Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Matt Hughes on THE PEAK 8:10 tomorrow. Evin, Ward move on

It's been a long time coming, but I'm happy to be able to get an Interview for you with new Head Coach Matt Hughes tomorrow on 93.3 The Peak FM at approximately 8:10am.

Please accept my apologies that it took so long. Just unfortunate timing, as the day his hiring was announced I headed out of the country on holidays. As I returned on Monday, Matt was out of the country and travelling back. He wasn't on holidays however, but a scouting mission instead.

If you missed the news on The Peak this morning, the Bulldogs are now looking for a new Assistant Coach and Athletic Trainer/Therapist with both Alex Evin and JT Ward submitting their letters of resignation. Evin has accepted a position as Associate Coach with the Prince George Spruce Kings, filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Head Coach Chad Van Dieman at the end of the season. JT Ward is also pursuing further opportunities.

As always, it's tough to see friends move on, especially quality people and solid professionals like Alex and JT. Both of them gave their all to the team and the community, and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours.

I'll especially miss my repeated triumphs over Alex in our season long Gin Rummy battles on the Ferry!


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Bulldogs name Matt Hughes as Head Coach and GM

It wouldn't be a holiday for me if there wasn't some big Bulldog news happening...just seems to always be the way it works out. Here I am on night one of my hiatus, and I'm digging out the laptop and doin' some Blogging, but I'm happy to do it to get the word out.

Accept my apologies - I'll do my best when I'm back in the country to get an interview with Matt on 93.3 The Peak, and here on the blog.

Welcome to the team and the community Matt! Sounds like he's hitting the ground running, so say the least!


May 2, 2017


Port Alberni – The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hockey club are pleased to announce that they have hired Mr. Matt Hughes as Head Coach and General Manager of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. It is a 2-year agreement with an option for a 1-year renewal.

Matt comes to the Bulldogs from the highly respected Pursuit of Excellence hockey academy in Kelowna BC where he was the Head Coach of the U18 Midget Prep team. Pursuit’s emphasis on hockey development, academic excellence and community service deemed Matt an excellent fit for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs core beliefs. Matt has helped more than 30 of his past players obtain NCAA Division 1 Scholarships.

“Our search for a new head coach saw an overwhelming amount of interest in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.” says Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society President Ron Paulson. “It speaks volumes to the reputation of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs franchise, and the reputation of the BCHL.” Over 100 resumes were received for the Bulldogs Head Coach/GM position.

Prior to the Pursuit of Excellence academy, Matt spent 11 years coaching competitive junior hockey in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), North American Hockey league (NAHL), and BCHL. Matt coached the AJHL Grande Prairie Storm as Assistant Coach, Head Coach and General Manager from 2012 to 2014. Matt also served as Assistant Coach and Assistant GM of the NAHL Dawson Creek Rage from 2010 to 2012. Prior to the Rage, Matt served as Head Coach and Assistant GM of the BCHL Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

In 2008 & 2009 Matt was the Assistant Coach and Video Coach for the Hockey Canada World U17 program, winning Silver in 2009 and helping develop young player such as Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Mark Pysyk, and Brendan Gallagher. Matt’s career started in 2003 with coaching stints with the KIJHL Summerland Kings, Columbia Valley Rockies and the BCHL Quesnel Millionaires.

"I would like to thank the Bulldogs organization for this opportunity. The Alberni Valley is an amazing community with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic fan base.” said Matt. “I'm looking forward to the work we have ahead of us."

Matt starts work immediately, recruiting for the 2017/18 season. He will be overseeing the Bulldogs Osoyoos spring identification camp along with Assistant Coach Alex Evin and the rest of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs scouting staff. Matt’s also burning up the phone lines contacting his network of players and scouts, identifying new players and key prospects. For more information, please contact: Ron Paulson

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alberni Golf Club Update

Man, is it time for golf season yet? I'm half of the belief that it's always golf season our here, being from Northern Manitoba...but the weather sure has been a drag! With my schedule with a couple of young kids it's easier said than done to get lucky and be able to get out and play on the one or two nice days we've seemed to have since...... September?

When it comes to the Alberni Valley in the summer, it's a tie for me when it comes to where my favorite place is - it's either the lake, or the golf course. We are incredibly lucky to be blessed with both within minutes of our front doors.

I managed a round last week - I was very impressed with the course conditions, considering how wet it has been for the last couple of months.

The second Men's Night of the season is coming up tomorrow night, April 27th - always a great time, with great prizes and a great dinner at a great price, so make sure you call the Proshop to register ASAP at 250-723-5422.

Speaking of Bruce, thankfully he has a great sale right now on Pro V's, at the rate I lose them it's much appreciated! Ha!

Demo Days are coming up to try out the latest new products from Ping and Cobra - I'm a Cobra guy, but have always love the Ping stuff. The Ping night is May 11th and the Cobra night is May 18th.

The Alberni Golf Club holds their Junior Golf Open House Saturday, May 6th from 1pm to 3pm. 

Kids will receive instruction in driving/chipping/putting/etiquette etc, followed by a snack and refreshments. It's all FREE of charge.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of golf and a huge fan of the Alberni Golf Club. I have to sing their praises once more in regards to Junior Golf. Not only is the Open House great, and their program and rates fantastic, but I have been just blown away by the membership and the staff at the course and how they have treated my little guy Griffin since he has started golfing there over the last couple of years. One would think perhaps that a golf course isn't the place for a kid - I would have been one of those people. The reality is that it couldn't be further from the truth. Bruce, Kathy, Brian and all the staff have gone out of their way to make Griff feel welcome. Good, well behaved kids are welcome anywhere, and at the same time brats aren't! Whenever we are out on the course or on the range or chipping or putting everyone seems to take a lot of joy out of seeing a little guy out there.

Here's some pictures from the event over the past years...


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Great Harry Zolnierczyk story....

(image: Jamie Penner)

Here's a pretty cool story on former Bulldog Harry Zolnierczyk, who just last week became the first Bulldog to play in - and score a goal in - an NHL Playoff game.

Click the below link to check it out - mixed in with some great examples of Harry's perseverance and character is a funny video where teammates attempt to spell his last name!

(image: John Russell)

Click to read Playoffs Worth the Wait for Zolnierczyk


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bulldogs make Coaching Change


Port Alberni The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hockey club wish to announce that they have released Head Coach and GM Kevin Willison, effective immediately.

The decision to release Willison was made after much deliberation and consideration of the best interests of the team going forward.

‘Kevin has served both this team and our community with all his heart and we did not come to this decision easily’ says PAJHS President Ron Paulson. ‘We will miss his character and gritty determination that was reflected in the teams he put on the ice.’

During Willison’s tenure as Head Coach/GM the Bulldogs made the playoff in 4 of the 5 years, including winning the Island Division playoffs in 2013.

‘Both Bobbi and I have truly enjoyed our time here in Alberni.’ says Willison. ‘We would like to thank all of the fans and people in the community for their hospitality and friendship over the past 5 years.’

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs will start recruiting for a new Head Coach immediately. Associate Coach Alex Evin will be supervising hockey operations until a new Head Coach is signed.

For more information, please contact: Ron Paulson 


This is the part of the business I most certainly do not enjoy, as much as I'm well aware that it is certainly a part of the business. As a former Coach of a team I worked for in the MJHL once said "Coaches are fired to be hired" 

I'm sorry to see Kevin go. He's a great coach and even more importantly a better person. It's beyond tough to be in my position to not develop relationships with the people that play on or work for the team I work in conjunction with, simply due to the amount to time we spend together during the duration of a season. 

Having said that,  it is even harder to have everyone always get along due to the nature of the business and the ups and downs and highs and lows. Kevin has always treated me with nothing but the utmost respect, professionalism and class and was always a pleasure to work with, and I can't thank him enough for that. 

Looking at the human side as opposed to all the hockey and business side of things, I certainly don't want to have to tell my sons the news, as "Coach Willy" always had an open door for them when I'd pop by the rink for a pow wow during some of the precious few quiet times at the office and my family couldn't be more thankful for that. 

On the hockey and business side of things, I can understand why the decision to make this move was made, with the season the team had and how they finished out of the playoffs. I look forward to meeting the new coach, and what they do with the team and working with them.

My final thanks to Kevin back to the hockey side would be for all the moments going back to 2012 when he took the job here. The 2013 Island Championship is something I'll never forget - one of only two times that the Bulldogs played in the Conference Final, with the Nolan Graham led Bulldogs losing in Game 7 to Powell River in 2009-2010. While the runs weren't as long with losses in Game 7 in 2014 to Victoria and in Game 7 in 2015 to Nanaimo and Game 5 to Nanaimo in 2016, they were also a pleasure to cover. While last season was certainly a challenge to say the least, I was also incredibly proud of how hard he team played and refused to quit despite the circumstances late in the season. 


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Chase Van Allen signs with Alaska Aces

Big congrats to former Bulldog Chase Van Allen - the Bulldogs 2012-2013 Best Defenceman and Humanitarian of the Year - for signing his first pro contract over the weekend with the ECHL's Alaska Aces. Further congrats for going out and picking up his first career point in his first career game on Saturday! Way to go Chaser!

Get more details from the Aces website HERE


Sunday, February 26, 2017

2016-2017 Bulldog Team Award Winners

Player Awards 2017

Rookie of the Year:    JAKE WITKOWSKI
Coaches Award:   PAUL SAVAGE

Academic Players of the Year:

College:   CONNOR WELSH   

High School:  KYLE KAUFMANN & CAYDEN KRAUS                                                
       AVB nominated Cayden for Academic All- Star to the BCHL

Best Defenseman:  TREVOR COSGROVE  
Unsung Hero:   MALIK KAILA
Most Improved:  RYAN STEELE
Humanitarian:  JT WARD
Most Sportsmanlike:   HENRY MARSHALL                         

Fan Choice is voted on by the Fans: Voted and pick by the fans (hardest worker game in game out) : JORDAN SANDHU