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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack, is among five such facilities in the Fraser Health region to have confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff members, on Oct. 21, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Progress)
Confirmed case of COVID-19 at Chilliwack assisted living facility

Staff members at five Fraser Health care homes have tested positively for coronavirus

A black bear targets a bird feeder by the Rotary Trail along the Vedder River in Chilliwack on Oct. 7, 2020. (William Snow photo)
Public safety of Chilliwack residents cited as young bear euthanized

Human-habituated bear was hanging around residential areas and bird feeders near the Vedder River

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Local photographer Wolf Drescher spotted film crews set up along Esplanade Avenue in front of Canwest Art Gallery on the Lake on Thursday, October 1. Film production crews working on ‘Solitary’ will be around the area until close to the end of the month. (Contributed Photo/Wolf Drescher)
“Solitary” Update: Dramatic action scene to be filmed in Agassiz

‘Solitary’ will film a break-in, getaway at Kent Outdoors

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
8 scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
BCHL team in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for upcoming hockey season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

Most Read