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Chilliwack Chiefs finding their way in early season BCHL action

The young and inexperienced Chiefs suffered a pair of one-goal losses to Surrey and Merritt

The Chilliwack Chiefs were tagged with a pair of one-goal losses in BCHL action last weekend.

The Chiefs hit the road for a Friday nighter in Surrey and fell 1-0 to the Eagles. Chilliwack out-shot their Mainland Cup rivals 26-21, but they were thwarted by goaltender Eli Pulver. A shorthanded tally by Surrey’s Jacob Bonkowski was the only puck to elude Chiefs netminder Cole Savage.

The 19-year-old Abbotsford product is off to a promising start this season with a 1.52 goals-against average and 93.6 save percentage through two games.

Austin McNicholas got the start in goal for the Chiefs home opener Saturday night (Oct. 1) at the Chilliwack Coliseum. The New York product was busy, facing down 31 Merritt Centenial shots through 65 minutes of regular and overtime action.

His Chiefs ended up falling 5-4 in the shootout.

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Chilliwack got goals from Hunter McInnes, Mateo Mrsic, Mason Kesselring and AJ Lacroix.

Merritt responded with strikes by Jackson Krill, Michael Shara, Christian Lowe and Walker Erickson.

Mrsic and Kesselring came up empty for the Chiefs in the shootout while Diego Johnson and Tristan Allen scored for the Centennials.

“We didn’t get the results we obviously hoped for, but there have been signs of improvement and we’re happy about that,” said Chilliwack hockey boss Brian Maloney. “We’re not winning a championship in the first week. What we’re looking for is continued improvement each week. We’ll address areas of improvement first thing this week while also reminding and praising our players for the areas we continue to get better in.”

Chilliwack has a home-and-home coming up this weekend against Surrey.

They visit the Eagles Friday and return home Saturday (Oct. 8) for a 6 p.m. start at the Chilliwack Coliseum.


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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