During the hockey season, Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column in the Chilliwack Progress sports section discussing the Chilliwack Chiefs, the BCHL and goings-on around the junior A world.
The Chiefs acquisition of 20 year old forward P.J. Marrocco from the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League this week has a chance to be one of the more impactful mid-season trades the Chiefs have made.
Over the years, the Chiefs have made some blockbusters.
The deal that will likely never be topped will be the acquisition of goaltender Wade Dubielewicz from the Trail Smoke Eaters at the 1999 trade deadline. After the trade, the Chiefs goals-against average was cut in the half for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
A more recent example, and one that I think is similar to the addition of Marrocco, is the trade for forward Philip Zielonka from the Coquitlam Express during the 2012-13 season.
With the Express, Zielonka had 20 goals and 33 points in 24 games. With the Chiefs he finished the regular season with 16 goals and 29 points in 21 games, adding seven goals in eight playoff games.
This year’s team needs to find a way to score more goals, though some of their recent struggles offensively can be contributed to key players like Bryan Allbee, Tommy Lee, Harrison Blaisdell and Will Calverley being out of the lineup.
On the season the Chief have averaged 3.27 goals per game, which is just okay. But if you take out three home wins against Coquitlam and Cowichan, two teams that have won a combined five of their 54 games, that average drops to 2.85 per game.
Prior to Wednesday’s game versus Surrey, the Chiefs had lost six of their last seven games.
In those six losses, they allowed a total of 18 goals, one of which was scored into an empty net. That’s not a bad total. The problem is they only managed to score nine goals.
Improvement needs to come from the existing lineup but much will be expected from Marrocco.
At the time of the trade he was leading the AJHL in scoring with 41 points including 22 goals in 28 games. Six of those goals game on the power play while three were scored shorthanded. He has the speed and the shot to put up some good numbers with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs host the Coquitlam Express tonight (Friday).
Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring and donate a new pair of pajamas which will then be donated to Chilliwack Community Services.
Anyone who takes part in this will receive a voucher for 50 per cent off their food order at Brown’s Social House at Eagle Landing on Dec. 3.
A new Chiefs ticket package is now available.
The ‘2018 Royal Bank Cup Christmas Pack’ includes three Royal Bank Cup flex tickets valid for any round robin game, an RBC souvenir bell, and two tickets to the Chiefs Dec. 29 Fill the Rink for the Food Bank Game against the Surrey Eagles.
The cost of the pack is just $74.99 and is available at the Chiefs office.