Column: Many memories of dream teamers

Columnist Jacob Bestebroer watched all six Chilliwack Chief dream teamers play at various levels of hockey.

When I saw the list of six players that were voted to the Chilliwack Chiefs 25th anniversary dream team, the memories came flooding back.

I have vivid first memories of each players, some predating their first game in a Chiefs uniform.

My first memory of Doug Ast comes from the Chilliwack Peewee Jamboree. He would have been 12 or 13 years old at the time. He was a good player but it wasn’t his play that stood out to me.

It was the length his hair, which covered the number on the back of his jersey.

He spent three years as a Chief, two as team captain.

He still holds the team record for career goals (101) and points (242).

I didn’t know Doug on a personal level when he played but when the Chiefs returned to Chilliwack in 2011 we ended up working together for three seasons and it was a great experience.

I saw Jeff Tambellini play two games of junior B when he was 15 years old.

Wow was he good.

During the summer after that season, knowing there was a chance he would be coming to the Chiefs I went to the BC Hockey U-17 camp in Osoyoos to see how he stacked up against the best of his age group.

He was by far the best forward there.

He started slow as a Chief but after playing in the World U-17 Challenge midway through his first season he really took off. During his second season he lead the league in scoring with 117 points and was named the Canadian Junior A Player of the Year.

Shawn Horcoff was absolutely dominant in his one season with the Chiefs.

Just 17 years old he scored 49 goals and added 96 assists in 58 games.

His injury during the second round of the playoffs in 1996 against the Langley Thunder was the reason the Chiefs lost that series.

After two seasons at Michigan State he was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round of the 1998 NHL Draft. At the time I didn’t understand how 98 players were selected ahead of him. As of today only eight of those 98 players have played in more NHL games than Horcoff’s 930.

Brandon Fleenor and Don Nichols were a dominant duo on defense during the 1998-99 season. Nichols had 18 goals while Fleenor added 16. They played a ton as the team advanced to the league finals versus the Vernon Vipers.

Their styles were very different.

Nichols was a smooth skating finesse player with play making ability. He’s still playing pro hockey in Holland.

Fleenor was as tough a player that has ever worn a Chiefs uniform. He didn’t often go looking for trouble but if any opposing player was looking for it, he supplied it.

Curtis Darling was the easy choice as team MVP both seasons he played here.

I remember his first game like it was yesterday.

It was actually October 5, 2002 at the Chilliwack Coliseum against the Langley Hornets.

He didn’t start off well, allowing three goals in the first period. Later in the game he made some huge saves in what ended up being a 4-3 overtime loss. He’s the only Chiefs goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opposing empty net. I had the pleasure of being part of the broadcast that night and what a thrill that was for me.

Just Posted

PHOTO: Rain in the forecast Sunday, sun expected by Tuesday in Chilliwack

Chilliwack has been treated to fairly warm and dry weather over the past two weeks

PHOTOS: Hand-made creations galore at Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The 45th annual event features 180 vendors and is a fundraiser for the Chilliwack Community Arts Council

Warrant issued for Chilliwack prolific offender

Do not attempt to apprehend David Allen Geoghegan, 29, police caution

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through

VIDEO: New supportive housing in Chilliwack almost ready to welcome residents

Grand opening Friday saw dignitaries join with health, policing, and housing reps on Trethewey

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Body found after SUV found fully engulfed in flames in Abbotsford field

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team have been called in

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read