Column: Seeing signs of scoring

In his latest hockey column, Jacob Bestebroer talks about improving defence and signs of life with the Chilliwack Chiefs offence.

The Chilliwack Chiefs face the Coquitlam Express this weekend in a home-and-home series  that includes a Saturday night tilt in Chilliwack.

Both teams are desperate for a win, entering the weekend with losing streaks of three and two games respectively.

Despite losing both games last weekend, I thought the Chiefs were much improved, especially in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Prince George, which was easily their best game of the young season.

Goaltender Lyndon Stanwood was excellent, making 37 saves and giving his team a chance to win.

The number of shots against may not reflect defensive improvement, but the quality of scoring chances against sure did. There has been an obvious improvement in defensive play since the opening night 6-1 loss to Powell River.

Offensively, this team continues to struggle to score goals with just eight through six games.  But we’re starting to see scoring chances now that we were not seeing a few weeks ago.

Ten seconds into the Friday’s game, Austin Plevy looked to have a sure goal only to have the puck bounce at the last second, causing his shot to go over the wide open net. That goes in and who knows how that game plays out.

Creating scoring chances and scoring goals isn’t always about skill. Hard work is just as important. Paying the price in offensive zone puck battles will lead to good things happening. Players are getting that, and they’re also starting to realize that without that work ethic they may find themselves out of the lineup.

Getting back to this weekend’s games, the Express, despite three straight losses are at the opposite offensive spectrum, leading the league with an average of 4.43 goals per game.

They are also a perfect 3-0-0-0 on the road this season.

Of the three players dealt to Coquitlam by the Chiefs in last season’s acquisition of Phil Zielonka only defenseman Ben Israel is still on the Express roster. Garret Forster was traded to the Alberta League’s Brooks Bandits where he has one assist in six games. Defenseman Shay Laurent is back in Chilliwack.

If you’re looking to save some money over walk up prices, there are a few options for you. Family Packs include two adult tickets, two youth tickets, four hot dogs and four pops for $42 including taxes.

You can buy them at the Prospera Centre box office or at the Chilliwack locations of Save On Foods, PriceSmart and Cooper’s Foods.

The Chiefs have also introduced a new Flex Pack. In addition to 10 voucher ($120) and 20 voucher ($220) packs, you can now purchase a six voucher pack for $66. That pack includes a free Chiefs hat and $16 of the purchase price can be donated to the local non-profit association of your choice.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read