Chilliwack Chiefs

Up and down BCHL pod season continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

The junior A club is firmly in the middle of the pack as the shortened season nears its end

The Chilliwack Chiefs have been on a roller coaster ride during the 2021 BCHL pod season, and that continued in their most recent games.

After beating Merritt Friday and falling to Prince George Saturday, Chilliwack’s record stands at 8-5-0-0. The Spruce Kings (9-3-0-1) have surpassed the Chiefs for first place in the Chilliwack pod and the Chiefs’ .615 win percentage is seventh best out of 16 teams league wide.

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April 23, 2021 – Chilliwack 6 at Merritt 5 – Chilliwack Coliseum

The Chiefs jumped out to a big lead on Merritt (2-10-0-0) Friday night, then hung on for a one-goal win at the Chilliwack Coliseum.

Chilliwack led 4-0 at the 14:20 mark of period one, putting four pucks past Centennials stopper Josh Dias. Ethan Bowen had two of them with Tanner Andrew and Liam Tanner also hitting the scoresheet.

But a late goal by Merritt’s Trevor Isaksson got Merritt on the board and the Cents scored twice in the early minutes of period two. Walker Erickson beat Chiefs goalie Jakob Gullmes 46 seconds into the middle frame and Blake Astorino scored his first BCHL goal at 4:44.

Between those goals, Trevor Longo collected one for Chilliwack, scoring his fifth of the season at 4:14. Longo’s five are tops among all BCHL blueliners, one more than the four scored by Langley’s Jake Veilleux and Vernon’s Seth Bafaro.

The Chiefs added a power play goal by Jackson Munro at 13:29 and held a seemingly safe 6-3 lead after 40 minutes.

But Merritt wasn’t going quietly. A power play goal by Brandon Dent at 5:15 of period three got the Centennials within two, and Matteo Pecchia scored at 12:48 to get them within one.

Dias came to the bench for the extra attacker in the final minute, but Merritt couldn’t put another puck past Gullmes, who held the fort to the final whistle.

The three stars were Bowen (first), Erickson (second) and Chilliwack captain Kyle Penney (third), who had two assists on the night.

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April 24, 2021 – Chilliwack 2 at Prince George 5 – Chilliwack Coliseum

The Chiefs were out-shot 40-16 by the Spruce Kings, who skated away with an easy victory Saturday night.

PG jumped out to a 4-0 lead in this one. A Christian Buono power play strike opened the scoring 4:30 into period one, and Rowan Miller doubled the advantage less than three minutes later when he scored shorthanded.

John Herrington and Kolton Cousins scored goals 86 seconds apart early in the middle frame.

The Chiefs finally got on the board at 18:56 of period two when Jackson Munro beat Prince George goalie Aaron Trotter on a Chilliwack power play.

PG led 4-1 through 40 minutes and Cousins scored the final Spruce Kings goal, unassisted and shorthanded at the 14:11 mark of period three.

Ray Fust added a late power play goal for the Chiefs to wrap up the scoring.

The three stars were Cousins (first), Mason Waite (Prince George, second) and Buono (third).

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Chilliwack is back in action tonight, hosting Merritt at the Chilliwack Coliseum.

They host the Centennials again Thursday and the Spruce Kings Friday to wrap up the April portion of the BCHL pod season.

All games are 5 pm starts.

Four May games will remain after this week.

RELATED: Chilliwack Chiefs fans filling the Chilliwack Coliseum with cardboard cutouts

RELATED: Chilliwack Chiefs roster rundown: Veteran additions lead the D


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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