Column: Chief grads were pioneers in NCAA

As Jacob Bestebroer writes in this week's column, Greg Keith and Gabe Gauthier are now members of a hockey hall of fame.

Congratulations go out to a pair of Chilliwack Chiefs alumni, Greg Keith and Gabe Gauthier, who along with the rest of the 2004 NCAA champion Denver Pioneers were inducted into the Denver University Sports Hall of Fame last weekend.

I was fortunate to be in Boston when they won, a 1-0 victory over Maine, with both Keith and Gauthier playing prominent roles.

Gauthier scored the only goal on a power play in the first period. Late in the third period with just over two minutes left Denver took a penalty to set up a frantic finish.

It got worse before it got better for them.

With 94 seconds left Gauthier was called for delay of game when he grabbed a puck and tossed it out of his own zone during the penalty kill. With just over a minute left, Maine pulled goaltender Jimmy Howard making it six skaters on three. One of the three skaters out there for Denver was Keith who along with goaltender Adam Berkhoel were the two key players in preserving the win.

Gauthier may end up as a two time inductee as he was also a member of the Pioneers team that made it back-to-back NCAA championships with a win in 2005.

Both Gauthier and Keith were members of the Chiefs team that captured the 2000 BCHL championship and won the bronze medal (the only time a third place medal was handed out) at the national championships in Fort McMurray.

Gauthier, who spent three seasons in a Chiefs uniform and ranks third in all-time scoring for the Chiefs with 235 points, was also a member of the 2002 Chiefs team that won the BCHL championship and Doyle Cup. Keith spent two seasons in Chilliwack, scoring 50 goals and 58 assists in 98 games.

When we last saw the current edition of the Chiefs they were dropping their second straight game, a 6-2 decision in Merritt 10 days ago.

They were short five regulars in that game and as of right now it’s unclear if any of those players will be ready to go this weekend when they play a home and home series versus the Langley Rivermen starting Friday in Langley and ending Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Depending on how you look at it, the Chiefs enter the weekend in either first or second place in the Mainland division.

They rank second in points with 21, one point back of the Prince George Spruce Kings, but they have four games in hand. So, if you look at winning percentage (which should actually be called ‘Percentage of Points Earned’) they rank first at 75 per cent.

The BCHL and Five Hole for Food are teaming up again this season to generate food and cash donations for food banks around the province.

Last season, the 16 BCHL teams combined to generate over 33,000 pounds of food.

Chiefs fans topped the list last year with over 10,000 pounds of food donated.

This season the Chiefs will hold their Fill the Rink for the Food Bank night on December 28th.

All tickets are just $5 with a donation of a non perishable food item.

See chilliwackchiefs.net for more.

 

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

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