Chilliwack Chiefs hit the road early in 2019-20 BCHL schedule

The Chiefs get a lot of road games out of the way early as they chase a junior A championship.

The Chilliwack Chiefs will play 10 of their first 15 games on away from home this fall.

The BCHL released the 2019-20 schedule Tuesday.

The schedule doesn’t include the annual BCHL Showcase, which will have Chilliwack at home for a pair of games in early October.

But what’s there is road heavy to start.

The first date is September 8, at Langley’s George Preston Arena.

The following weekend has the Chiefs heading to the coast for three games in three days against Powell River, Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo.

Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 5 Chilliwack is home for four of five games, then it’s back on the road for five of the next six.

“I don’t mind that for a few reasons,” said Chiefs head coach/general manager Brian Maloney. “On the hockey ops side, it throws our guys into the mix right away. It brings them together and the new players get a taste of our league.

“On the business side, now one wants to come to hockey games when the weather is still nice and I think our season starts too early.”

The Chiefs have a tough road trip heading into the Christmas break when they play Alberni Valley (Dec. 14), Victoria (Dec. 15) and West Kelowna (Dec. 17).

In mid-February, Maloney’s team has to play a Friday nighter in Surrey, travel to Wenatchee for a game the next night and then bus back to Surrey for a rematch with the Eagles.

On the bright side, Maloney’s crew catches a break in the new year when they play 11 of 15 in the friendly confines of Prospera Centre.

That stretch runs from Jan. 4 to Feb. 11.

“It’s like any team where some of it (the schedule) is good and some is bad,” Maloney said. “For the most part no one’s really overly thrilled about the schedule and you just work with it.”

See bchl.ca for the full schedule.

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