Column: Battle of BCHL titans

In his last BCHL column before the Christmas break, Jacob Bestebroer talks about last weekend's Chiefs/Vees game as a game for the ages.

One of my favorite things about junior hockey is that what is considered most likely to happen quite often doesn’t. We got another example of that last Sunday afternoon when the Chilliwack Chiefs played a road game against the BCHL’s top team, the Penticton Vees.

Granted, the Chiefs went into that game with the league’s second best record but any way you looked at this game, it pointed to a tough day for the Chiefs.

As mentioned, they were playing the top team in the league.

It was a road game.

It was their third game in three days and fourth in five days.

The Vees did not play the night before.

It was their final game before the break so you know players had to be thinking about getting home and seeing their friends and family.

Chiefs forward Jordan Kawaguchi was a late scratch.

The Vees were missing four players that are playing in the World Junior A Challenge, and that maybe balanced things out a bit, but I never expected to see the Chiefs best effort of the season.

That’s exactly what happened, though it didn’t start that way. The Chiefs took two early penalties and the Vees responded with 11 of the game’s first 12 shots.

They took a 1-0 lead and things were not looking good.

What followed was an incredible display of hockey by two of the best junior A teams in the county.

The Chiefs tied the game at one later in the first period and then the teams settled in to an exchange of ridiculously good scoring chances that were continually turned aside by goaltenders Hunter Miska (Penticton) and Aidan Pelino (Chilliwack).

The game ended in a 1-1 tie and I’ve gone back and watched the third period and overtime three times since. It was that good.

The Vees only make one visit to Chilliwack and that comes on Feb. 6.

I can’t wait for that one.

All in all the second half schedule looks like a good one for the Chiefs. There are a few tough stretches, but 15 of their final 25 games will be played at Prospera Centre, where they’ve lost just once this season.

Let’s have a quick look at some other key dates that fans may want to make note of in the second half of the season.

Always a fun night,  the Chiefs annual Fill the Rink for the Food Bank which will happen on Dec. 28  when the Chiefs host the Surrey Eagles for a 5 p.m. game.

All tickets are just $6 with the donation of a non-perishable food item.

I can’t remember the Chiefs playing the same team three times in three nights during any regular season but that’s what happens when the Chiefs play the Langley Rivermen Jan. 9, 10 and 11.

The middle game will be in Chilliwack. If you’re interested in travelling to Langley for the Friday game, check out the Chiefs website for information on a ticket/dinner combo that is available for $25.

I also can’t remember the Chiefs ever playing three home games in three days but that happens as well.

As mentioned, the Penticton Vees visit on Feb. 6.

That’s just the first of three tough home games for the Chiefs that weekend.

The West Kelowna Warriors are in town the following night, and the Chiefs finish the weekend facing the Vernon Vipers.

Just Posted

Streets of Chilliwack to come alive with classic cars, summer parties

Fortin’s Village Classic Car Show and Party in the Park draw tens of thousands to downtown Chilliwack

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from June 17 to 23

Chilliwack’s Secondary Characters celebrate a decade of drama with cabaret

Secondary Characters 10th annual Confectioner’s Cabaret features desserts, performing arts

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Chilliwack has two events

One event is at Tzeachten Field and the other at the Sto:lo Resource Centre

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read