Trevor Linden’s been retired from the National Hockey League for 15 years, but his place in Vancouver Canucks lore still makes him a big-time draw. The presence of No. 16 helped the Chilliwack Chiefs set an all-time single-game BCHL attendance record Saturday night. The junior A club packed 5,008 into the Chilliwack Coliseum for a Saturday night (Jan. 7) tilt against the Cranbrook Bucks.
Capacity in the arena is 5,014.
The old record of 4,800 was set in Penticton in 2009 when the Vees hosted the Quesnel Millionaires. The BCHL has been around since 1961 but has only been keeping attendance stats since 2003-04.
Linden, 52, was in town to promote the opening of Club 16 Fitness at Cottonwood Shopping Centre, and it was also Dairy Appreciation night at the arena.
“We are so very grateful to our staff, volunteers, corporate/ media partners, and of course the fans who attended the game,” said Barry Douglas, Chiefs VP of business operations. “We could not have had such an amazing night without the support of Fred Zweep from the Vedder Transportation Group who spearheaded the Dairy Industry Appreciation and Trevor Linden of Club 16 Fitness who was so incredible with this engagement with all the fans.
“We haven’t seen the concourse and Molson Fan Deck that busy ever, and what a great job by our coaches and players to battle back to win against a very good Cranbrook Bucks team.”
Chilliwack’s announced attendance this season is 2,447.
The Chiefs rewarded the mammoth crowd with a 4-3 win over the Bucks. The home side fell behind 3-0 on first period Cranbrook goals by Jaden Fodchuk, Donovan Frias and Nick Peluso, but Chilliwack came roaring back on a pair of goals by AJ Lacroix and singles by Nathan Morin and Abram Wiebe. The captain’s goal came on a power play with 2:28 remaining in the third period, blowing the roof off the building.
Austin McNicholas stopped 25 of 28 shots in the Chiefs net, shutting the door after a shaky first period.
- Chilliwack’s weekend started with a 4-1 loss in Coquitlam Friday night. Wiebe had the lone Chiefs goal as his crew was out-shot 38-26. Tait Ross had a pair for the Express with Cameron Moger and Tyler Kopff adding singles.
McNicholas took the loss in goal.
The Chiefs come out of the weekend with a record of 15-15-0-1, good for fifth in the nine-team Coastal conference. They have three road games ahead, visiting Coquitlam Friday (Jan. 13) before back to back games at Powell River Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 14-15).