Bruins earning national respect

These are bold times for the Chilliwack Bruins, who are getting the type of pre-season love they’ve never seen before.

On Thursday afternoon, the Canadian Hockey League released their initial top 10 ranking, rating the best of the best in the Western, Ontario and Quebec leagues. The loaded roster of the Portland Winter Hawks ranked third, followed by the Tri-City Americans in sixth, the Saskatoon Blades in eighth and the Red Deer Rebels in 10th.

The Bruins didn’t crack the big list, but they did earn honourable mention. Which means someone out there thinks Chilliwack is one of the 13 best major junior teams in the country.

Is that justified?

“That’s a big step for this franchise and expectations are very high,” said Jeff Einhorn, the longest-tenured Bruins who has been with the club through four losing seasons. “But that’s OK, because we have high expectations for ourselves. If we play Bruins hockey, we believe we have a chance to win every night.”

The downside of being nationally ranked is that it puts a target on the Chilliwack jerseys. For the first time in franchise history, they find themselves in the role of the hunted, rather than the hunter.

Different.

“There’s responsibility and you have to take it upon yourself to rise to the challenge,” Einhorn agreed. “We’ve had to scratch and claw for our points, and we’re still going to have to do that. It won’t come easy and we’ll probably have to work extra hard because everyone will bring their A game against us.”

What the Bruins recognize and the fans should remember is that games are played on ice and not on paper.

“We can’t let ourselves get too high just because we’re an honourable mention,” Einhorn noted.

Witness a weekend home-and-home between Chilliwack and Vancouver.

The Giants took both sides, winning 6-2 on Friday and 5-4 on Saturday. The names on the jerseys (Marek Tvrdon, Caspar Carning, Cain Franson) may be new and it may only be pre-season, but the end result was unsettlingly familiar.

The G-men have long held a reserved spot among the elite, treating a top-10 ranking like a birth-right. Even though they seem to lose a handful of impact players to the pros every off-season, they seem to emerge as a contender every single season.

For them, ommission from the rankings is motivation.

“They’ve always been up there and I’m sure they saw the list, but I’m not going to say much about that,” Einhorn said diplomatically.

Just Posted

Prominent Chilliwack realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Robert Meissner’s trial for accessing and possessing child pornography

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Q&A with federal Liberal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Francois-Philippe Champagne visited the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 123

Mini Med School events are slated for March

Free info sessions allow attendees a chance to talk face-to-face with local medical professionals

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read