Column: Early upsets in BCHL playoffs

In his last column of the season, Jacob Bestebroer discusses surprising early returns from the first round of BCHL playoffs.

The first round of the BCHL playoffs started earlier this week with a couple of surprises. The third place Coquitlam Express took game two in Prince George to even their series at one, and the fourth place Surrey Eagles are also tied 1-1 with first place Langley.

Quick tangent here. Why is the league back to starting the playoffs mid-week?

They understandably do everything they can to avoid mid-week games during the regular season, but would it not make more sense to play a few more mid-week games during the regular season, end the season a week earlier and let the teams who earned home ice advantage start their series with weekend games? I’m going to answer my own question: yes.

The biggest surprise so far is the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Victoria Grizzlies series tied at one. The Grizzlies finished with 29 more points than the Bulldogs during the regular season. The one series I thought we might see an upset in hasn’t played out that way so far. I thought the Nanaimo Clippers might upset the Powell River Kings but the Kings lead that series 2-0. No surprise at all in the Interior where the Penticton Vees hold a 2-0 series lead on the Merritt Centennials and the West Kelowna Warriors and Vernon Vipers are tied at one.

The Vernon vs West Kelowna series is the toughest to pick and should end up being the best series of the first round.

The Chiefs held their end of season awards banquet on Sunday. The full list of winners can be found on the Chiefs website. The big winners were Mathieu Tibbet (MVP/Top Scorer/3 Stars), Tanner Cochrane (Fan Favorite and Unsung Hero) and Carter Cochrane (Top Defenseman and Rookie of the Year). Tibbet also finished his BCHL career with the BCHL Player of the Month Award after scoring 11 goals and 5 assists during the month of February.

The BCHL also handed out their regular season awards this week and congrats go out to Chiefs Alum Bobby Henderson who was named BCHL Coach of the Year after leading the Langley Rivermen to a first overall finish.  The league MVP is Landon Smith of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. I’m surprised at that choice. I don’t question the fine season he had. He led the league in goals (43) and tied for the league lead in points (83) but the Silverbacks didn’t make the playoffs. My vote would have gone to Penticton captain Brad McClure. He scored 41 goals, had 80 points and his team finished in first place in the Interior.

That’s it for me this season. Thank you to everyone for their feedback throughout the year and I look forward to seeing you at the rink in September.

jb@chilliwackchiefs.net

Just Posted

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by Chilliwack animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for both the shelter and municipal election

VIDEO: Education Minister talks SOGI 123 and the Chilliwack school board election

He said people are making ‘noise about side issues but student safety is important’

Chilliwack athletes win provincial titles at Cultus Lake Triathlon

Close to 700 athletes competed in several distances, with action starting at Cultus Lake Park.

Chilliwack Chiefs add defenceman Alexander Marrocco

Marrocco is the younger brother of PJ Marrocco, a forward from last spring’s RBC Cup champions.

Rally in the Valley in Chilliwack to talk stewardship

It’s an event to connect interested locals with groups making a difference with species at risk

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Lower Mainland city calls for slower trains near popular beach

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

Most Read