The Penticton Vees had a day off on Thursday at the Western Canada Cup in Fort McMurray, AB, but still managed to book a spot in the RBC Cup national championship. With Portage's 4-2 win Thursday over Spruce Grove, the Terriers advanced to the WCC championship game against Penticton. However, as the host team, Portage is already guaranteed a spot in the RBC Cup which means the Vees also receive a berth in the national championship tournament. It's the fourth time Penticton will play for a national junior A title. The franchise has been successful in two of its three previous appearances, winning in 1986 (as the Knights) and 2012 (as the Vees). The Knights lost in the final in 1985 to the immortal Orilla Travelways of the OJHL.
2015 WESTERN CANADA CUP
(at Fort McMurray, AB)
Saturday, April 25: Penticton (BCHL) def. Spruce Grove (AJHL) 11-3 (718)
Fort McMurray (Host) def. Portage MJHL) 3-1 (929)
Sunday, April 26: Portage (MJHL) def. Melfort (SJHL) 6-3 (749)
Penticton (BCHL) def. Fort McMurray (Host) 6-0 (979)
Monday, April 27: Spruce Grove (AJHL) def. Melfort (SJHL) 4-3 (OT) (761)
Tuesday, April 28: Portage (MJHL) def. Penticton (BCHL) 3-2 (705)
Fort McMurray (Host) def. Spruce Grove (AJHL) 5-4 (894)
Wednesday, April 29: Penticton (BCHL) def. Melfort (SJHL) 3-1 (782)
Thursday, April 30: Portage (MJHL) def. Spruce Grove (AJHL) 4-2 (701)
Fort McMurray (Host) def. Melfort (SJHL) 3-2 (OT) (1,154)
Saturday, May 2: Melfort (SJHL) vs. Fort McMurray (Host) - 1:30 pm PST
Portage (MJHL) vs. Penticton (BCHL) - 6:30 pm PST
Sunday, May 3: Melfort/Fort MacMurray winner vs. Portage/Penticton winner
The Wenatchee Wild's admission to the BCHL is awaiting approval from Hockey Canada and BC Hockey. In an article by Mario Annicchiarico in today's Victoria Times-Colonist, BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale indicates that the league's governors approved the admission of Wenatchee unanimously, and approvals have also come from USA Hockey and the North American Hockey League.
An official announcement won't come until later in June, after BC Hockey's annual meeting. The article also mentions that Wenatchee is considered a BCHL expansion team and isn't taking over an existing franchise, which means the Williams Lake TimberWolves remain suspended by the league and dormant as a franchise "not in good standing". I'd expect that the current 16 BCHL franchises will benefit greatly from an expansion fee provided by the Wild. Under various ownership groups, Wenatchee has been trying to join the BCHL on and off since 2006. Annicchiarico's article is here.
The Cowichan Capitals announced the completion of a trade with the Nanaimo Clippers. On January 8th, the Clippers acquired 19-year-old defenseman Ryan Coghlan from the Caps for future considerations, and on Wednesday, we found out that those futures see 19-year-old forward Nicolas Carrier head to Cowichan. Carrier had a stellar rookie season with Nanaimo, scoring 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) in 57 games. He added ten points (five goals, five assists) in 23 playoff games with the Clippers.
Defenseman Connor McCarthy has committed to the Chilliwack Chiefs for the 2015-16 season. The 18-year-old from LaSalle, QC, played this past season with Dawson College in the QCHL, posting 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) in 36 games. McCarthy is an imposing figure on the ice, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing over 215 pounds. He's committed to attend the University of Denver in September 2016.
Also joining the Chiefs is 19-year-old forward Brendan Riley. The West Point, NY native spent 2014-15 playing prep hockey with Kimball Union Academy and tallied 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 33 games. He had 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 37 games with Kimball in 2013-14. Riley's father, Tony, is the head coach of the Army NCAA men's hockey team.