings, a distinction that has eluded a Cents’ team for close to a decade.

The one ‘fly in the ointment’ so to speak has been the (mis)play of Merritt’s special teams. With the man advantage or disadvantage, the Cents have been horrific. If the team can ever get its powerplay and penalty kill on track, it is almost scary to think how good this year’s squad could be.

The numbers simply don’t lie when it comes to odd-man situations. Thus far this season, the Cents have just 13 powerplay tallies in 75 opportunities for a mediocre 17.3% efficiency rating (fourth worst in the league).

Even more telling, the Centennials have given up 25 goals in 90 occasions when they were down one or more players for a league-worst 72.2% PK.

Turn the numbers around and you can see just how good this year’s Centennials are when playing their opposition even up. Of Merritt’s 56 goals scored in 18 games, 43 have been at even strength for a rating of 76.8% (second best in the league). Of the 62 total goals scored against them, Merritt has only allowed 37 while at even strength for an impressive stat of 59.7%, almost five percentage points better than any other team.

Monday, November 7, 2011

BCHL Team Reports:

This is posted on the Hockey Now website:

November 04, 2011
Posted in BC Edition, Junior A

By Brent Mutis /

Only four teams are making the playoffs in each conference this season in the BCHL and nothing is a sure bet so far as just four points separate first from sixth in the Coastal Conference and there are just three points between third and sixth in the Interior Conference. There seems to be better balance throughout the league this year as just four teams lack a winning record and scoring looks to be on the rise as 37 players are averaging better than a point per game.

INTERIOR CONFERENCE

Chilliwack Chiefs
The Chiefs aren’t a real high scoring bunch but are stingy, with a conference-low 38 goals against. Mitch Gillam is becoming a star in goal after moving west from Ontario while Malcolm Gould and David Bondra, son of Peter, have been point-a-game players.

Merritt Centennials
Allowing more goals than you score isn’t a recipe for success but the Cents are making it work in the meantime as they sit third in the Interior. Only Regan Soquila is over a point per game but Reece Willcox, Brandon Pfeil and Billy Marshall are a good blueline corps with the latter two also being in the top five in team scoring.


Penticton Vees
The Vees have, hands down, the most potent offence in the league at better than five goals a game. It’s no surprise Minnesota Wild second-rounder Mario Lucia leads the way with 29 points in 14 games but Travis St. Denis is right behind. Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly leads BCHL defencemen with 10 goals and 21 points.

Prince George Spruce Kings
One of the true good news stories of the early part of the season has been the turnaround in the North. The Spruce Kings won just 13 games last year but with Paul De Jersey busting out big time (28 points in 13 games), Jujhar Khaira’s game on the rise and Michael Colantone contributing, PG has a legit shot to be a playoff team this season.

Salmon Arm SilverBacks
A big turnover of personnel on the blueline seems to be troubling the ’Backs in the early going as there are five new faces on the back end. The forward group of Brett Knowles, Bryce Gervais, Devin Muller and Morgan Zulinick have been pretty reliable to score but they haven’t been able to outscore the 4.29 goals against per game the team is allowing.

Trail Smoke Eaters
After three of the top scorers in the league last year – Sam Mellor, Scott Jacklin and Travis St. Denis – moved on to college or other teams, the Smokies have a bit of an identity crisis. Head coach Bill Birks moved goalie Matt Larose for defensive help but then had to ship rearguard Rajan Sidhu to Alberta to get another goalie in James D’Andrea. Trail has a league-worst 72 goals against.

Vernon Vipers
A 7-0 start had the Snakes atop the standings early but they’ve since cooled to a 9-4 mark. A roster numbers crunch forced the team to release captain Patrick McGillis and the team has been spiraling since. Defencemen Luke Juha and Brett Corkey were away for Team Canada West tryouts and an extended absence could mean more trouble.

Westside Warriors
Connor Dempsey has been a good find as was Seb Lloyd until a broken collarbone put him on the 60-day disabled list. Tyler Krause is enjoying a breakout season while newcomer Steven Racine has been good in net. The team recently dealt defenceman Brayden Sherbinin to Cowichan Valley for Josh Monk who played for head coach Rylan Ferster when both were in Salmon Arm.

COASTAL CONFERENCE

Alberni Valley Bulldogs
The ‘Dogs partnered with the Trail Smoke Eaters Oct. 20 in the biggest player transaction of the year so far, moving defencemen Marley Keca, Tanner Hicks and forward Tanner House in exchange for defenceman Daniel Delbianco and goalie Matt Larose who’s been great since the move.

Coquitlam Express
Head coach Jon Calvano will be happy to see the calendar flip over as the Express finished October with four straight losses. Still, Coquitlam is just a game below .500 and seems to have a gem in Alexander Kerfoot who has 15 points in 12 games as a 17-year-old.

Cowichan Valley Capitals
Tied for the final playoff spot at the start of the week, the Caps are playing good hockey but have seenNanaimo and Victoria get hot recently to move past them. Devin Gannon continues to provide leadership and scoring while Troy Paterson has offered good support from the blueline.

Langley Rivermen
Rollercoasters are more consistent than the Rivermen have been so far this season. They beat Alberni Valley 7-1 Oct. 15 only to lose to Victoria by the same score next game. Darnell Dyck and Mario Puskarich have shown flashes but the team is last in the conference with a two-goal-per-game average.

Nanaimo Clippers
October finished well for the Clips with a four-game winning streak that saw goalie Billy Faust play stellar in net in each of those victories. Nanaimo is getting scoring by committee with Kyle Kramer having a breakout year and Andrew Gladiuk, Brett Hartskamp, Trevor Fitzgerald and Graeme McCormack chipping in.

Powell River Kings
There’s a real test ahead for the Kings as head coach Kent Lewis is away coaching Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge and four players were away at the tryout camp. But they’re back atop their familiar perch in the Coastal Conference as Cohen Adair and Craig Dalrymple have been great.

Surrey Eagles
Tyler Morley has been a dynamo for Surrey, leading the team in goals and points while Andrew Hunt has provided excellent goaltending with the second-best save percentage in the league. It’s been a pretty good recipe but some more secondary scoring is probably top of the list of priorities.

Victoria Grizzlies
A slow start has given way to a torrid pace lately for the Grizz as Jarryd Ten Vaanholt, Wesley Myron and Wade Murphy really found their offensive game until Myron was sidelined. The addition of Mike Moran from Penticton has also been beneficial but the 63 goals against is worst in the conference.

Centennials Hand Vees First Home Loss:

This was posted on Castanet.net yesterday:

Centennials hand Vees first home loss
by Contributed - Story: 66965
Nov 6, 2011 / 10:03 am

The Penticton Vees suffered their first home loss of the 2011-2012 season on Saturday, a 3-2 overtime victory for the Merritt Centennials. It’s the first win in Penticton for the Cents’ since February 5th, 2005.

Merritt would open the scoring for the second straight game against the Vees when Evan Stack struck on the power-play at 5:27 of the first period.

The Centennials added one more before the period was out when Billy Marshall’s wrist shot eluded starter Chad Katunar on the blocker side.

Penticton would start to find their legs in the second period, coinciding with a goaltending change, as Mike Garteig came in to replace Katunar to start the second.

Despite creating numerous scoring chances off the rush and cycle the Vees were unable to solve Merritt netminder Tyler Steel in the second frame; including several chances by Joey Benik on the power-play.

The Vees weren’t discouraged as they continued their strong play into the third period and were rewarded on the power-play. Connor Reilly had his slap-shot deflect of Centennials defenseman, Billy Marshall and past Steel at 4:50.

The goal seemed to give the Vees life as they continued to pressure the Cents’ who seemed to fall back on their heels, trying to cling to a one goal lead.
Penticton would find the equalizer in dramatic fashion late in the third period. With Tyler Steel being assessed a delay of game penalty; the Vees pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4 power-play in the final minute of the third.

In a scramble after a Joey Benik point-shot, Grant Nicholson, from behind the net, banked the puck off Steel and in for the tying goal at 19:30.

For the second straight meeting the two teams would have to decide the outcome in overtime.

Early in the four-on-four overtime session, Brent Fletcher intercepted a puck behind the Vees net and centered a pass in the slot for Richard Sabourin, who screamed a one-timer past Garteig’s glove for the game-winning-goal at 1:17.

-Fraser Rodgers

Former Cents AP Casey Rogers Traded From Okotoks to Olds in AJHL:


D Casey Rogers (92), who played eight games with the Cents as an affiliate player during the 2009-10 season, has been traded in the AJHL from the Okotoks Oilers to the Olds Grizzlys.

Here's the line on Rogers, as you can see, he's bounced around a bit since his brief time in Merritt.

Cents Garner Honourable Mention in CJHL Top 20 Rankings:

Vees in top 3, Vipers stay, Cents get mention in weekly poll

Monday, November 7, 2011 - Submitted by CJHL Network

The Canadian Junior Hockey League today announced its Weekly Top 20 rankings. Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

The weekly rankings are selected in consultation with NHL Central Scouting and are proudly presented by PlayingUpHockey.com:

1. Woodstock Slammers(MHL) (1)
2. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (4)
3. Penticton Vees(BCHL) (3)
4. Newmarket Hurricanes(OJHL) (5)
5. Fort McMurray Oil Barons(AJHL) (10)
6. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (12)
7. St. Michael’s Buzzers(OJHL) (2)
8. Trenton Golden Hawks(OJHL) (8)
9. Carleton Place Canadians(CCHL) (16)
10. Winnipeg Blues(MJHL) (13)
11. Cornwall Colts(CCHL) (6)
12. Wisconsin Wilderness(SIJHL) (11)
13. Nepean Raiders (CCHL) (17)
14. Soo Thunderbirds(NOJHL) (7)
15. Winkler Flyers(MJHL) (9)
16. Brooks Bandits(AJHL) (14)
17. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (19)
18. Amherst Ramblers(MHL) (15)
19. Vernon Vipers(BCHL) (18)
20. Les Cougars du College Champlain - Sherbrooke(LHJAAAQ) (NR)

Honourable Mention: Merritt Centennials (BCHL), Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL), Nipawin Hawks (SJHL), Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL), Brockville Braves (CCHL).

Weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the teams play, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.

The CJHL is comprised of the ten Junior A hockey leagues across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website. www.cjhlhockey.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Former Cents AP Cole Buckley Traded From Revelstoke to Grand Forks in KIJHL:

G Cole Buckley (92), who played one game as an affiliate player with the Centennials back in the 2009-10 season, has been traded in the KIJHL.

Buckley played last season with Revelstoke and Kimberley before ending the season in Castlegar. His rights wound up back with Revelstoke and the Grizzlies moved the Penticton native to Grand Forks early last week for future considerations.

Here's the deal according to the KIJHL website:

02-Nov-11 The Grand Forks Border Bruins have acquired the playing rights to 1992 G Cole Buckley from the Revelstoke Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations.

Here's the line on Buckley:

Harbinson Gets Fired Up At Pierce During Coach's Corner:

This was in yesterday's Penticton Western News:

By Emanuel Sequeira - Penticton Western News
Published: November 05, 2011 10:00 AM

Penticton Vees coach Fred Harbinson fired back at Merritt Centennials​ bench boss Luke Pierce during Thursdays Coach’s Corner.

The shot stemmed from the incident at the end of the Vees’ 5-4 overtime victory against the Centennials at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Oct. 29. Vees rookie forward Mark McLellan suffered an upper body injury and Pierce was livid with officials when they allowed the Vees to make one more change. Pierce felt it was illegal.

“Some of the things he said were really uncalled for,” said Harbinson, who was getting started. “Surprising from a guy, I’ve done nothing but praise how hard he has his team play. The one thing I learned way back when I started this thing is that when you only have about 40 wins as a coach, you shouldn’t be downgrading a program like ours. And not that we’re high on a pedestal or anything but to question our integrity about a line change and stuff, hey, everybody does what they have to do. You can call timeouts, you can send your guys out a little late, you can do what you want and it’s up to the referee to decide what’s going on. For him to point a finger saying that we tried to fake an injury, first off his story is completely wrong. It’s uncalled for. I suggest to him, if he thinks this is his way to motivate his team, I guess with our seven guys out, here’s your best shot, you better take it. It really pissed me off that some of the things that he directed to our hockey club, especially when he only has about 40 wins to his name right now. Five, six or 10 years down the road, after he has won something in this league, then he will have a little opportunity to talk.”

“They were allowed to replace a player after the allotted time slot there for line changes,” said Pierce, who hammered his hand on the top of the boards several times that night. “It ended up leading directly to the goal. They (calls) always come back to burn you. When they (games) mean that much, especially with the way the structure is this year with only four teams (qualifying for the playoffs), we need every point we can get.

“We felt that was a game that we could have won and should have won,” he continued. “To lose it in that fashion was tough to handle and I think we cooled off a lot after the fact. In the heat of the battle it was definitely a tough pill to swallow.”

With the loss still fresh in their minds, Pierce said the Centennials have incentive to skate away with two points Saturday.

“Anytime you have kind of a heart-breaking loss there, guys get a little more hungry,” he said. “We’re going to need every incentive we can get to try and get the monkey off our back in Penticton.”

The focus for the Centennials will be to play disciplined hockey. They don’t want to give the Vees’ dangerous power play too many chances to blow the game open. Pierce also said that they can’t get shut out on their opportunities and then be giving up four goals to the Vees.

“They have a very dangerous power play that is going to capitalize,” said Pierce, adding he wants his team to keep pucks deep, drive the net hard and score greasy goals.

Puck drop for Saturday’s game at the SOEC is 7 p.m.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cents Add Defenceman Daniel Buchanan as an AP:


The Centennials have added another defenceman to their AP reserve roster with the signing of blueliner Daniel Buchanan (93) from the KIJHL's Kamloops Storm.

Buchanan will make his junior 'A' debut tonight on the Cents defence, playing with assistant captain Richard Sabourin. He's shown at the junior 'B' level that he can put up some impressive numbers with 20 points in 19 games this season with the Storm, which is actually second overall among all defencemen in the KI.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cents Add Defenceman Mitch Hewson as an AP:

(Photo courtesy of Ian Webster - Merritt Herald)

With forward Brayden Low (94) moved to the main roster, the Centennials have added another affiliate player to their reserve roster.

Defenceman Mitchell Hewson (93), who attended both training camp and spring camp earlier this year, has signed as an AP.

Here's the line on Hewson:

Coquitlam Express-Olds Grizzlys Trade:


The Coquitlam Express continue to tinker with their roster as they've moved F Mitchell Deacon (93) and futures to the Olds Grizzlys in exchange for F Tyler Bourne (91). Bourne is the Grizzlys' leading scorer with 23 points in 22 games this season, which is more than any player on the Express roster.

Although the deal hasn't been reported yet on the BCHL, AJHL, Coquitlam or Olds website, it has been reported with quotes from Grizzlys coach (and former Centennial) Kevin Willison by radio station 96.5 CKFM in Olds.

To Coquitlam Express:
F Taylor Bourne (91)

To Olds Grizzlys:
F Mitchell Deacon (93)

+ Future Considerations

Here's the posting from the CKFM website regarding the trade:

Thursday, November 3rd 2011 06:00

Taylor Bourne has been dealt to the BCHL. Grizzlys get an 18 year old forward & futures in return. After a week off, Olds will return to action on Friday in Okotoks.

A shocking deal was executed by the Olds Grizzlys on Wednesday.

The team's leading scorer Taylor Bourne was traded.

He heads to the BCHL's Coquitlam Express in exchange for forward Mitch Deacon & future considerations.

The 20 year old Bourne had 11 goals and 23 points in 22 games this season - since joining the Grizzlys in 2009 he has put up 52 goals and 110 points in 136 career AJHL games.

In a press release Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Willison stated 'Taylor had a great career here in Olds over the past 2 seasons and will be a tough hole to fill when it comes to the offense. Taylor put up great numbers as an Olds Grizzly, and was a very exciting player to watch when on his game and will be missed by everyone. Taylor thought that the BCHL would be a better fit for his style of play and the possibility of catching an NCAA scholarship for next season'.

The 18 year old Deacon comes to Olds after registering 7 goals and 10 penalty minutes in 22 games last year for Coquitlam.

The Port Moody, BC product is 6 foot 3, 195 pounds.

This season Deacon had 4 PIMs in 2 games without notching a point.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cents Defenceman Reece Willcox to Represent Canada West at WJAC:


For the first time since 2007, the Merritt Centennials will have a representative at the World Junior A Challenge as defenceman Reece Willcox was named to Team Canada West late this afternoon.

Casey Pierro-Zabotel was the last Cents player to wear the maple leaf at the WJAC as he led Canada West to a gold medal in 2007, posting seven points in five games.

Here's the joint release from the Centennials and Hockey Canada as posted on merrittcentennials.com:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Calgary, AB - November 1, 2011

Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Tuesday the 22 players who will represent Canada West at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, Nov. 7-13, 2011 in Langley, B.C.

CLICK HERE FOR THE CANADA WEST ROSTER FOR THE 2011 WORLD JUNIOR A CHALLENGE

The roster was selected by Canada West head coach Kent Lewis (Powell River, B.C./Powell River, BCHL), along with assistant coaches Dean Brockman (St. Benedict, Sask./Humboldt, SJHL) and Andrew Milne (St. Albert, Alta./Canmore, AJHL), following a three-day selection camp at the Langley Events Centre, host venue for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge.

“Getting down to 22 players was by no means an easy decision,” said Lewis. “We had some tremendously talented players in camp, and they did not make our jobs easy as a coaching staff. We’re excited about the players we’ve selected and look forward to getting started.”

Players named to the Canada West selection camp roster were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

17-year-old defenceman Reece Willcox is the lone Merritt Centennials player on the roster. The Surrey product is the first Cents player to represent Canada West since forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel did back in 2007.

Canada West’s roster for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge includes:

* two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards;
* 14 players from the BCHL, seven players from the AJHL and one player from the SJHL;
* four players returning from the 2010 World Junior A Challenge (Holland, Jardine, Juha [played for Canada East], St. Denis);
* three players who participated in the 2011 RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship (Camrose – Jardine; Vernon – Corkey, Hadley);
* one player who participated in the 2011 TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship (Vancouver North West – Kerfoot);
* one player selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (Jardine – Chicago, 6th round, 169th overall).

Canada West will play in Group A, joined by Sweden and the United States, while Canada East, the Czech Republic and Russia will comprise Group B. Preliminary round play will run until Wednesday, Nov. 9, with both semifinals taking place Friday, Nov. 11. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, Nov. 13 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com.

Full-tournament 15-game ticket packages are on sale, including tickets to all 13 games at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, both CJHL Prospects Games and a free souvenir tournament program, for only $150, as well as single-game tickets and a flex package. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

Canada West has appeared in four of the five gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., and 2007 in Trail, B.C., before settling for silver in 2008 in Camrose, Alta., and 2009 in Summerside, P.E.I. It finished fourth last year in Penticton, B.C.

For more information on the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/wjac, or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/wjracor www.twitter.com/hc_wjac.

Westside Signs Former Cents Tryout James Leonard, Releases Rob Kennedy:


According to Jon Zacks' Warriors blog, Westside has signed former Centennials tryout G James Leonard as the back-up to Steve Racine.

Since dressing as a back-up for the Cents as an AP back in the fall of 2009 and attending their spring camp in 2010, Leonard has played for the Kamloops Midget Lions AAA, Golden Rockets of the KIJHL and Spruce Grove of the AJHL.

There's no report that Leonard was traded to Westside from Spruce Grove and this is simply a release-and-sign situation, but I can't see that being the case only because it begs the question as to why the Saints would release an 18-year-old with a 6-0 record. I realize that Spruce Grove had three goalies on the roster, but I'm thinking they must have received something for Leonard, even if it was just cash. I guess we can keep an eye on either team's (and league's) transaction wire to see.

To Westside Warriors:
G James Leonard (93)

Weekly Recap With Cents Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce:

Centennials Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce joined me on the Q101 Morning Show today to recap last week's 6-5 OT win against Salmon Arm and 5-4 OT loss in Penticton. Our "Bringing It Back" feature is brought to you by KFC in Merritt.

Luke also talks about the lack of production from his top line and the play of affiliate players Eric Schmidt, Scott Patterson and Braeden Hikichi.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cents Move Into Third in Interior Conference:

By gaining a single point in Penticton last night, the Cents improve to 5-1-0-2 in their last eight games and move into third place in the BCHL's Interior Conference, two points back of the second place Vernon Vipers.

Merritt has a one point lead over Westside and Prince George, but both the Warriors and Spruce Kings have a game in hand on the Centennials. The Cents are three points clear of Chilliwack, but the Chiefs have three games in hand.

Here's the summary from each of the last two games (from merrittcentennials.com):

Cents Fall 5-4 in OT to Penticton, but Single Point Moves Them Into 3rd

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Penticton, BC - October 29, 2011

Connor Reilly scored with just 58 seconds left in overtime as the Merritt Centennials fell 5-4 to the Penticton Vees in the BC Hockey League action Saturday evening at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Jakob Reichert scored twice for the Centennials (6-5-1-3) while Billy Marshall and Dustin Lebrun notched a goal each. Dylan Chanter, Silvan Harper, Sean Maktaak, Brendan Lamont, Richard Sabourin and AP call-up Braeden Hikichi each had an assist in the OT loss.

Mike Reilly, Garrett Hendrickson, Cody DePourcq and Steven Forgarty also scored for the Vees (11-2-0-0-1). Joey Benik pitched in with four assists for Penticton.

Merritt netminder Lino Chimienti made 27 saves in the loss, while Vees goalie Michael Garteig stopped 34 shots for the win.

The Centennials finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and Penticton wound up 4-for-6 with the man advantage.

With the single point, the Cents now have just one regulation loss in their last eight games and moved into third place in the BCHL's Interior Conference, one point ahead of Westside and Prince George. Merritt is two points back of second place Vernon.

The Centennials next game is in Salmon Arm on Wednesday night, November 2nd, against the Silverbacks.

Cents Edge Salmon Arm 6-5 in Overtime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Salmon Arm, BC - October 28, 2011

The Merritt Centennials stormed back from 4-1 and 5-2 deficits to defeat the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 6-5 in overtime in BC Hockey League action Friday night at the Sunwave Centre.

Brandon Bruce paced the Centennials (6-5-1-2) offence with three goals, including the winner, while Billy Marshall, Jakob Reichert and Payton Schaefer also scored. Ross Mancuso had two assists in the win while Schaefer, Tyler Martin, Silvan Harper, Brent Fletcher, Sean Maktaak, Dustin Lebrun, and Richard Sabourin also added single helpers.

Devin Muller led Salmon Arm (3-7-0-3) with two goals while Bryce Gervais had a goal and an assist. Brett Knowles ad Alex Gillies added single markers. Morgan Zulinick chipped in with three assists in the loss while Matt Brown had two helpers.

Tyler Steel started the game for Merritt and was pulled after allowing four goals on 11 shots. Lino Chimienti came on in relief and gave up just one goal on 17 shots to get the win. Kurt Williams stood tall in the Silverbacks net. Despite giving up all six Cents goals, he made 43 saves in the loss.

Merritt finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play while Salmon Arm went 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

Merritt's next game is the second of three straight away from home as the Centennials head to Penticton Saturday to face the Vees.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Coquitlam Express Shuffle The Deck:


The Express have been the busiest team in the BCHL on the transaction wire this week, signing two players and sending three packing. It's clear to me that Darcy Rota and Jon Calvano aren't happy with a .500 record through 11 games. I'm also trying to figure out how the BCHL is allowing the Express to operate without a 1995-born player on the roster, they haven't had one since Trevor Stack played with the team earlier this season. Of course, the league rules state that each team has to have a 1994 and 1995 born player on their roster this season.

Here's a summary of what they've been up to...

To Carleton Place Canadians:
F Ben Murphy (92)

To Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations

To Wellington Dukes:
D Dana Tenenbaum (92)

To Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations

To Chilliwack Chiefs:
D Matthew Hutchinson (91)

To Coquitlam Express:
Future Considerations

Meanwhile, the Express have signed D Bruin McDonald (92) and F Connor Redmond (92).

D Bruin McDonald (92)

F Connor Redmond (92)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cents Sign Forward Brayden Low?


I haven't received confirmation from Cents Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce, but this article in the Richmond Review newspaper indicates that F Brayden Low (94), who played with the Centennials as an AP in Friday's 2-0 win over Surrey has signed with the team full-time.

Here's the line on Low:
F Brayden Low (94)


Here's the article:

Low signs with Merritt Centennials

By Don Fennell - Richmond Review
Published: October 26, 2011 1:00 AM

The Richmond Sockeyes’ success has already cost them the services of at least one player to Junior A hockey this season, and more could follow suit.

Gritty forward Brayden Low has signed with the Merritt Centennials of the B.C. Hockey League and was in their lineup during a 2-0 win over the Surrey Eagles last weekend.

Richmond general manager Richard Petrowsky said Low played well in his Centennials’ debut, and the coaching staff was particularly impressed with his strength in the faceoff circle.

Recovering from an off-season knee injury, Low, 17, had one assist in five games with the Sockeyes who retain his Pacific International Junior Hockey League rights. He is also affiliated with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Powell River Kings-Whitby Fury Trade:


With Brandon Tidy moving from their affiliate roster to the main roster, Powell River needed to make a move to get down to 21 players and they did by trading F Luke Laszkiewicz (92) to the Whitby Fury of the OJHL for future considerations.

To Whitby Fury:
F Luke Laszkiewicz (92)

To Powell River Kings:
Future Considerations

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trail Smoke Eaters Release Former Cents Tryout Matt Bissett:


F Matt Bissett, who was in training camp with the Centennials briefly this past August, has been released by the Trail Smoke Eaters in light of their two big trades yesterday.

Bissett was a victim of the numbers game in Trail as it was one man over the limit of 21 allowed on each BCHL roster. He's set to join his hometown Ridge Meadows Flames of the PIJHL.

F Matt Bissett (94)

Trail Smoke Eaters Shake Up Roster:


The Trail Smoke Eaters shook up their core on Thursday, sending D Rajan Sidhu (91) to the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL for G James D'Andrea (92) and future considerations.

The deal comes a day after Sidhu scored the winning goal as the Smokies upset the first place Penticton Vees.

The BCHL website is yet to post the trade, but Trail has posted it on its website.

Here's how the deal shakes down:

To Trail Smoke Eaters:
G James D'Andrea (92)

+ Future Considerations
To Drumheller Dragons:
D Rajan Sidhu (91)



With the acquisition of D'Andrea, it meant that something had to give between the pipes for the Smoke Eaters, and they relieved their glut of goaltenders by swinging another big trade with Alberni Valley.

To Trail Smoke Eaters:
F Taylor House (92)

D Marley Keca (93)

D Tanner Hicks (93)

To Alberni Valley Bulldogs:
G Matt Larose (92)

D Daniel Del Bianco (94)

D Eric Walker (93)


Here's the official release from Trail's website:

TRAIL, BC -- The Trail Smoke Eaters have completed a pair of trades involving a total of seven players today.

The Smoke Eaters have acquired goaltender James D'Andrea (92) from the AJHL's Drumheller Dragons in exchange for defenseman Rajan Sidhu (91).

"He was a goaltender we've had our eye on for a couple of weeks," stated Smoke Eaters head coach/general manager Bill Birks, "we're excited to bring him in to our program."

The Smoke Eaters also made a five-player transaction with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, acquiring defensemen Marley Keca (93) and Tanner Hicks (92) as well as forward Taylor House (92).

In exchange, the Bulldogs receive goaltender Matt Larose (92) and defenseman Daniel DelBianco (94).

"We've acquired two defensemen who can fit into our top four," Birks said, "and House has the skill to be in our top two forward lines."

D'Andrea, a native of Calgary, Alberta, compiled an 11-20-4 record with a 4.11 GAA in 42 AJHL appearances with the Dragons and Calgary Canucks.

Hicks, a fellow Calgarian, scored 13 points in 26 games with Alberni Valley last season, and has also played in the AJHL with Olds.

Keca, a 6-1 defenseman from Kelowna, is entering his second full BCHL season, having scored 17 points in 65 appearances with Alberni Valley and Quesnel.

House, from Cochrane, Alberta, was a member of the 2011 KIJHL champion Osoyoos Coyotes, where he finished third on the team in scoring with 19 goals and 62 points.

The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome D'Andrea, Hicks, Keca and House to the organization, and thank Sidhu, DelBianco and Larose for their contributions in Trail during their time as Smoke Eaters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cents Add Six More AP's To Reserve Roster:

The Centennials have signed six more players as AP's for the 2011-12 season.

Two of the players, Rhett Willcox and Zack Sanderson, were taken by Merritt in the BCHL Affiliate Player Draft earlier this month. Both are skating in the BC Major Midget League this season.

Two of the players added are playing in the KIJHL and two are in the PIJHL.

D Dominic Centis (93)

F Brayden Low (94)

F Brandon Formosa (93)

F Zack Sanderson (96)

F Rhett Willcox (96)

G Phoenix Logan-Hill (94)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekly Recap with Cents Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce:


I caught up with Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce today for our weekly recap called "Bringing It Back", brought to you by KFC in Merritt.

Cowichan Valley Capitals-Canmore Eagles Trade:


It didn't take long for Cowichan Valley to replace G Michael Doan (91) after he was traded to the Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL as the Capitals have acquired G Brady Rouleau (93) from the AJHL's Canmore Eagles for future considerations.

Here's the deal as listed on the BCHL site:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals Hockey Club acquire the CJHL playing rights of Brady Rouleau (93)(G) from the Canmore Eagles Hockey Club of the AJHL in exchange for future considerations.

And here's the deal as it breaks down:

To Cowichan Valley Capitals:
G Brady Rouleau (93)

To Canmore Eagles:
Future Considerations

Alberni Valley Bulldogs-Brockville Braves Trade:


Defenceman Zach Todd, who signed with Alberni Valley during the off-season and then left the team before the season started, has had his rights traded by the Bulldogs to the Brockville Braves of the CCHL.

Here's the deal according to the BCHL website:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Zach Todd to the Brockville Braves Hockey Club of the CCHL in exchange for future considerations.

Here's the skinny on the trade itself:

To Brockville Braves:
D Zach Todd (93)

To Alberni Valley Bulldogs:
Future Considerations

Cowichan Valley Capitals-Soo Thunderbirds Trade:


Michael Doan is returning to the team he played with last season as the Cowichan Valley Capitals have traded him to the NOJHL's Soo Thunderbirds for future considerations.

Here's the deal according to the BCHL website:

The Cowichan Valley Capitals Hockey Club transfers the CJHL playing rights of Michael Doan to the Soo Thunderbirds Hockey Club of the NOJHL in exchange for future considerations.

And here's the line on the trade:

To Soo Thunderbirds:
G Michael Doan (91)

To Cowichan Valley Capitals:
Future Considerations

Forward Chris Allbee Released by Nanaimo:


F Chris Allbee (92), who played last season with Quesnel and signed with Nanaimo just before the season started, has been released by the Clippers.

No word yet on where Allbee will end up as he is essentially a free agent.