Column: Chilliwack Chief prospects lighting up lower leagues

Ethan Bowen and Gage Goncalves are two future Chiefs excelling in the Major Midget League.

Chilliwack Chiefs radio colour man Jacob Bestebroer writes a weekly column for the Chilliwack Progress during hockey season discussing the Chiefs, the BCHL and goings-on around the junior A world.

Congrats go out to Chilliwack Chiefs forwards Harrison Blaisdell and Corey Andonovski who were both part of the Team Canada West crew that captured the gold medal at the recently concluded World Junior A Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Andonovski, playing on a line with Blaisdell, scored a goal in the final, a 5-1 decision over Team USA.

It was the third Hockey Canada event that Blaisdell has played in since May of this year. He’ll make it four in 12 months when he suits up for the Chiefs at the Royal Bank Cup Championship in Chilliwack next May.

Last May, Blaisdell was 15 year old rookie with the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League’s Regina Pat Canadians.

After capturing the league title the team finished fourth at the national midget AAA championships, otherwise known as the Telus Cup in Prince George, B.C.

Last month in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek B.C., he was one of 66 players to play for one of three Canadian teams at the World Under 17 Challenge. His team finished out of the medals.

Andonovski has another major event coming up as well. This week he was invited to the CJHL Prospects game that will be played next month in Mississauga, Ontario.

Andonovski went undrafted at last summer’s National Hockey League entry draft, but I doubt that happens again next summer.

The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds Major Midget team, which includes future Chief forward Ethan Bowen (2002) and Chiefs prospect Gage Goncalves (2001) will play in the world famous Mac’s Midget Tournament in Calgary over the holidays.

The tournament will run from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1 and will feature 25 male and 15 female teams from across Canada, the United States and Europe.

This year’s version of the Thunderbirds team is the best one I’ve seen in some time.

They are in third place in the 11 team league with a record of 16-6-1-1.

Goncalves ranks third in league scoring 47 points including 17 goals, and he has a goal and an assist in four games with the Chiefs this season. Ethan Bowen’s season started slow due to illness but he’s been hot lately with seven goals and 10 assists in 12 games.

Two other Chiefs’ affiliate players are with the Thunderbirds. Forward Jason Bowen (2001), Ethan’s brother who made his Chiefs debut last Friday, and defenseman Emmett Garrett (2000).

The Chiefs return to action Dec. 29 when they host the Surrey Eagles.

Fans attending the game are asked to bring a non perishable food item that will be donated to one of our local food banks.

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

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