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Insert Rivalry Cliche Here: Chiefs At Eagles

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Both games at the South Surrey Arena have gone to double overtime this year, with the two teams splitting those games.

Chilliwack Chiefs (14-5-1-1 – 30 points, 1st in Mainland)

AT Surrey Eagles (13-6-0-2 – 28 points, 2nd in Mainland)

(South Surrey Arena – 6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk)

Lost amidst the buzz about the way this Chiefs team is currently playing: The mainland division is really tough, and there’s no room for error in trying to keep that top spot.

Chilliwack enters Friday’s play tied for the league lead in wins with Penticton, but faces a Surrey team that’s breathing down their necks for a share of the division lead.

The Chiefs have taken two of three from Surrey in the season series. The last matchup came at the South Surrey Arena on September 30th. Luke Esposito scored the double overtime winner, and Josh Halpenny picked up his first win in goal that Sunday afternoon. Both games at the SSA have gone into extra-extra time. The Eagles’ Drew Best scored the double overtime winner back on September 14th. Chilliwack answered back one day later with a 4-2 victory at Prospera Centre on September 15th.

THINGS I’LL BE KEEPING IN MIND:

– Austin Plevy rejoins the fold as one of the most prolific scoring lines is back intact with Plevy, Luke Esposito, and Josh Hansen. Secondary scoring though, has become a story for the Chiefs. Trevor Hills filled in on the top line this past weekend. He merely racked up four goals, six points, and two first star selections. Jaret Babych has a goal in each of his last four games. Ryan Donohoe has found the net recently as well, and is playing some of his best hockey. Getting offense from other places is one of the main reasons there’s been a lot of winning going on. Chilliwack is among the league leaders in Goals For with 72 going into this one.

– Confidence is something that both teams should be full of coming into Friday night.  Chilliwack has won four games in a row, and the offense is clicking, scoring eighteen goals during those four victories over Penticton (twice) Coquitlam, and Langley. The Eagles beat up on a beaten up Express team 6-1 in their most recent outing Monday afternoon on home ice.

– Surrey will look a little different from the last time the Chiefs saw them. Brady Shaw was acquired from the Coquitlam Express for Brandon Morley back on October 18th. Shaw has fit in with his new Surrey teammates since coming over from Coquitlam, collecting six goals and twelve points. He holds a share of the team lead with Demico Hannoun for 21 points overall.

Also, this is one of the BCHL’s best rivalries….sooo…. There’s no love lost between these two teams….These two teams don’t like each other very much….etc, etc….

If you can make the short trip out to the South Surrey Arena to support the boys Friday, it’ll probably be worth it.

Special Teams:

Chilliwack – Powerplay – 21.00 %/Penalty Kill – 86.84%

Surrey – Powerplay – 18.75%/ Penalty Kill – 77.03%

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Weekly Top 20: Chiefs Crack Top 10

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ll start by saying that nobody thinks these rankings are sillier than me. Broadcasters Dan Marshall of the Nanaimo Clippers told me something to the effect of ‘The rankings don’t matter until you’re in them.’ Fraser Rodgers of the Penticton Vees suggested he’d like to see a BCHL Power Poll, for which I agreed with him……

I think it’s impossible to determine the 17th ranked team from the 20th, or the 13th from the 15th.

It’s just a big pop-

Wait, what?…..

The Chiefs are a top ten team? They jumped a whopping ten spots? They’re the highest ranked BCHL club? Well, then.

As of this writing, this team boasts –

1.) The best record in the BCHL

2.) The most wins (14)

3.) Tied for the second best goal differential (+17) including 2nd in Goals For with 72. (Remember when scoring was thought to be a problem at the beginning of the year?)

4.) Top Five in all these categories: powerplay goals (4th – 21) shorthanded goals (2nd – 5) powerplay percentage (5th – 21.00%) and penalty kill percentage (2nd – 86.8%)

5.) Luke Esposito and Josh Hansen are 1-2 in league scoring. Hansen leads the league in goals (16) while Esposito holds the top spot in the assists category (21)

6.) Mitch Gillam leads all goaltenders in wins (12) and is second in save percentage (.933)

7.) A stellar record within the (highly competitive) mainland division at 7-1-1, with the only loss coming in Surrey in the crapshoot that is 3 on 3 overtime. Their longest losing ‘streak’ this season is two. If this team didn’t fold up and take a nap after ten minutes in Trail on November 2nd, there would be no losing ‘streak’ to speak of. Since that night, they’ve responded with….

8.) ….four wins in a row, and two wins inside of a week over a Penticton team (horses or no horses. It’s about the 20 guys in the room on any given night)  that had (rightfully so) taken permanent residency in the Top 10 nationally.

So there. A long way to go no question, but this group as presently constructed is very good. Good enough that they may even be higher than 10th in the Country.

Plevy, Rush, contribute to CJHL Prospects weekend win:

Cooper Rush accepting hardware at the CJHL Prospects Weekend. Photo: cjhlhockey.com

Here’s the summary from the weekend as per the CJHL website. Congrats to Cooper Rush and Austin Plevy on a strong weekend in front of the NHL scouts.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Unpretty, But Effective – Chiefs On Top Of BCHL

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Chiefs 5 Vees 4

Boxscore

J.B.’s Recap

That was a strange one.

It’s a win for the Chiefs, though. Their fourth in a row, fourteenth overall, and second over the Vees in the final matchup of the three game season set.

This one really played out like three games in one. To make sure I don’t forget anything, I’ll break it down period by period. Here’s what I saw:

First Period:

– Chilliwack opened the scoring early on when Josh Hansen stole the puck from two Vees behind the goal to the right of the net, walked in front, and shovelled a backhand past Vees starter Nic Reynard for his league-leading 16th goal of the season.

– Jaret Babych added to the lead a short time later, and you thought that the Chiefs would run away with this one. I actually thought about the Trail game as this happened. You know, the game where the Chiefs blew a 3-0 first period lead and lost?

– Penticton got back in it on Mitch Gillam’s puck handling gaffe. Ryan Gropp took advantage. Each goaltender gets one of those a year, I guess. Brad McClure tied the game with a nice shot off the rush from the right side, and all that positive momentum went out the window.

Second Period:

Alex Perron-Fontaine now has five assists in two games since returning from injury. Photo: Bob Frid

– This period stunk. For both teams. Sloppy play. One goal each, (Trevor Hills, Ryan Gropp again) and….umm…

The second period stunk. Just trust me. Let’s move on.

Third Period:

– The final frame was better. It could have gone either way going in tied at 3, but the Chiefs took advantage of a powerplay, and Luke Esposito scored on a rebound goal for his seventh, and third in the last three games. Trevor Hills sent home his fourth goal in two games off a Ryan Donohoe faceoff win for a 5-3 lead, and the Chiefs looked like they were home free.

– Brad McClure struck again to cut the lead to one. Jordan McCallum’s shot off the rush on the left side was blocked by the stick of Ben Masella, but bounced right to McCallum, who had an open net to fire at after Gillam had committed to the initial shot. Penticton had some time with the goalie out in the final minute, but couldn’t make that final push to force overtime.

Leftovers:

Spencer Graboski left this game after the first period with an upper body injury…..The Chiefs, as a result had to juggle their forward lines a little bit….Tanner Cochrane got some powerplay time, and looked comfortable…..Mitch Gillam won his 12th game of the year, but wasn’t his airtight self, as his Twitter feed will tell you……The top two scorers in the BCHL as of November 11th are Luke Esposito and Josh Hansen…..Babych’s goal was his fourth in four games……Alexandre Perron-Fontaine collected two more assists, and has five in his last two games since returning from injury…..There were 2689 people in attendance at Prospera Centre Saturday night….The Chiefs are currently the best team in the BCHL as of November 11th.

Really.

Lots can happen between now and the end of the year, but for a couple hours on a Saturday night in November, that’s pretty good through the first two months. The boys will get back to practice this week before another important Mainland division weekend on November 16th and 17th, starting with a trip to Surrey, followed by the fifth matchup of the year with the Coquitlam Express on the 17th.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

As Real As It Gets: Penticton’s Here

November 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Mitch Gillam was named first star in a 4-1 Chilliwack victory in Penticton one week ago.

Chilliwack Chiefs (13-5-1-1 – 28 points, 1st in Mainland)

Vs. Penticton Vees (13-4-0-2 – 28 points, 1st in Interior)

(Prospera Centre – 6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk)

The setup: Best two teams in the BCHL right now. Going head to head for the final time this season. At Prospera Centre. In Chilliwack.

That’s really all I should have to write in this post, but I’ll go a little further.

THINGS I’LL BE KEEPING IN MIND:

– Penticton will be, in a word, mad going into this game. They’ve dropped three straight games, all at home with the most recent a 3-2 defeat to the Merritt Centennials in which they were outshot in their own building.  And what does a team that’s lost three in a row at home need to do to try and climb out of a funk?

Go on the road. That’s what will await the Chiefs tonight.

– Chilliwack is on the other end of the spectrum, having won three in a row, the most recent last night in Coquitlam for their 13th victory. The shoe was on the other foot in Penticton last Saturday, when the Chiefs wanted to rebound from the debacle in Trail. I’d say they have, outscoring their opponents 13-4 in those three games. Mitch Gillam has been airtight in all three.

– Trevor Hills will remain on the top line with Esposito and Hansen. Hills filled in nicely Friday with three points.

– That’s part of one subplot that’s a bit of a downer: both teams will still be missing some top players. Austin Plevy and Cooper Rush remain in Nova Scotia for the CJHL Prospects weekend, while Wade Murphy, Michael Rebry, Troy Stecher, and James De Hass are trying to win the gold medal for Team Canada West out east.

– That said, Harvey Smyl will (shake his head at me, smile, and..) say it’s about the 20 guys in the room for that night. The 20 guys in the room for the Chiefs did their job Friday night in Coquitlam, and shouldn’t need any motivation to get up for this one.

– Vees forwards Ryan Gropp and Sam Mellor were dangerous with the puck at times last week against the Chiefs. It looked like Penticton lacked a spark in their loss Friday at home. I would look to those two players to provide one. As for the Chiefs, it was an effective powerplay that went 3 for 4 last night in Coquitlam that carried the day. Gropp and Mellor both get time on the powerplay in Penticton, so the special teams battle could be key.

Special Teams:

Chilliwack – Powerplay – 20.62 %/Penalty Kill – 87.27%

Penticton – Powerplay – 16.28%/ Penalty Kill – 82.14%

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs Stay On Track In Coquitlam

November 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Chiefs 4 Express 2

Boxscore

J.B.’s recap

Three straight wins. A tie in points atop the BCHL standings with the Penticton Vees.

That sets up one heck of a battle against Penticton on Saturday at Prospera Centre.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There were things that stood out on Friday at Poirier. Things have stood out for the Chiefs all season in that building. They’re comfortable there.

Here’s what I saw:

– Trevor Hills fit in quite well on the top line tonight, to the suprise of nobody who follows this team. Three points, in fact. Making the most of an opportunity is what Junior A is all about. People might point out that both Hills’ goals came on the powerplay as opposed to a 5 on 5 situation, but he played with Esposito and Hansen with the extra man anyways. They’ll be a fine trio come Saturday night in the absence of Austin Plevy. Hills has a good blend of skill, and pain-in-the-ass-ness to be a very effective winger for Esposito and Hansen.

– Alexandre Perron-Fontaine played for the first time since the island road trip. Three assists. Welcome back.

– Perron-Fontaine’s decision making with the puck was solid on this night, too. Couldn’t tell he had missed three weeks.

– I should point out that this was not the Coquitlam team that Jon Calvano envisioned at the beginning of the year, what with Alex Kerfoot, Pryzbeck, and Brandon Morely all at the WJAC. Coquitlam has also had a rash of injuries to key contributors Jace Hennig, Marc Biega, Sam Majka, and Malcolm McKinney. Plenty of young (inexperienced) blood in the lineup for the Express Friday, and it showed.

– Mitch Gillam was very good for his eleventh win. The goal that broke the shutout bid early in the third period was an ugly one, though. Coquitlam’s Luca Leone raced in on  a breakaway, and fanned on his shot, meekly shovelling one towards the net. Unfortunatley, this suprised Gillam, and the whiff beat him fivehole. The way he looked to the sky afterwards in disbelief was all you needed to know.

– Chilliwack got 48 shots on net in this game. Cole Huggins was busy, but it appears at this point that the Chiefs have the number of one of the league’s top goalies. Luke Esposito’s powerplay goal came just over a minute after the Leone breakaway, and then Jaret Babych beat Huggins with a wrist shot from the slot to round out the Chilliwack scoring. Huggins has been lights out against the rest of the league this season. He’s left too many lights on in four games against the Chiefs this year.

– Esposito’s three points vaults him to the top of the BCHL scoring race, with 27 points. He also now has goals in each of his last two games.

– I’ve realized I almost never mention Chiefs captain David Thompson in this space. That’s probably the best compliment I can give him. Dude goes out, plays a ton, shuts down his side of the ice, and makes smart decisions. It’s not very flashy, but it does so much for this team night in and night out. Talking to Shay Laurent, his D partner a couple of weeks ago, he said: I only have to worry about my side, pretty much. Chilliwack is now one of the best teams in this league, and while players like Gillam, Plevy, Hansen, and Esposito get plenty of attention, (and rightfully so) David Thompson does a lot of things to allow this team to play at a high level.

…Even if you don’t really notice it all the time.

– The Penticton Vees lost their third straight game on home ice Friday to the Merritt Centennials. They’ll be an ornery group come Saturday night at Prospera Centre. Even without Austin Plevy, Cooper Rush, Wade Murphy, Troy Stecher, and Michael Rebry, I can’t wait for this one.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

To The Road For One: Coquitlam

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Mitch Gillam has allowed just two goals in his last two starts. Photo: Garrett James

Chilliwack Chiefs (12-5-1-1 – 26 points, 1st in Mainland)

Vs. Coquitlam Express (11-6-1-0 – 23 points, 3rd in Mainland)

(Poirier Sports Complex – 6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk)

After returning home following the longest road trip in franchise history and doing it in style, beating division rival Langley by a score of 5-1, the Chilliwack Chiefs….

…get right back on the road. Just one game though.

It’s a building in Coquiltam that the Chiefs appear comfortable with, having not lost at Poirier in three games since the franchise’s rebirth in 2011. The most recent outing on the road against the Express saw the Chiefs jump out to a 4-0 lead and win 4-1.

Both teams enter play Friday with wins in their back pocket. Coquitlam ended a trip to the island last weekend with two points in Cowichan. The Express sit three points back of the Chiefs going into this game, so as always, the Divisional Importance Meter gets cranked up for this one.

THINGS I’LL BE KEEPING IN MIND:

– There may have been some concern in Coquitlam when it was confirmed that Alex Kerfoot, Zach Pryzbeck, and Brandon Morely had all made Team Canada West. Jon Calvano’s team seems to be making out just fine, having won three of four games since that happened.  Chilliwack will not have the services of Austin Plevy and Cooper Rush this weekend, as those two will play at the CJHL Top Prospects Game in Nova Scotia.

– The goaltending matchup between Mitch Gillam and Cole Huggins will be at the forefront again. Gillam has consecutive First Star nods in wins over Penticton and Langley, while Huggins also has earned First Star honours in his last two starts, including a shutout in Powell River last Friday. Both goaltenders have won ten games. Both goaltenders have scholarships…Both have played for Harvey Smyl at some point…..

(You get the picture.)

The numbers show that Huggins is having a (slightly. Just slightly) better season than Gillam, HOWEVER…..

The Chiefs have had success against Huggins this season, beating him twice, and tagging him for seven goals in two games in Coquitlam. (Huggins was pulled halfway through the first period in the game on October 5th, won by Chilliwack 6-3.)

What does all this mean?

Stats are for geeks. The goaltending matchup will be fantastic. Providing both of them start. I expect them to.

– Luke Esposito is one point back of the BCHL lead. Wade Murphy of Penticton currently holds that distinction, but is not available this weekend due to the World Junior A Challenge. Josh Hansen still retains his spot as the league’s top goalscorer. Hansen has collected three goals and five points in two games against the Express at Poirier.

– While Chilliwack won the last game there 4-1, Coquitlam really turned up the pressure in the third period of that game, and it was up to Gillam to keep the lead at three. The Chiefs have yet to trail this season in that building.

Special Teams:

Chilliwack – Powerplay – 18.28 %/Penalty Kill – 87.38%

Coquitlam – Powerplay – 17.07%/ Penalty Kill – 91.67

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs’ Return Home A Good One

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Ryan Donohoe scored twice to pace the Chiefs to win #12.

Chiefs 5, Rivermen 1

Game Box Score

J.B’s Game Recap

The proverbial ‘first game back after a road trip’ can be a tough one, even at the Junior A level after the longest road trip in the history of the Chiefs franchise. I thought it was just an NHL thing.

It looked difficult for the Chiefs for about ten minutes. Then they settled down, knocking off Langley for the second time this season, and in the process moving to the top of the Mainland division standings.

Here’s what I saw:

– Langley had better puck control for the first half of the opening period. It seemed like the beginning of the game was played largely in the Chiefs end. The Rivermen even opened the scoring on a jam play at the side of the goal. Evan Anderson cashed in, and the Rivermen were off and running.

– The momentum changed, though. It was a shorthanded goal that did it. Tanner Cochrane did a nice job pinning his man along the boards to force the puck outside the Chiefs blueline, and Ryan Donohoe took off with it, broke in, and outwaited James Barr for his fifth goal of the season to tie it. Donohoe would add another later in the third period.

– Luke Esposito’s early goal in the second was his fifth of the year, and third against Langley this season. David Thompson showed some nice vision on the goal, much like he did on Garrett Forster’s marker to round out the scoring in the third period.

– Forster’s re-direct on the Thompson pass was as good as you’ll see, coming right at the edge of the crease between the legs. Nice way to finish.

– The Shay Laurent/Thomas Nitsche fight was pretty good. It happened at centre ice, which is the ‘main event’ territory on the ice. It was main event worthy, with both guys throwing some big right hands.

– Plenty of chippy play and post-whistle theatrics in this one, fitting for an inter-division rivalry. Just check out the penalty minutes in the third period on the boxscore at the top of the page. Six more meetings still to come between these two this season.

– Nine home games for the Chiefs to this point in the season, and only two losses. Prospera Centre is right up there in the “Tough Place To Play” rankings. Credit to an experienced Chiefs team that knows how to take care of business at home. Big test Saturday with Penticton coming in.

– The Chiefs went 0-fer on the powerplay, but registered a SHG while keeping Langley’s PP off the board.

– Mitch Gillam made big saves when he ha – We’ve done this before. He was very good, and for the second night in a row, was named the game’s first star. His body control in goalmouth scrambles is something. Pretty relaxed within that paint. There were a few instances Wednesday where there was chaos in his crease with bodies everywhere. Kept the puck out. He’s now hit double figures in wins this season, and made 34 saves in getting there.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs Return Home: Langley’s Here

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Hey…The fellas are back in town. You should go see them. Langley’s here and everything.

Chilliwack Chiefs (11-5-1-1) Vs. Langley Rivermen (8-7-0-3)

(Prospera Centre – 6:30 pregame/7pm faceoff on 89.5 The Hawk)

For a quick refresher on what went down the last time the Chiefs were paid a visit by the Langley Rivermen, click here.

I realize that a seven game road trip at the Junior A level doesn’t quite have the same feel as a seven game trip in the National Hockey League, where teams live out of hotels for the entire time…but seven away from home is seven away from home, and the Chiefs are excited to return to Prospera Centre for game action for the first time since October 13th.

(Stemming from that, lets’ hope the proverbial ‘first game back after a long roadtrip’ doesn’t have the same connotation in Junior as it does the NHL.)

Both teams enter play Wednesday night carrying some momentum. Chilliwack defeated the Vees in Penticton 4-1 in their most recent contest, while the Rivermen put forth a solid effort in a 5-1 home ice triumph over the division leading Prince George Spruce Kings.

THINGS I’LL BE KEEPING IN MIND:

– The biggest thing: As charged as I get when I recall the big comeback in October against Langley, there’s one rather large factor that hung over October 10th, and I’m curious to see how it plays out tonight:

Langley did whatever they wanted for 53 minutes in that game. Chilliwack was dead in the water until the 13 minute mark of the third period. 

That takes some shine off the narrative, doesn’t it?

As I said after that game, the Rivermen are a big, physical team that can play with anybody in this league. They look a little different now after trading defenseman Bo Pellah to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, and Valik Chichkin to Trail, but they just railroaded the Mainland Division’s best team in Prince George. No reason it can’t happen here tonight.

– Luke Esposito is among the league leaders in points this season. Only four goals, though. Two have come against Langley. Due? We’ll see. (I’ll file this under ‘Stuff People Like Me Think About’)

– Esposito won’t have to worry about that if his linemate Josh Hansen continues to find the back of the net. Hansen scored three times on the weekend swing through Trail and Penticton, and leads the BCHL in goals going into tonight with 15.

– I thought the Chiefs cleared a hurdle this past weekend. They let the game in Trail get away from them last Friday, and parlayed that into a complete effort the very next night against the Vees in a very tough place to play. The Trail giveaway led to the only time this season the Chiefs have dropped two straight games. A younger, more inexperienced team maybe goes off the rails for a couple weeks after handing one away like they did against the Smoke Eaters.

– For what it’s worth, the Chiefs can leapfrog Prince George and become the mainland division’s best team with a win. Langley can close the gap to just three points if they’re victorious. It’s becoming a tight divisional race, so every one of these rivalry games gets a little bigger.

With that in mind, I expect to see a well-prepared group tonight in front of a good crowd to welcome them back to town.

Special Teams:

Chilliwack – Powerplay – 19.32 %/Penalty Kill – 86.17%

Langley – Powerplay – 20.78%/ Penalty Kill – 85.71

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Plevy, Rush Named To CJHL Prospects Roster

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment

A little pub for Plevy and Rush (7) on the big stage this weekend

An extended congratulations to a pair of Chilliwack Chiefs, as Austin Plevy, and Cooper Rush have been named to Team Canada West for the upcoming CJHL Prospects game in Nova Scotia. The event is designed to showcase the top NHL draft eligible prospects in the Country.

The full roster for that team can be seen here, and you’ll notice that it features a number of other BCHL players. Plevy is enjoying a fine first season in Chilliwack, with eleven goals and 23 points through 18 games.

Rush, the towering defenseman from Oakville, Ontario has scored three times in 16 games as a Chief in his rookie BCHL season.

Team Canada West will square off with Team Canada East in a two game showcase on November 10th, and 11th.

MOVEMBER STUFF:

You’ll notice at the next few home games that some of the Chiefs are growing dusters this month for a pretty good cause.

The league featured photos of Spencer Graboski (left), and Shay Laurent yesterday:

You can check out the BCHL’s Movember page by clicking here.

Categories: Chiefs Hockey

Chiefs Chop Down Vees

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

This lengthy road swing came to an end on the right side of the ledger for the Chilliwack Chiefs Saturday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Austin Plevy scored eleven seconds into the game, and Mitch Gillam came up big in goal in a 4-1 victory over the Vees to finish the road swing at 4-3, earning their eleventh victory of the season in the process.

It was a much better effort from the Chiefs on this night. They had to work extremely hard for the two points, even with the Vees missing some of their firepower in Wade Murphy, Michael Rebry, and Troy Stecher.

Here’s what I saw:

Scoring eleven seconds in is a good start. Chilliwack got the puck in deep off the opening draw, and Josh Hansen sent the puck towards the front of the net. Plevy chipped it into the open side past Chad Katunar to get the Chiefs off to the start that any road team would be happy with.

The word ‘selfish’ crept into the team’s vernacular following the disheartening loss to the Smoke Eaters. There wasn’t a whole lot of one on one, individual play from the Chiefs in this game, as they realized the error of their ways from the game on Friday night. They also played for sixty minutes, instead of…you know…ten. Makes a difference.

Mitch Gillam was back in, and he was very good. His best flurry of saves came in the second period when he made a handful of stops in tight, the biggest on Cody Deporcq at the side of the net, stretching out the right pad as he was down and out.

There were a couple of scary moments in the second when Gillam faced a point shot from Sam Mellor, came out to challenge, and took a high hard one right off the collar bone. He was down for a little while, but stayed in the game after Cam Janzen came out to have a look at him. Gillam was in control throughout, and only a rebound kicked into the slot after a good initial save allowed Jordan Mcallum to put the Vees on the board in the opening frame to tie things up.

Chilliwack received some ‘secondary’ scoring in the middle period (always hesitant to use that term. The Chiefs score by committee most nights anyway.) Trevor Hills put the Chiefs in front to stay on the lone powerplay opportunity the team had on this night, getting good position in the slot. Mathieu Tibbet made a great pass at the side of the goal, behind his back to Hills for the go-ahead marker, and his first goal of the season. Jaret Babych scored from a similar spot later on, firing a rebound past Katunar while being taken down in the slot for his third of the campaign.

The big question going into the third was weather or not the Chiefs had learned from their errors in Friday’s third period.

They did. Content to bleed out the clock, Chilliwack limited the Vees chances in the final frame. While Sam Mellor, Brad McClure, and Ryan Gropp were dangerous at times, Chilliwack’s defensive play carried the day in the final twenty minutes.

Penticton had plenty of powerplay opportunities in this game, finishing with six to Chilliwack’s one. The Vees couldn’t convert on any, missing the likes of Murphy, Rebry, and Stecher, while Hills’ GWG came with the extra man in the second period. Josh Hansen added another late in the third on a setup from Luke Esposito for his fifteenth goal of the season, which leads the BCHL.

Penticton suffered their first loss in regulation on home ice since forever. A stretch of 39 games dating back to last February.

The Chiefs will now head home to face the Langley Rivermen on Wednesday night at Propsera Centre.

Chiefs/Vees game boxscore

Categories: Chiefs Hockey
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