Column: Chiefs and Rivermen creating separation at the top

As Jacob Bestebroer notes in this week's column, two teams are pulling away from the pack in the Mainland division.

The BCHL’s trade deadline was last Saturday and while it was a quieter deadline days than most previous years, the league’s 16 teams were involved in eight trades on Saturday and 15 trades in the three days leading up to the deadline.

The Chiefs were involved in three of those deals.

Moved from the team were 19 year old goaltender David Poirier and defenceman Evan MacEachern. New to the team are 20 year old goaltender David Jacobson and 19 year old forward Scott Davidson.

Both acquisitions slugged through a long travel day and made their debuts with the Chiefs Saturday night.

Jacobson had the biggest impact, allowing three goals and making 30 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Langley Rivermen.

If you’re wondering what the effect of adding a 20 year old goaltender might be on 19 year old incumbent goalie Aidan Pelino, well Pelino responded with a pair of outstanding efforts on the weekend including a first star performance in Friday’s 3-2 win in Langley.

Davidson is a big forward that can score, and once he gets settled he should help kick start the Chiefs offense.

The Chiefs have lost five of six since the Christmas break and have scored only eight goals in those six games.

Their recent slump has seen the Chiefs drop from first to second in the Mainland Division.

Well, sort of.

With 48 points they have one fewer point than the Langley Rivermen but Langley has played four more games.

There is some separation now between the top two teams and the third and fourth place teams. Prince George is in third place, eight points back of the Chiefs and five points up on the fourth place Coquitlam Express. And Prince George has just lost their best player, forward Justin Rai, for the season.

No team has been hit harder by injuries then Prince George. They were missing eight or more guys in some games prior to the Christmas break. Losing Rai may be enough to end their hopes for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

A few odds and ends from Chiefs land:

Luke McColgan has committed to play for the University of Alaska Anchorage next season, joining Chiefs forward Jake Larson. He’s the fifth member of the Chiefs to commit to an NCAA school for next season.

Defenceman Dennis Cholowski will play two more seasons for the Chiefs before heading off to St. Cloud University.

Chiefs forward Brandon Potomak’s sister Sarah was recently named the top forward and MVP at the U-18 World Women’s Hockey Championship. She’ll play at the University of Minnesota next season. Canada lost to the United State 3-2 in overtime in the gold medal game.

The Chiefs Spring Camp will run April 17-19, open to players aged 16-19. Look for more details on the Chiefs website next week.

This weekend the Chiefs host the Victoria Grizzlies Friday and the Surrey Eagles on Saturday. Purchase two tickets for Friday and get a free ticket for Saturday. Friday’s game will also feature the annual BMO Dash For Cash. Saturday’s game is brought to you by Fraser Valley Distance Education.

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