Column: New players face steep learning curve with Chiefs

Adapting to junior A hockey will take some time, says Jacob Bestebroer in his weekly column.

  • Sep. 11, 2013 11:00 a.m.

With 13 new faces in the Chilliwack Chiefs lineup, 12 of whom were playing their first game at the junior A level, some early season struggles are to be expected.

That’s exactly what we saw in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Powell River which was one of those games you know each player wants to put behind them in a hurry. Fortunately, they didn’t have long to dwell on that game as they played again the next night. They had the chance to wipe Saturday’s effort from everyone’s memory with a better effort against an even tougher opponent, the Vernon Vipers.

And that’s just what they did.

They earned a 1-1 tie, and consider the first character test of the season passed with flying colors.

Two players who did not play the night before were key contributors. Goaltender Lyndon Stanwood, who struggled through the pre-season, earned the game’s first star by stopping 42 shots. Rookie forward Kurt Black, a healthy scratch the previous night, scored the tying goal with just under seven minutes left in the third period.

On Tuesday, the Chiefs took a step to reduce their level of inexperience when they reacquired defenseman Shay Laurent from the Coquitlam Express.

Shay knows what it takes to be a Chief and his presence on the team will make the transition to this level much easier for all the new players. Credit Express head coach Barry Wolff for helping make this happen for Shay.

It will be a few weeks before we see the Chiefs on home ice again.

They are in Prince George for a pair of games against the Spruce Kings this weekend before getting two weeks off. This trip is well timed as it will give the team some much needed time to get to know each other better. The Spruce Kings have lost two straight to start the season so you know they’ll be ornery this weekend.

The Chiefs return to home ice Sept. 28, debuting new jerseys against Prince George.

There will be lots happening that night and you’ll hear more about it as we get closer to the game. But I can tell you that a special guest will be BC Lions general manager Wally Buono, who will sign autographs during the first intermission.

A huge thank you to Chiefs volunteers who once again stepped up in a big way last weekend.

There were 16 teams in town to play 16 games in just over 50 hours at the Bauer BCHL Showcase, and without the efforts of the volunteers it would not have worked out as well as it did. I can tell you that the BCHL executive was very impressed as well.

Just Posted

Third storm in a week hits Chilliwack

Power knocked out to about 2,600 BC Hydro customers

Chilliwack Chiefs rally falls one short in loss to Langley

The Rivermen jumped out to a 4 goal lead then hung on for a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Prevailing in the face of adversity

Chilliwack pilot living life to fullest will speak at UFV Oct. 23

VIDEO: Daze of Derby hosts teams from around B.C. and Washington

Reformatted tourney squeezed all the action into a one-day event.

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read