Chilliwack Chiefs a massive underdog versus Penticton Vees

The Chilliwack Chiefs will have to be at their very best as they take on the mighty Penticton Vees in round one of the BCHL playoffs.

There is no team in the BCHL going into the playoffs as a bigger underdog than the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Harvey Smyl’s crew has the unenviable task of taking on a junior A juggernaut that has lost just one game since early November.

The Penticton Vees finished the regular season with just six losses overall, dominating just about everyone they faced.

They scored 334 goals, tops in the league by 89 over the next best team (Coquitlam Express at 245).

The Vees allowed 133 goals, making them the league’s second stingiest team (Powell River gave up 127).

Penticton landed nine players on the BCHL’s all-star teams (see right) and Vees players won four awards.

If Penticton doesn’t beat Chilliwack, it will go down as perhaps the biggest upset in BCHL playoff history. If Penticton doesn’t beat Chilliwack quickly and decisively, eyebrows will be raised.

Among Chilliwack’s many problems will be finding a way to put pucks behind Vees netminder Michael Garteig. The Prince George native won the BCHL’s goaltending award, given to the netminder who posts the lowest goals-against average (1.93) with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played.

“He’s well positioned, very experienced, handles the puck well and he’s very composed,” Smyl said. “He’s like any other goalie in that you try to get traffic and get those second and third opportunities.”

Garteig is protected by a star-laden defence anchored by Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick Mike Reilly (fourth round, 2011).

Reilly’s offensive numbers this season were off the chart for a D-man as he posted 24 goals and 83 points in 51 games.

Reilly is aided by fellow all-star blueliner  Troy Stecher, who had five goals and 42 points in 53 games.

“Reilly is fast and skilled and a very important piece to their puzzle back there, as is Stecher,” Smyl said. “We’ve got to create some pressure, create some turnovers and then hopefully score when we get our opportunities.”

Up front, the Vees ice seven 30 goal scorers. It would be eight, but Connor Reilly has been sidelined indefinitely by injury.

“We certainly don’t want to take any bad penalties, I’ll tell you that,” Smyl said. “We have to play banging, grinding hockey and not give them odd-man rushes. We have to make them earn their chances.”

Games one and two are Friday and Saturday in Penticton. Games three and four are Monday and Tuesday in Chilliwack.

Just Posted

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Chilliwack drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

Jordyn Huitema plays for the Canadian national women’s soccer team. (Soccer Canada photos)
Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canada battle Czechs to 0-0 draw

Huitema’s national women’s soccer squad played a friendly match against the Czechs in Spain

Hutch Hotels Ltd., which owned the former Alder Inn (which was demolished in November 2020), is among the defendants in a lawsuit related to an alleged impaired-driving crash in January 2017. The civil suit also names S & L Kitchen and Bar in Abbotsford. (Black Press file photo)
Two Fraser Valley bars named in lawsuit related to alleged impaired-driving crash

S & L Abbotsford and Alder Inn being sued by passenger in 2017 rollover collision

With a lot of summer traffic expected, RCMP are setting up traffic blitzes throughout the Eastern Fraser Valley to curb dangerous driving behaviour in cone zones. (Submitted by Road Safety at Work)
See orange cones? Better put down your phone!

12 roadside workers died, 207 were injured in B.C. during last 10 years

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read