An early season test for a roster with only six returnees saw the Chilliwack Chiefs earn a split on the road in Prince George last weekend.
Down 3-0 after 20 minutes Friday night, the Chiefs made it interesting, getting as close as 4-3 in the middle period before falling 6-4. After that first period the Chiefs were the better team for the next five plus periods that included Rory Bell’s overtime winner in the second game Saturday night.
Forward Jake Larson had two goals Friday and another one Saturday, also helping set up Bell’s OT winner. The key play in Larson’s tying goal was a shot block by Brandon Potomak.
Unfortunately that shot block may keep him out of the lineup for a while. The video shows him in immediate pain after the puck hits him. Defenceman Mark Esposito may miss some time win an injury as well.
Expect a close tight checking affair when the Merritt Centennials come to town Friday night. The two teams met a few weeks ago in Chilliwack with the Chiefs eking out a 2-1 win. The Chiefs then hit the road for their only visit of the season to Vernon Saturday night.
Time for some early season stats that may only be interesting to me.
The Chiefs are: 3-0-0-0 when scoring first, the only team to have won twice in overtime, 4-0-0-0 when outshooting their opponent, 3-0-0-0 in one goal games and 3-0-0-0 when recording 31 or more shots.
But here is my favorite. Chiefs head coach Jason Tatarnic has used his timeout in every game this season, including the four pre season games. Typically if a coach uses a timeout, it’s late in the third period of a close game. Not Tatarnic. He’ll use it at the most surprising times including the first period. Don’t be surprised if he keeps it up and calls one in every game this season.
If you are looking for some non-BCHL hockey to watch this weekend, the annual Chilliwack Bantam AAA Tournament runs this weekend with some of the best 14 year old players in BC participating. It will mostly be played at Twin Rinks starting at noon on Friday with the final going at 2 p.m. Monday.
There’s a sign hanging below the suites at Prospera Centre that reads, ‘Friends of the Chiefs.’
If you’ve ever wondered what it means, wonder no more.
A Friend of the Chiefs has purchased 28 tickets to every home game to be donated to members of the community so they can enjoy a game from Prospera Centre’s largest luxury suite. So if you are a member of a local organization looking to reward your members with a night out at a Chiefs games, give Andrea a call at the Chiefs office.