March 25 — Nanaimo 1 at Penticton 4 (2,433)
March 27 — Chilliwack 3 at Nanaimo 7 (1,700)
March 29 — Penticton 4 at Chilliwack 3 OT (2,489)
March 31 — Chilliwack 2 at Penticton 5 (2,508)
April 2 — Penticton at Nanaimo - 7 pm
x-April 4 — Nanaimo at Chilliwack - 7 pm
x-April 6 — TBA at TBA - TBA
It's another travel day in the BCHL Round Robin Semifinals with Penticton in Nanaimo to face the Clippers Thursday night. A Nanaimo win will eliminate Chilliwack and advance the Clips to the BCHL Championship Fred Page Cup Final, while a Vees win keeps the Chiefs' hopes alive.
It doesn't look like the Prince George Spruce Kings will have 17-year-old forward Brogan O'Brien back in 2015-16. The centre signed a standard WHL player agreement with the Prince George Cougars on Tuesday, nearly three months after Cougars GM Todd Harkins acquired O'Brien's Canadian Hockey League rights from the Kelowna Rockets. In 57 games with the Spruce Kings this past season, O'Brien had 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists). He had 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 48 games as a 16-year-old rookie with the Sprucies last season. O'Brien, who's from Prince George, cracked NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary List of Players to Watch with a ‘C’ rating in September 2014. He practiced with the Cougars on Tuesday morning, ahead of Game Three of their series against Victoria in the first round of the WHL playoffs.
Despite being in the midst of the BCHL Round Robin Semifinal, Chilliwack Chiefs goaltender David Jacobson has secured his post-secondary hockey future. The 20-year-old tweeted on Wednesday that he's committed to Arizona State University for the 2015-16 season. He's the sixth BCHL player to commit to the Sun Devils for next season, when ASU joins the NCAA. Jacobson joined the Chiefs from the Bloomington Thunder of the USHL in early January. He finished the regular season with a 10-5 record, a 2.78 GAA, and a .909 save percentage in 16 games. Thus far in the playoffs, he is 8-3 with a 2.96 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 12 games.
Goaltender Andrew Hammond (Westside AP, Surrey, Vernon, 2006-09) has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, by the Ottawa Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. In February and March, Hammond went from being a career minor league goaltender to the best story in the NHL, leading Ottawa back into the playoff race by going 14-1-1 in his first 16 NHL starts.
Forward Curtis McKenzie (Penticton, 2007-09) has been reassigned to the AHL's Texas Stars by the Dallas Stars. The 24-year-old was called up by Dallas six weeks ago and has appeared in 36 games for the Stars this season, posting five points (four goals, one assist). In 25 games with Texas, McKenzie has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists).
Simon Fraser University announced its second recruit of the off-season, securing a commitment from Nelson Leafs defenseman Darnel St. Pierre. The 20-year-old from Kelowna, BC had 44 points (13 goals, 31 assists) in 48 games for Nelson in 2014-15. A veteran of four junior B seasons with the Leafs and Revelstoke, St. Pierre’s KIJHL career totals include 143 points (43 goals, 100 assists) in 184 games.
Selkirk College announced a new blueline recruit for the 2015-16 season on Wednesday. Joining the Saints is 21-year-old Nathan Browne from the junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. The Vernon native started 2014-15 with Wellington of the Ontario Junior Hockey League before being released by the Dukes and joining Campbell River. With the Storm, Browne posted 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 29 games.
A former BCIHL coach is back behind the bench. Former Thompson Rivers University head coach Don Schulz is the new head coach of the Thompson Blazers of the BC Major Midget League. Schulz coached the WolfPack for four seasons, before the team went dormant prior to the 2014-15 season.