Monday, December 22, 2014

Cents Blueliner Jake Clifford Commits to ASU, A Look at the Numbers as the BCHL Enters its Holiday Break:







Merritt Centennials defenseman Jake Clifford is the second player from the league to commit to Arizona State University. Clifford, who's from Brecksville, Ohio, joins West Kelowna forward Jordan Masters asro new recruit for the Sun Devils.

Clifford is third on scoring among Cents defensemen with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 28 games this season. There's been no release from Merritt or the BCHL on Clifford's commitment, but ASU blog House of Sparky has the scoop here.

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With the wrap-up of games Sunday, the British Columbia Hockey League and its players are officially into a five day Christmas break before the action heats up again with Alberni Valley hosting Powell River this Saturday, December 27th.
 
Christmas is seen as the unofficial mid-point of the season, despite the fact that every team has already played more than 50 percent of its 2014-15 schedule. 

Salmon Arm is the hottest team in the BCHL heading into the break as the SilverBacks have won three straight. Penticton, Merritt, Victoria, and Coquitlam are all riding modest two game winning streaks. Trail is the coldest team at Christmas, the Smoke Eaters have dropped nine in a row. Alberni Valley has the second longest losing streak right now, having lost four straight.

Powell River forward Jacob Pritchard bulged the twine in four straight games prior to the break while Coquitlam forward Brett Supinski and Victoria forward Brett Gruber have each scored in three straight games. Langley's Gage Torrel is on a six game assist streak, followed Merritt's Diego Cuglietta, Langley's Justin Szeto, and Alberni Valley's Evan Tironese, who each have helpers in four straight games. Victoria's Dane Gibson has the longest current point streak at ten games, notching 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) during that stretch. Supinksi and Langley's Kevan Kilistoff are next with eight game point streaks.

Coquitlam Express veteran forward Corey Makin leads the BCHL in goals (32) and points (59) in 35 games. The Ferris State University commit is on pace for 53 goals and 98 points. West Kelowna sophomore Liam Blackburn has already eclipsed his point total from last season by eight and in nine less games. The Prince George native has 51 points to sit second in scoring, including a league-leading 37 assists.

Kurt Gosselin from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs leads all defensemen in goals (9) and points (37). Salmon Arm blueliner Andrew Farny is second in d-man scoring with eight goals and 25 assists.

Between the pipes, Penticton goaltenders dominate the top two positions in terms of stats. Vees second year goalie Hunter Miska is tops in goals-against-average at 1.91 while teammate Brendan Barry has a 1.92 GAA. Vernon's Danny Todosychuk is third at 2.38 GAA.

Miska has the best save percentage at .929 while Nanaimo's Guillaume Decelles is a close second at .928. The Vernon duo of Todosychuk and Jarrod Schamerhorn are tied with Miska with the most shutouts at three. Barry and Merritt netminder Jonah Imoo are next with two apiece.







Forward Aaron Volpatti (Vernon, 2003-06) was recalled by the Washington Capitals from the AHL's Hershey Bears. The 29-year-old hasn't played a game with the Caps this season after undergoing neck fusion surgery back in September. He was assigned to the American League for a conditioning stint and played three games with no points and six penalty minutes. The Washington Post newspaper has the story here.

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