BCEHL WEEKEND UPDATE - MARCH 3-5
For Immediate Release
March 1, 2023
Saanichton, B.C. - The playoffs get underway in the U17 league this weekend as the top eight teams compete in the quarterfinals. The other three leagues are putting the finishing touches on their regular seasons. Let's see what else is happening around the BCEHL.
Female U18 AAA
In the final weekend of the Female U18 regular season, the undefeated Fraser Valley Rush (30-0-0-0) are travelling to visit the third-place Thompson-Okanagan Lakers (14-13-1-2). The Rush were victorious in two games last weekend against the Vancouver Island Seals. Rush forward Anna McKee, who is currently on a five-game point streak, found the back of the net in both games, and picked up three goals on the weekend. The Lakers earned a pair of shutout victories against the Greater Vancouver Comets last weekend. Thompson-Okanagan were helped offensively by Cassidy Bank, who found the back of the net twice in both games, while goaltenders Chelsea West and Reese Sliskovic each picked up a shutout.
In Prince George, the fourth-place Northern Capitals (9-18-3-0) welcome the second-place Vancouver Island Seals (14-13-2-1). The two squads will close out their regular season campaigns in their seventh and eighth meetings against one another. During the season series, the Seals earned victories in four matchups, with only four goals allowed across the victories. Rachel Lee was in net for three of those victories for Vancouver Island, while Bronwynn Lee earned one. Capitals’ goaltender Payton Planetta picked up her first shutout of the season in a 2-0 win against Vancouver Island on October 30th.
Saturday’s Female U18 Games
Fraser Valley Rush @ Thompson-Okanagan Lakers – 2:30 p.m. – Shaw Centre
Vancouver Island Seals @ Northern Capitals – 5:45 p.m. – Kin Centre
Sunday’s Female U18 Games
Vancouver Island Seals @ Northern Capitals – 8:15 a.m. – Kin Centre
Fraser Valley Rush @ Thompson-Okanagan Lakers – 12:00 p.m. – Armstrong/Spallumcheen Norval Arena
Watch All Female U18 Games Live Here
In the final weekend of the regular season, the U18 league sees only one series this weekend as the eighth-place Thompson Blazers (7-23-1-1) meet the second-place Okanagan Rockets (24-5-2-1). The Rockets have won five straight contests, which included a pair of home victories against the Cariboo Cougars last weekend. Erik Pastro’s seven points (4g-3a) boosted his point total to 61 on the season, which ranks fourth among all U18 forwards. The Okanagan forward has averaged over two points per game this year (2.03), which leads all U18 skaters. The Blazers picked up a 6-4 victory in their most recent game against the Vancouver NW Hawks on February 25th. Thompson forward Caleb Dehoog led the way offensively in the win as he picked up three points (2g-1a).
Saturday’s U18 Game
Okanagan Rockets @ Thompson Blazers – 4:15 p.m. – Sandman Centre
Sunday’s U18 Game
Okanagan Rockets @ Thompson Blazers – 10:00 a.m. – Sandman Centre
The U17 playoffs get underway this weekend with the first-place Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (28-6-1-1) taking on the eighth-place Vancouver NE Chiefs (14-17-3-2) in a best-of-three series. During the season series, Fraser Valley claimed victories on three occasions, while the fourth game resulted in a tie. Five of the league’s top 10 scorers will be featured in the series as Manwinder Sandhu (18g-36a), Troy Horn (15g-32a) and Nico Venier (19g-26a) led Fraser Valley offensively, while Maximillian Aysslinger (21g-23a) and Agam Rawan (22g-21a) have been the Chiefs’ top scorers this season. Between the pipes, Fraser Valley will pose a challenge for the Chiefs’ offense as goaltender Jake Torget led all U17 goaltenders in wins (17), goals against average (1.51) and shutouts (5). In net for the Chiefs, Samuel Bastien earned eight wins during the regular season, while Keyvan Naqvi earned six.
In Kelowna, the second-place Okanagan Rockets (22-10-3-1) host the seventh-place South Island Royals (16-19-1-0) in their best-of-three series. The Rockets claimed victories in three of four games against South Island this season, which included two matchups during the most recent U17 showcase in Surrey on February 17th and 19th. Rockets’ forward Austin Horbachewsky recorded five points (4g-1a), which included a pair of multi-goal games against the Royals at the showcase, while five South Island skaters, Tyler Delli-Carri (2g-1a), Riley Rich-Holden (0g-3a), Linkin Niedoba (0g-3a), Ben Wetterberg (1g-2a) and Sullivan Humeniuk (1g-2a), all recorded three points during those games.
The third-seed Cariboo Cougars (21-11-1-3) host the best-of-three quarterfinal versus the sixth-seed Greater Vancouver Canadians (19-13-1-3) in Prince George. A tightly contested series should be expected as Cariboo and Greater Vancouver split the season series two games apiece. The third-ranked Cougars’ defense and the tandem of Brady MacKay and Ryder Green, who have combined to allow 3.06 goals against per game on the season, will be put to the test against the second-ranked Canadians’ offense that has averaged 4.19 goals for per game. The Canadians’ attack has been helped this season by captain Nicholas Kolb, who finished the regular season with 46 points (18g-28a) and Maxfeld Shin, who totaled 42 points (17g-25a).
The final best-of-three quarterfinal features a series of two teams that were separated by only one point during the regular season, the fourth-place Vancouver NW Hawks (20-10-2-4) meet the fifth-place Valley West Giants (20-11-2-3). The Giants claimed victories in two of four matchups this season, while one resulted in a tie, and the other went to the Hawks. The Hawks allowed the second fewest goals per game during the regular season (2.89), thanks to the goaltending tandem of Matthew Bowman and Tyler Holtz, who combined for four shutouts on the year. With 4.11 goals for per game, the Giants’ offense was tied for third in the U17 league, and were helped by Ryder Marks (19g-25a), Avery Lowe (16g-23a) and Devon Mahil (21g-17a), who all scored at above a point-per-game pace on the season.
March 3-5 (Quarter-Finals - Best-of-Three):
- (1) Vancouver NE Chiefs vs. (8) North Island Silvertips
- (2) Vancouver NW Hawks vs. (7) Okanagan Rockets
- (3) Fraser Valley Thunderbirds vs. (6) Cariboo Cougars
- (4) Greater Vancouver Canadians vs. (5) Valley West Giants
March 10-12 (Semi-Finals - Best-of-Three):
- Highest remaining seed hosting the lowest remaining seed
- Second-highest remaining seed hosting the third-highest remaining seed
March 17-19 (Championship - Best-of-Three):
- Winners of the two semi-finals, hosted at the highest remaining seed
Friday’s U17 Playoff Games
Game One - (5) Valley West Giants @ (4) Vancouver NW Hawks – 1:00 p.m. – Karen Magnussen Arena
Game One - (7) South Island Royals @ (2) Okanagan Rockets – 5:00 p.m. – Capital News Centre
Game One - (6) Greater Vancouver Canadians @ (3) Cariboo Cougars – 6:45 p.m. – Kin Centre
Game One - (8) Vancouver NE Chiefs @ (1) Fraser Valley Thunderbirds – 7:00 p.m. – Abbotsford Centre
Saturday’s U17 Playoff Games
Game Two - (1) Fraser Valley Thunderbirds @ (8) Vancouver NE Chiefs – 1:00 p.m. – Abbotsford Centre
Game Two - (2) Okanagan Rockets @ (7) South Island Royals – 5:15 p.m. – Capital News Centre
Game Two - (4) Vancouver NW Hawks @ (5) Valley West Giants – 6:15 p.m. – Hollyburn Country Club
Game Two - (3) Cariboo Cougars @ (6) Greater Vancouver Canadians – 6:30 p.m. – Kin Centre
Sunday’s U17 Playoff Games
Game Three (if necessary) - (6) Greater Vancouver Canadians @ (3) Cariboo Cougars – 11:00 a.m. – Kin Centre
Game Three (if necessary) - (7) South Island Royals @ (2) Okanagan Rockets – 10:00 a.m. – Capital News Centre
Game Three (if necessary) - (8) Vancouver NE Chiefs @ (1) Fraser Valley Thunderbirds – 1:00 p.m. – Abbotsford Centre
Game Three (if necessary) - (5) Valley West Giants @ (4) Vancouver NW Hawks – 5:30 p.m. - West Vancouver Arena
The regular season in the U15 league closes out this weekend with five teams in action. In Richmond, the fourth-place Greater Vancouver Canadians (17-7-2-2) host the fifth-place Fraser Valley Thunderbirds (14-12-2-1) on Saturday, and the second-place Vancouver NE Chiefs (22-5-2-0) on Sunday. The Canadians enter the weekend with victories in six of their last eight, where their goaltending has played a large part in their success. The tandem of Liam Leslie and Alan Richard Peregrym have combined to allow 2.43 goals per game on the season. Fraser Valley’s goaltending has been equally as impressive this season, as they’ve allowed 2.28 goals per game as a team. Graydon van der Zweep is one of three goaltenders in the U15 league with a goals against average of under two (1.97), along with Chiefs’ goaltender Maverick Bell (1.63) and Okanagan’s Finn McKiernan (1.60).
In a home-and-home series, the league-leading Okanagan Rockets (22-3-2-1) take on the ninth-place Thompson Blazers (1-26-0-1). Okanagan enters the weekend on a seven-game winning streak, which included a pair of victories last weekend against the Thunderbirds where they allowed only one goal across both games. In the first game, Tyson Adams stood strong in goal in a 3-1 victory, while Finn McKiernan posted a shutout in the second matchup. Thompson’s most recent action saw them force overtime, but eventually fell 5-4 against the Cariboo Cougars. Blazers’ forward Keegan Sanders posted a pair of points in the contest (1g-1a).
Saturday's U15 Games
Okanagan Rockets @ Thompson Blazers – 1:00 p.m. – Art Holding Memorial Arena
Fraser Valley Thunderbirds @ Greater Vancouver Canadians – 2:30 p.m. – Richmond Olympic Oval
Sunday's U15 Games
Vancouver NE Chiefs @ Greater Vancouver Canadians – 11:15 a.m. – Richmond Olympic Oval
Thompson Blazers @ Okanagan Rockets – 1:15 p.m. – Capital News Centre
If you can’t make it out the games you can stream all BCEHL games live at: www.playfullscreen.com.
To stay up to date on everything going on in the BCEHL visit the website to view schedules, standings, stats, and scores: BCEHL.net, follow @BCEHL on Twitter, @BCEHL_AAA on Instagram, and join the conversation by using #BCEHLAAAHOCKEY.