Each week during the BCHL season, local hockey guru Jacob Bestebroer drops by with his thoughts on the Chilliwack Chiefs and goings on around the league.
It was a weird feeling leaving the rink Sunday after the Chiefs and Westside Warriors skated to a 3-3 tie.
The BCHL does not use the NHL style shootout to decide ties; instead they tack on a second overtime period that is played three skaters aside.
As you can imagine, with that much room out there, ties are somewhat of a rarity. Since the shootout was scrapped the Chilliwack version of the Chiefs has played 401 regular season games and Sunday’s game was only the sixth to end in a tie.
Speaking of rule changes the BCHL made some big ones last week. Gone is the 60 game schedule, replaced by a 56 game schedule plus a showcase event to kick off the season. Each team will play two games at the showcase, which will count in the standings, leaving 54 games (27 home games) for each team going forward).
The reason for the change was financial. Reducing the schedule will allow teams to eliminate some non-weekend games that are tougher sells while also eliminating some travel costs.
The move seems a little bit drastic to me, but I don’t pay the bills for the teams that voted for this change. Based on some comments that have been made by some teams since the change, it’s obvious it was not agreed upon unanimously.
Some teams have stated they were opposed to the change, and that rather than reduce the number of games, teams should have been more creative in finding ways to bring people into their buildings for the tougher to sell mid-week games.
I wonder which side of the fence season ticket holders around the league fall on this one. Thirty home games per season seemed like a good number to me.
Another change starting next season sees the Chiefs back in the same division as Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam.
The rivalries of yesteryear will be back, and I think fans will enjoy that.
Joining these teams in the Mainland division will be the Prince George Spruce Kings. Strange but true.
This may not be that big a deal to Prince George.
Since Williams Lake and Quesnel left the league there is no way to make their travel schedule easy. But for the other four teams in the division, it’s a bit of a financial kick. The obvious geographical choice would have been Merritt instead of Prince George.
Two home games for the Chiefs this weekend. Merritt is here Friday, Trail on Saturday. The Sardis secondary school Drumline will be at Friday’s game and Saturday’s is Cancer Awareness night.
It’s also parents weekend, so you’ll see many of the Chiefs’ parents around the rink.
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