Archive for August, 2012

About Last Night – Chiefs Down Cents 3-1

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Mitch Gillam was solid in Wednesday’s win

The Chiefs got on the good side of the column Wednesday night – as much as a preseason victory can mean anyway – with a 3-1 triumph over the Merritt Centennials.

Because the exhibition season is about finding positives and building on them, I noticed one or two last night:

– Local product Devon Allenby had his best game in a Chief uniform to date, generating a couple of chances offensively, and bringing a physical element to the table. He had one massive hit on Merritt defenseman Kevin Lohan on the forecheck in the second period.

– Austin Edwards’ long stretch pass to Mitch Skapski that set up the Chiefs’ first goal of the game. Nice vision. Skapski didn’t mess around on the shot off the left wing side, either.

– The Chiefs had a 2-0 lead at the time already, (Garrett Forster added his first of the preseason) but it was extended puck pressure on a 5 on 3 halfway through the period where the boys decided “We’re going to carry the play for the rest of the night.” The game was basically over after that.

– Austin Plevy and Luke Esposito as a tandem on the penalty kill : Those guys attack. All the time. Doesn’t matter the situation.

– From the ‘Watching It Develop’ file, Spencer Graboski went hard to the net, beating the defenseman to the spot at the top of the crease on a quasi 2 on 1. Josh Hansen rewarded him with a nice centering pass for a 3-0 lead late in the 2nd.

– Kevin Lohan’s point shot was re-directed through the legs of Chiefs starter Mitch Gillam late in the third period to break the goose egg. You could tell by Mitch’s reaction that he wanted that goose egg. He looked solid in stopping the other 21 pucks.

With the victory, the Chiefs are now 1-1-1 on the preseason. A home and home with the Surrey Eagles awaits this long weekend. Friday’s game is a 7pm start at the South Surrey Arena. Saturday’s tilt is back at Prospera, also 7pm. Tickets are just five bucks. These two matchups will close out the exhibition schedule.


I’ll be sneaking away for a little vacation this long weekend before we get going for real September 7th against Penticton. Be sure to follow @Chiefs_Hockey and @SurreyEagles for game updates on August 31st, and September 1st.

We’re a week away.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs Renew Hostilities With Cents Wednesday

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Chilliwack’s Josh Hansen scored a power play goal in his first pre-season action vs. Coquitlam Tuesday

The Chilliwack Chiefs will take their game to Hope tonight as they’ll renew acquaintances with the Merritt Centennials.

Chilliwack is looking for their first win of the pre-season Wednesday night. They’ve gone 0-1-1 thus far, both games have seen the Coquitlam Express as an opponent.

The Chiefs had some positives, and negatives in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Express in Burnaby. The boys will have to do a better job of getting into shooting lanes defensively. Four of Coquitlam’s five goals were generated from long point shots. Two of them came on the powerplay to give the Express momentum early.

Jaret Babych won’t play after a freak accident in Tuesday’s game. He suffered a gash above his ankle that required a couple stitches, and has to be off skates for a couple days. Defensemen David Thompson and Alex Perron-Fontaine should be back in the lineup tonight after both were a little under the weather.

A former Chief should be lined up on the other side as well. Derek Huisman was traded in the offseason for Austin Plevy. Huisman scored two goals Tuesday in a 5-5 tie with Langley.

It’s a 7pm start from the Hope & District Rec. Centre. After tonight, a home and home with the Surrey Eagles will close out the preseason this weekend.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs Fall To Express 5-4

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Tuesday marked the second pre-season game of the year in the…uh…charming….

(We’ll go with charming)

….Burnaby Winter Club.

I, as per usual, watched the entire thing.

Here’s what I noticed –

Ryan Donohoe continues to be active. The Chiefs’ latest acquisition bagged a shorthanded goal for the second straight game when he broke up a Coquitlam breakout, wheeled around, and fired a shot past Express ‘keeper Cole Huggins. Donohoe also recieved some powerplay time later on in the game, and had some moments at even strength as well. We’ll see if he becomes one of those swiss-army knife types as the season goes on.

– The chippy play ramped up by the time the third period rolled around. These two teams will be Coastal Conference rivals in the Mainland division this season, and with more of Coquitlam’s veterans dressed on this night as opposed to Saturday- some introductions were made throughout the evening. There was a fight in the second period, when Chilliwack’s Garrett Forster scrapped with Coquitlam’s Matt Lloyd.

– The Chiefs were outshot 37-22 on the night, but may have fallen victim to the ol’ ‘home shot clock advantage’.

– Chilliwack certainly did spend more time in the defensive end of the rink in the third period.

Donohoe (SHG), Josh Hansen (PP), Jeremy Gossard, and Spencer Graboski were the goalscorers on this night. Josh Halpenny played the entire game, with Mitch Gillam backing him up.

The Chiefs are now 0-1-1 on their preseason, and will travel to Hope Wednesday to take on former Chief Derek Huisman and the Merritt Centennials. Huisman scored twice on Tuesday in the Cents’ 5-5 tie with the Langley Rivermen in other BCHL action.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs Tie Express In X Opener

August 26, 2012 Leave a comment

In a game that was played with pre-season intensity at times, the Chilliwack Chiefs skated to a 2-2 draw with the Coquitlam Express on Saturday night at Prospera Centre.

Chief goals were scored by a pair of newcomers. Ryan Donohoe opened the scoring when he stole an outlet pass in the offensive zone, and deked goaltender Dan Urbai for the shorthanded goal at 15:41.

Brady Shaw answered back for the Express three minutes later when he carried the puck into the Chilliwack slot, outwaited Chiefs goaltender RJ Bruni, who gambled a little, challenging aggressively, and buried a wrist shot to square things.

Austin Plevy got his first as a Chief twenty seconds into the 3rd period, stuffing a loose puck past Pierce Dorshenko. Garrett Forster and Mathieu Tibbet drew the assists.

Zack Pryzbeck tied it up fourteen minutes after that for Coquitlam.

Mitch Gillam started the game in goal for the Chiefs, and stopped all 16 shots he faced.

Part of the preseason for the coaches is finding line combinations that work. The combinations on Saturday night were similar to what was seen at the Crimson-Gold Game on Thursday.

Austin Plevy and Luke Esposito were paired together with Garrett Forster. Along with the goal, Plevy showed his patience with the puck at times, and his ability to stickhandle in tight quarters. The McHaffie twins, Scott and Spencer, were effective on the forecheck, making things happen in the offensive zone with Jaret Babych.

That aggresiveness with the body cost Scott McHaffie in the second period, when he caught Coquitlam’s Malcolm McKinney from behind with a check in the offensive zone. McHaffie will likely face some discipline from the league.

The two teams will meet again at the Burnaby Winter Club on Tuesday August 28th.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Express Here As X-Season Opens

August 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Fans will have their first look at the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday night at Prospera Centre as the exhibition season kicks off.

All tickets for the game tonight are just five bucks at the door, as the Coquitlam Express are in town. It’s the first time the Express uniform will be seen in Chilliwack, as they did not make the trip out to the Fraser Valley last season.

The two teams did meet once last regular season, a wild 6-6 tie in Coquitlam that saw Mathieu Tibbet score a hat-trick. Tibbet should be in the lineup tonight, along with a few other familiar faces.

As for the Express, a team that’s going to be a threat in the Coastal Conference’s Mainland division, there will be quite a few rookies on the ice this evening, but a few returning vets all the same. Names like Brady Shaw, Braden Pears, Justin Georgeson, and John Siemer are expected to go.

Tonight’s game is one of two exhibition contests at Prospera Centre. The Chiefs will head out on to the road for the next three. A rematch between these two teams goes August 28th at the Burnaby Winter Club.

Jacob Bestobroer in the Chiefs’ office has done some solid legwork to post tonight’s lineups, and a little background information on some of the new guys. You can find that by clicking here.

Again, just to be clear, we won’t be broadcasting the pre-season games on 89.5 The Hawk. Your best bet is to come out to the rink tonight, and welcome the fellas back to town.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Thoughts On Crimson & Gold

August 24, 2012 Leave a comment


I could re-hash what happened on Thursday night at Prospera Centre by going over the events in painstaking detail, but I won’t, because there’s already a game recap on the Chiefs’ main site, which you can access by clicking here.

As you might have heard, I was asked to be the Head Coach for Team Gold.

Here’s a few things that stuck out about last night:

 – Jaret Babych may have scored twice, but the game was won due to my brilliant line juggling with Team Gold. (And by ‘brilliant line juggling’, I mean ‘The boys pretty much policed themselves, and I didn’t really have to do anything.’)

– It was a blast to watch these guys play from up close, as my usual vantage point is from much farther away. Very easy to appreciate the skill, speed, and intensity all these guys have. They’re good. They really are.

David Thompson played so well, and was such a poised, calming influence for Team Gold that I had completely forgotten he was even out on the ice – The mark of any good blueliner.

– The stellar play in goal from Gold’s tandem of Josh Halpenny, and Kenny Fitzgerald

– It was the returnees who came up with the big goals – Babych, Spencer Graboski, Jeremy Gossard, Trevor Hills. The line of Hills, Josh Hansen, and Graboski looked comfortable out there together.

– Speaking of Hansen, he dropped the mitts with Mathieu Tibbet halfway through the game. These guys are best friends. They hugged it out in the hallway afterwards.

– Jeremy Gossard looking over his shoulder at me to see if I’d give him some powerplay time late in the 3rd period. I did. I think he enjoyed that.

– Jaret Babych after the game on his two scoring plays, a pair of heavy shots from the slot that were set up by the Mchaffie brothers Scott, and Spencer : “I kinda blacked out.”

I guess this means that scoring goals at this level in hockey is a little like competing in a debate.

Jaret and I spoke for a few minutes after the game. He’s coming into his second year with the team, and while a knock on the hand had been bothering him a little bit, he still unleashed a pair of his usual heavy shots to help the team win. Also, somebody tossed a puck at him mid-interview at some point. Try to pick out where:



The Chiefs will begin the pre-season portion of their schedule on Saturday night at Prospera Centre. The Coquitlam Express will be in town for a 7 o’clock puckdrop. I should point out that 89.5 The Hawk won’t be broadcasting the pre-season games. Soupy Campbell and I will fire it up on September 7th for the first night of the BCHL Showcase.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Crimson-Gold Lineups/Donohoe Acquisition

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment


Training camp is winding down, and some decisions have been made by the coaching staff to trim down the numbers. What was once close to 80 invitees has been knocked down to 40, which will make up the two teams in Thursday night’s annual Crimson-Gold game at Prospera Centre.

The lineups (and uni numbers) are as follows, but may change slightly before game time on Thursday night.


#2 Austin Plevy, #8 Luke Esposito, #9 Garrett Forster

#11 Mitch Skapski, #10 Matt Revel, #12 Mathieu Tibbet

#13 Joel Atkinson, # 14 Mitchell Plevy, #15 Brad King

#16 Wolfgang Schoenefuhs, #17 Kyle Westeringh, #18 Matt Bissett


#31 Cooper Rush     #3 Alexander Perron-Fontaine

#4 Jason Hawkins      #5 Eric Welking

#6 Ben Israel      #7 Eric Roberts


#30 Mitch Gillam

#32 RJ Bruni


#8 Josh Hansen, #9 Spencer Graboski, #10 Trevor Hills

#11 Jeremy Gossard, #12 Matthew Hill, #13 Ryan Forbes

#14 Scott Mchaffie, #15 Spencer Mchaffie, #16 Jaret Babych

#17 Devon Allenby, #18 Cam Smyl, #19 Eric Margo


#2 Derek Hughes     #3 David Thompson

#4 Shay Laurent     #5 Ben Masella

#6 Austin Edwards     #7 Kyle Hazelwood


#30 Josh Halpenny

#31 Kenny Fitzgerald


 Earlier in the day, the Chiefs acquired 20 year old forward Ryan Donohoe from the Lindsay Muskies of the OJHL for future considerations. To see the official press release, click here. Donohoe is expected to arrive in Chilliwack early Thursday, and should be on the ice for the Crimson-Gold game, 7pm at Prospera Centre.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chilliwack Has It’s Own Espo

August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Of the new faces in training camp for the Chilliwack Chiefs, one who has generated some buzz early on is Luke Esposito.

The Chiefs have been no stranger to players with strong hockey bloodlines, and Espo certainly fits that description. The ’93 born forward is the nephew of Mark Messier, and the grandson of Doug Messier.

It was Doug Messier who coached the St. Albert Saints of the AJHL in the early 80’s. One of the players Messier sent over the boards in his time there, was none other than the man who convinced his grandson to play in the ‘Wack –  Harvey Smyl.

Needless to say, there’s connections all over the place.

Getting back to Esposito, this will be his first season at the Junior A level after putting up 47 points in 29 games with Brunswick Prep in Greenwich, Conn. A trip to the New York Rangers rookie camp earlier this summer soon followed, and now he finds himself playing on a line with fellow new additon Austin Plevy in Chiefs camp.

The two looked very impressive on Tuesday night, generating numerous scoring chances, and finishing on a few as well. Esposito granted me a few minutes afterwards to talk about his new environment.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Back In The Crease: Mitch Gillam

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Mitch Gillam at New York Islanders rookie camp this past offseason. Courtesy Chilliwack Chiefs

After 23 wins, A BCHL All-Star/All-Rookie Team selection, and a nod as Chiefs’ Co-MVP and R.O.Y, most guys would leave a year early to attend their dream school, Cornell University.

Not Mitch Gillam though.

He’s sticking around for another year. And that works just fine for those within the Chiefs organization, and their fans.

Granted, things will be a little bit different this season for the Peterborough, Ontario native. Like the team in front of him, it’s going to be a little harder to sneak up on the rest of the league. His signed intent to attend a program like Cornell, and an experience at the New York Islanders rookie camp means that people in the hockey world have paid attention, meaning the spotlight/bullseye is a little bigger this September then it was last.

My guess is it won’t phase him all that much. He was smiling all the way through the first day of training camp Monday at Prospera. He’ll still get off the bus this season in his Don Cherry jackets.


I spoke with Mitch after his first day at Chiefs camp.

Audio Guide:

:25 – Staying in Chilliwack over Cornell

:49 – Following up on last year’s hardware

1:10 – Familiar faces in front of him this season

1:27 – On missing his buddy, former Chiefs goalie Bryton ‘Yoods’ Udy this season, as he’s moved on to pursue his passion for music

1:45 – On his experience at the New York Islanders rookie camp

2:10 – On his Don Cherry jackets

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Pre-Camp Chat With Harvey Smyl

August 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Training camp for the Chiefs begins today at Prospera Centre, and will run until Friday. The annual Crimson-Gold Game is set for Thursday, August 23rd, at Prospera Centre, with a 7pm puckdrop.

It’s certainly not the first training camp for Chiefs Head Coach/GM Harvey Smyl. He’ll try to build on last season’s team that won 33 games, and made a playoff appearance in a competitive Interior conference.

I had an opportunity to speak with Harvey a few days before camp opened.

Audio Guide:

Off the top: Is training camp still fun?

:45 : On the importance of continuity within the roster

1:57: On finding/replacing the on-ice leadership now that the likes of Tyler Miller/Michael Spring etc. have moved on

3:00: On the return of goaltender Mitch Gillam this season

3:53: On the recruiting trail the past few months

4:42: On new recruit Luke Esposito, nephew of Mark Messier

5:53 : On putting special teams/5 on 5 systems in early in the preseason

7:14: On potential captaincy group this season

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
The General's Report

Play-by-play guy Jon Zacks shares his take on the West Kelowna Warriors.

Port Alberni, B.C. - Hammer's Bulldog and Bombers Blog

Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.

Cougar Town

Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.

Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.

vipersdiehardfan blog

Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.

Off The Wahl

Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.

Spruce Kings Crusader

Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.


Chiefs Hockey. Chilliwack's Team. In blog form.

Kings of the Castle

Alex Rawnsley's inside look at the BCHL's Powell River Kings