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

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Drop the puck already! Georgeson to UBC, Dogs add Trainer, Ice Bucket Challenge

Firing up the blog again after a much needed holiday back home! I wasn't ready for hockey until after I got some much needed time off, but now I'm chomping at the bit to get back into the booth with Bruce and Dan and back at the rink.

Some holiday moments first off, by request, for those that aren't on Social Media

Griff's first fish. Not sure who's happier, Griff or Gramps
My Master Angler 32.5 inch Walleye. Notice the arms bent at the elbow and not extended out to the camera to make the fish look better. As Walleye's go size-wise, this is a catch of a lifetime!
Ahhhh, the Drive-In!
I didn't get a trophy, but I'm sure I won
Oh to be a one-year-old again!

Alright, lets get down to business now!

First off,  big congrats to Justin Georgeson!

August 19, 2014


Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very proud to announce that the team’s leading scorer from the 2013/14 season Justin Georgeson has committed to play for the UBC Thunderbirds this coming season.

Georgeson was acquired by the Alberni Valley Bulldogs as part of a future deal at the 2012/13 trade deadline.

Georgeson led the Bulldogs in scoring last season with 19 goals and 34 assists in 58 games. Georgeson added another three points in the playoffs for the ‘Dogs. “I am extremely happy to announce my commitment to the University of British Columbia,” said the newest Thunderbird Justin Georgeson. “Thanks to everyone who has had a helping hand in my success, including the City of Port Alberni for a memorable final year of junior hockey,” added Georgeson. “Finally, thanks to my family for affording me every opportunity to reach my ultimate goal of prolonging my hockey career.”

The Bulldogs coaching staff Kevin Willison, Adam Hayduk, and Alex Evin had an opportunity to talk to newly appointed UBC Thunderbirds men’s hockey coach Tyler Kuntz at the Kamloops Professional Coaching Conference earlier this passed July.

"We are extremely thrilled to add another local player from the BCHL to our program,” said UBC Thunderbirds men’s hockey coach Tyler Kuntz. “Justin is a player that I am very familiar with from his days in the BCHL with the Coquitlam Express and Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He is a determined, intelligent, and skilled centre-man that can play up down your line-up and in all situations,” added Kuntz. “He will compete hard and develop into a very good CIS hockey player. Justin will add value to our program both on and off the ice."

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are excited for this new chapter in Justin’s life and wish him all the
best in his future endeavors.

This is old news, but it happened when I was away, so for those that missed it, read below for details on the Dogs new Trainer Damon Pugerude. There is no position with a team that does more work and has as big a factor in a teams success that gets less credit than the Trainer. Welcome to the club and to the Valley Damon, you have big shoes to fill and high standards to meet as James McDonald did an incredible job. 

August 6, 2014


Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announce the addition of Damon Pugerude as
the team’s new trainer and equipment manager.

Pugerude was selected by the coaching staff from dozens of applications that were submitted for the position. Pugerude spent the last three seasons in a similar role with the Drayton Valley Thunder and
the Sherwood Park Crusaders junior “A” hockey teams in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In addition to his experience at the junior “A” level, Pugerude also served as a trainer at U16 Alberta Cup events, has extensive experience on the equipment side, and is registered with the Alberta College of Paramedics.

“We were very pleased and impressed with Damon’s attention to detail and passion for what he does,” said Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ head coach and general manager Kevin Willison. “He is certainly a good fit for the team.”

Yah yah, I know, I know, you are tired of seeing these. BUT you are still not as tired as someone battling with ALS who tries to do something as simple as brush their teeth or stand up. So suck it up! Don't even watch it..just go to and donate!

I read a report that the Ice Bucket Challenge recently raised 8.6 MILLION DOLLARS in a single day! Wow!

Here's Kevin Willison getting soaked by the Harbour Chieftan boat, before then being dumped with a couple coolers of ice by  Mitch Makin, Dylan Haugen and Zach Funk  
And here's me answering the challenge put forth to me by former Bulldog Trainer Dave "Soupy" Campbell and Surrey Eagle fan Michelle Neuman.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jim Hiller to the Red Wings, Bulldogs add #1 Goalie from USHL...

Great news today coming from "Hockeytown" as former Bulldog Head Coach and Port Alberni Native Jim Hiller - pictured above during the iconic "Hockeyville" photo shoot, has been hired as an Assistant Coach with the Detroit Red Wings.

A small error in the Press Release - but it's big to us - as the Wings state that Hiller only Coached the Dogs for the 05-06 season...while that year was certainly the most memorable (20 straight wins, Nationally Ranked #2) he also Coached the Dogs in 2004-2005.

Why not a little 05-06 highlights for some nostalgia! Apologies of course to Bulldogs Goalie Coach Alex Evin!

Here's the link to the Red Wings release....CLICK HERE

Way to go Jim...A great guy, and a great Coach! 

More exciting news today from the Bulldogs, as they announced the acquisition of a veteran #1 netminder from the USHL. Welcome to the Bulldogs Billy Christopoulos!

Veteran USHL Goalie Commits to Alberni Valley for 2014/15

July 30, 2014

Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very pleased to announce that another key piece is in place for the 2014/15 season. Billy Christopoulos, a two-year veteran goalie from the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL, has committed to finish his junior career with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Christopoulos, from Raleigh, North Carolina, played a total of 71 regular season games for the Buccaneers over the last two seasons, posting very respectable numbers on a team that struggled to find offense.

The Bulldogs feel that Christopoulos is a hidden gem on team that failed to make the playoffs in the last two seasons.

“We are excited to welcome a player like Billy to the team,” said head coach and general manager Kevin Willison. “Billy will bring experience, character, and a desire to win. This addition makes us instantly stronger.”

Christopoulos single handedly won games for the Buccaneers in the first half of the 2013/14 season. He posted a .907 save percentage on the season, but had a .934 save percentage in the month of November. Christopoulos followed up a strong November by being recognized in mid-December as the league’s goaltender of the week after posting a 2-0 record, a 0.48 GAA and a .984 save percentage in Week 13.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to join Alberni Valley this year as I have heard nothing but great things about the league and the organization,” said the newest Alberni Valley Bulldogs goalie Billy Christopoulos. “I look forward to finishing my junior career with the Bulldogs, and making a run at the championship.”

For further information or comment on the above story please contact Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Head Coach and general manager Kevin Willison

Monday, July 07, 2014

Alberni Wrestling Kids Camp next 3 days...congrats Adam Hayduk, Our Town tonight!

Alberni Wrestling holds their free Kids Camp this week - today, tomorrow and Thursday at the ADSS Gym from 10am to 12noon. It's a great way to get the kids out of your hair for a couple hours parents, while also getting them sweating and who knows, maybe even discovering a new passion!

The permission form that needs to be signed by a parent or guardian is available at the gym, or online by clicking HERE

For more details, read on!

Alberni Wrestling Kids Camp

The Alberni Wrestling Club is once again hosting their annual Kids Wrestling Camp July 8-10th in the ADSS gymnasium. The camp will run over three days from 10am to 12 pm and will feature instruction from local coaches, alumni, and high school wrestlers. As well as learning some basic wrestling moves and technique, the camp participants will also partake in fun wrestling themed activities.

Unfortunately, due to the labour dispute occurring in June, high school students were unable to continue the tradition of traveling to the SD70 elementary schools and introducing the students there to the sport of Olympic wrestling.  The Alberni Valley Wrestling Club wants people to know that their popular summer program will continue and their kids camp is being offered once again free of charge.

"When we [the wrestling club] introduce wrestling at elementary schools and the kids camp, we always stress the importance of fun and safety," explains Aaron Keitlah, an ADSS high school wrestling alumni and now a wrestler at North Island College and a coach in the Alberni program. "We always go through a proper warm-up and stretch to limit the possibility of injury and try hard to reveal the enjoyment of wrestling rather than the competitive side."

The camp will be a great opportunity for kids to stay active and meet new friends over the summer break. For some it will serve as a kick start to summer and being a part of the wrestling programs at the local middle schools.  Others may come to simply enjoy participating in the fun games.   The camp focuses on participants in Grades 4 -7, although there are some cases where younger and older athletes have been involved. 

Wrestling is a fun and safe way to encourage and teach a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as the feeling of being a part of a team. Participants in the camp will learn the fundamentals of the sport in a playful, fun-centered atmosphere from some of the top development coaches in the province. Our Kids Wrestling Camp is completely free so why not come out and give wrestling a try. 

If you already feel like you would benefit from some time away from your kids over the summer, this would be a perfect event to take part in.   The camp will run from 10 am to 12 pm all three days with registration being held each day starting at 9:30.   There are registration forms available online at or at the gymnasium which needs to be filled out by a parent/guardian.  Participants are asked to bring gym strip and clean running shoes. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact Nolan Badovinac or Ryan Yewchin at 250-723-1609.

Big congrats go out to Alberni Valley Bulldogs Assistant Coach/Assistant GM Adam Hayduk, who was the big winner of a BRAND NEW set of Cobra Golf Clubs at the Alberni Valley Charity Classic Saturday at the Alberni Golf Club, courtesy of Bruce MacDonald and Will Pulford of Van Isle Ford / Pacific Chevrolet. 

Look at that smile! 

I won the clubs two years ago, and my game hasn't been the same since! Here's hoping they do the same for Adam's game, because it could use some work! Only because he's too busy with hockey related matters and putting a winner on the ice instead of shooting under par, of course!

I've always said that it's REALLY summer in the Valley when the Our Town events start. No coincidence that it's a week of consistent 30+ temperatures, and the first Our Town of the year goes tonight! Sorry - that's as big as I can get the picture...but it gives you the jist of what to expect tonight. Animals, folk music, horse rides! All at Blair Park, should be fun!


Friday, July 04, 2014

BCHL releases full 2014-2015 schedule, Charity Classic, U16 Softball Provincials

The BCHL released the full 2014-2015 sked today. The Bulldogs Home Opener is Saturday, September 27th when they host Powell River. The Bulldogs and Kings conclude the Regular Season with a double-header in Powell River February 27th and 28th.

Another highlight sees the Bulldogs facing the Kings in a New Year's Eve tilt facing off in Powell River at 5:00pm.

The Bulldogs had best not put themselves in a position to need points at the end of the season like they did last year, as 7 of their final 10 games are on the road, including 5 in a row to end the season. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess no one in the league has more than 3 straight on the road to end their regular season.

(Update - I checked. No other team has any more than 2 road games to end the season) 

The positives can be found in the form of multiple multi-game Home Stands of 3 and 4 games on several different occasions. 

Another note is how late the season starts due to the condensed schedule. Sept 6-8th or Sept 10-12th was the general ball park for when the season used to get going in the past. Lots of games, in less time to play them.

I'm very excited to once again take part in the Alberni Valley Charity Golf Classic tomorrow at the Alberni Golf Club. It's the 21st year for the tourney, which was founded by Rob Shick. To date over $750,000 has been raised for the BC Children's Hospital and a bunch of local charities. Great fun, great times, and a great cause!

The Alberni Valley Minor Softball Association is hosting the Girls U16 Provincials this weekend at the Echo Minor Fields. Action is underway today and continues to the title game at 4:30 Sunday which is followed by the closing ceremonies. It will be some great ball, so I encourage you to get out and check out the action, even if the weather leaves something to be desired!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

BCHL releases Bauer BCHL Showcase sked, James McDonald to the Saskatoon Blades...

For the second straight year, the Bulldogs will open their season against the Penticton Vees. Mark your calendars for September 20th at 3pm! The Dogs conclude their appearance in the Showcase 11am on September 21st against the Prince George Spruce Kings. 

For the third straight season, the Bauer BCHL Showcase comes to Prospera Centre in Chilliwack and the dates and matchups are all set.

All 16 BCHL teams will come to the Fraser Valley Sept. 19 to 21 to start off the season with two games each that will count in the regular season standings. The first two Showcase events drew strong attendance from both NHL and NCAA scouts. The same is expected this time around.

"The Showcase has proven to be a popular event for both the people looking for talent and also our teams and players," said BCHL communications director Brent Mutis. "The chance for scouts to see all players under one roof in one weekend is extremely valuable and the City of Chilliwack has been an ideal host for this event each of the last two years."

2014 Bauer BCHL Showcase schedule:

Friday, Sept. 19:
3:30pm            Vernon Vipers vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals              Secondary Rink
4pm                 Salmon Arm Silverbacks vs. Langley Rivermen          Main Rink
7pm                 Coquitlam Express vs. West Kelowna Warriors         Secondary Rink
7:30pm            Penticton Vees vs. Surrey Eagles                                Main Rink

Saturday, Sept. 20:
11:30am          Cowichan Valley Capitals vs. Merritt Centennials     Secondary Rink
12:00pm          Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Coquitlam Express                 Main Rink
3pm                 Alberni Valley Bulldogs vs. Penticton Vees                Secondary Rink
3:30pm            Victoria Grizzlies vs. Vernon Vipers                            Main Rink
6:30pm            Nanaimo Clippers vs. Prince George Spruce Kings    Secondary Rink
7pm                 Chilliwack Chiefs vs. Powell River Kings                     Main Rink

Sunday, Sept. 21:
10:30am          Powell River Kings vs. Trail Smoke Eaters                              Secondary Rink
11am               Prince George Spruce Kings vs. Alberni Valley Bulldogs        Main Rink
2pm                 Langley Rivermen vs. Victoria Grizzlies                                 Secondary Rink
2:30pm            West Kelowna Warriors vs. Nanaimo Clippers                      Main Rink
5:30pm            Surrey Eagles vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks                             Secondary Rink
6pm                 Merritt Centennials vs. Chilliwack Chiefs                              Main Rink

Huge congrats to former Bulldogs Therapist/Trainer James McDonald, who has been hired by the WHL's Saskatoon Blades as their Athletic Therapist. James stepped down at the end of the most recent season to pursue new opportunities, and he has landed a great one with the Blades, replacing my good friend Steve "Hilty" Hildebrandt. 

When I saw Hilty's name on my call display I thought he was calling to possibly talk about how I always out-fish him, or maybe let me know about a Play-by-Play gig. Instead, he was calling to ask about James! 

Here's a link to the Bulldogs release on James' hiring.  

And here's a link to a story by the Star Phoenix, where James managed to get my name in print! Click to read it HERE 

Best of luck James. Pack a parka! 


Friday, June 20, 2014

LaCouvee moves on, Tironese returns

It's a fact of life in Junior Hockey that players move on. The Bulldogs know it all too well with the departures last year in the off season of Marlon Sabo, Ryan Lough, Matt Hansen, Evan Tironese and Bo Pellah. What is more rare is getting a player BACK. The Bulldogs are seeing both scenarios at the moment, with Connor LaCouvee committing to Boston University for 2014-2015, while Evan Tironese is returning to the Bulldogs next season to finish his Junior career before heading to RPI for 2015-2016.

Huge congrats to Connor - a great kid, who showed great perseverance to go from considering hanging them up after bouncing around through four different teams, to all of a sudden getting interest from NHL teams and ultimately securing a scholarship to a great school. We'll miss ya Connor, best of luck, and thanks for your time in a Bulldog sweater.

The sting of losing an elite goalie is lessened somewhat with a report in the Alberni Valley News that indicates that Evan Tironese is returning after playing last season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. Tironese will be an impact player - no one has had more points as a 16 year old in recent history besides some guy you might have heard of named Kyle Turris. 

Pretty nice goal here.

And an assist you might remember here. Or more likely you'll never forget, as it gave the Bulldogs their first Island Championship. 

Here's the release from the Bulldogs on LaCouvee

LaCouvee Commits To Boston University

June 18, 2014

Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very proud to announce that Bulldogs star goalie Connor LaCouvee has committed to the Boston University Terriers for the 2014/15 season.
LaCouvee found his way to Alberni Valley via four teams between the off-season and a month into the 2013/14 season: from the Cowichan Valley Capitals to the Nanaimo Clippers to the Grand Prairie Storm (AJHL) to the Merritt Centennials. The bad luck of not being able to find a home was certainly to no fault of LaCouvee’s strong character, work ethic, or skill.
When the Bulldogs acquired LaCouvee from the Merritt Centennials, the rest became history, marking the moment when the team began to turn the season around. The players in front of LaCouvee played with a greater sense of confidence and the team clawed back, inch by inch, to eventually clinch a playoff birth in the last game of the last period of the regular season.

As of the January 10th roster deadline, LaCouvee worked his way up to becoming arguably the best goalie in the BCHL along with the biggest workload. LaCouvee put the Bulldogs in a position to win every night and even singlehandedly stole games for the team.
Here are the numbers since the January 10th roster deadline compared with other top NCAA Division I committed goalies in the league:
                                  GP      W       L        T        SO      GAA   GA     SH      SV      SV%
Connor LaCouvee (AVB) 16      9        6        0        2        2.37   36      568    532    .937
Jeff Smith (PR)             15      7        6        0        0        2.56   34      380    346    .911
Hunter Miska (PEN)       13      7        6        0        1        2.16   27      318    291    .915
Alec Dillon (VIC)           11      5        4        0        0        3.67   37      316    279    .883
Olivier Mantha (PEN)     8        4        3        0        0        2.17   14      180    166    .922
Jason Argue (NAN)       13      7        6        0        0        2.42   31      449    418    .931
LaCouvee’s character, determination, and hard work garnered a lot of attention from college and NHL scouts late in the season and into playoffs. Labeled a “dark horse” by many, LaCouvee proved that he would be the next goalie to solidify a scholarship to a big-name program.
"I can't thank the Bulldogs organization enough for giving me the opportunity to prove myself in the BCHL,” said Connor LaCouvee. “They gave me a chance when no one else would. A huge thanks to all the billet parents and fans who showed unwavering support throughout the entire year,” added LaCouvee. “We truly have the most devoted fan base in the BCHL. My time spent in Port Alberni was nothing but positive. The memories I have there I will cherish for, not only the remainder of my hockey career, but the rest of my life as well."
LaCouvee, at times, found himself reflecting about his hockey future, especially on those long drives between hockey stops early in the season. However, LaCouvee continued to remain positive and work hard with Bulldogs’ goalie coach Alex Evin (Colgate ’12). He approached game and practice preparation like an elite-level professional. NCAA and NHL scouts that were in attendance at games watching other players quickly turned their focus and attention to LaCouvee. In addition to the league-leading numbers LaCouvee put up in the BCHL since the January 10th trade deadline, LaCouvee’s overall 2013/14 accomplishments were equally as impressive:

-          5th in the BCHL in games played (42), ahead of Powell River’s Jeff Smith (34) and Victoria’s Alec Dillon (33);
-          Tied-4th in Wins (23), only behind West Kelowna’s Andy Desautels (27), Langley’s Brock Crossthwaite (24) and Nanaimo’s Jayson Argue (24);
-          1st in the BCHL shutouts (4);
-          Tied-1st in the BCHL for assists by a goalie (4);
-          3rd in the BCHL in Save Percentage (.920), only behind Nanaimo’s Jayson Argue (.928) and Powell River’s Jeff Smith (.923);
-          Awarded the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Most Valuable Player, joining an impressive list past winners including: Northern Michigan U’s Brian Stewart (2005/06), former Brown University captain and current Pittsburgh Penguin Harry Zolnierczyk (2006/07), former Harvard University assistant captain Daniel Moriarity (2007/08), Michigan Tech’s Evan Witt (2008/09), University of North Dakota’s Mitch MacMillan (2009/10), NCAA (CCHA) Champion and Western Michigan University’s Frank Slubowski (2010/11), RIT’s Josh Mitchell (2011/12), and Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Jay Deo (2012/13).

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are extremely happy for Connor that he was able to achieve his dream of committing to a top collegiate institution and a first-class NCAA Division I hockey program. We wish Connor the very best and wish to congratulate Boston University for picking up a first class goaltender, student athlete, and person.

For more information please contact Alberni Valley Bulldogs Head Coach/GM Kevin Willison

Friday, June 13, 2014

Strand committs to Guelph

Doesn't it seem like it was only yesterday that Strand was named the Captain for the upcoming season?

Happy to announce today that former Bulldog Captain Tryg Strand has committed to play CIS Hockey next season for the University of Guelph Gryphons. Way to go "Trygger"

It's what Junior Hockey is all about - playing a game, and being lucky enough to further your education in the process.

Strand will reunite with former Bulldog Teal Burns in Guelph. I'm sure they'll have some fun sharing war stories about the Bulldogs Island Championship season of 2012-2013

Some memories for ya!