I dread doing this, as it's hard to think of everyone and thank everyone that deserves it. Just another great thing about being involved with this team in this city - the support is tremendous. You can hear it when I interview every single Bulldog Alum that's off playing somewhere else..."anyone you'd like to say hello or thank?" and they always have such a hard time with it because they know they can't thank everyone that they want to. I shall try my best! I apologize I haven't done this sooner. I have quite simply been very much enjoying the freedom to NOT blog - it gets to be quite a chore during the season. I have been staying very busy at home with the kids, soaking up everything I miss throughout the season!
This is for everyone that either wasn't at the banquet or missed the final "Sign off" on the Postgame show from the final game. I always try my best on the final broadcast to thank everyone top to bottom. I heard some great feedback that Bruce and I did a great job with it - thanks, that means alot!
My family, and everyone that supports them. It's not easy with how the schedule is to be gone for extended periods, to be on the road, to have almost every single weekend booked from September through March. Thanks to Theresa and Griff for their support, and to everyone that supports them in my absence. It's been even tougher this year than others with an addition to our family as well.
My work family - everyone at The Peak that makes the broadcasts happen from a sales and operations standpoint, and covers for me when the team is on the road - David, Wanda, Diane, Brian, Jolie, our production staff, and our Broadcast Operators and Producers Nick, Brendan and Paul. I get to have all the fun, they do a ton of work behind the scenes. They are all true pros, and without them, we don't have a broadcast.
The sponsors - the broadcasts don't happen without people investing in them. Without you, there is nothing. THANKS. Extra thanks to our title sponsors - Van Isle Ford and Pacific Chevrolet.
Bruce MacDonald - For his Colour and Analysis, rides to the rink and friendship. He brings an unbelievable amount of passion to the job - without a doubt the most passionate person I have worked with here on Bulldogs Broadcasts in the Valley. The committment he makes taking time away from his family and his business to attend the games not just at home but also away is something that few people except me can understand, appreciate and respect. Keep in mind it's a side job for him. He's a great guy to hang out with in the booth and on the road on the bus and in the hotel. Like I said last yer, we are due for some time on the golf course though, where no one is listening to us and we don't have to feel the constant pressure of being judged on what we say/think, etc.
Dan Tisserand - For his compiling of Team and Individual Statistics. As I have said before, Dan thanks me for the opportunity to do it and I tell him to "can it" because I/WE should all be thanking Dan for his commitment and for what it brings to the Broadcast. This is ONE guy, attempting to compile the numbers that a crew of people do at the NHL level. He's the pinnacle of dedication and committment and love for the game - he lives in Nanaimo, every game is a road game for him except those at the Frank Crane, and he doesn't miss many. He's travelling on his own most of the time, he's home late, he's working the next day. I know everyone appreciates his work, from the fans to the players to the parents to the Coaching Staff.
Thanks again Danno!
Dan and Bruce need their own show for their conversations during commercial breaks on the game, players, officials, etc etc. I only hear half of it, because I'm busy running the broadcast. What I do hear is awesome stuff!
The Bulldogs Organization - TOP TO BOTTOM - Coaches and Staff, Players, Office Staff, Jolie and Lucas. They all are great guys and gals. It's not always easy not working for the team, but working in such close association with the team. It's also not easy when you have to constantly walk the fine line between being truthful and unbiased, and also supportive and positive. The Coaches were amazing to deal with, and are a couple of great guys. Same can be said for the Players and the support staff - Jamie and James, Will "the thrill" and the Office Staff and volunteers. Miss all of you already more than you know!
Jamie Amos and James McDonald - thanks for your incredible dedication to your jobs and thanks for taking care of me in the booth. Just amazing stuff. The meals, the rooms, the attention to detail for the players in their physical off ice preparation/recovery. Truly out of this league. You have a huge part in the success of the team. No one is better taken care of, prepared, looked after, and put in a position to compete than our players. James - you will be missed more than you know. You left incredibly large shoes to fill, and set the standard incredibly high.
Billets/Volunteers - Hockey at this level doesn't exist without Billet families to take these guys into their homes, and without volunteers at so many levels to make the team and the games run, in the Office, around the rink on game day - public address and music, scorekeeping and score clock operating , penalty box attendants, goal judges, security personnel, the volunteers at the front of the rink, the members of the Booster Club. Thanks for playing such a huge part in this being such an amazing place, not just in hockey but in day to day life! Quite simply, there are lots of incredible people in this city. I need a list because I don't even know everyone's name! Charles, Brenda, Mark, Shelly, Nick, Trent, Chris, Scott, Terry, Gareth, Leanne, Charlene, the Anthem singers, the net-putter-outters, the puck-picker-uppers, etc etc etc!
The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society - THANKS to everyone involved for stepping up, and showing no fear and refusing to say NO! Just like the people that first brought this team here, you showed the same Port Alberni mentality. Thanks for dreaming big, thanks for all your time and efforts away from your families, your jobs, your priorities. Incredible story written over the last couple of seasons. Filling the rink, filling the athletic hall, filling other teams rinks, showing other cities around the province how we roll, how proud we are of our city, our team, ourselves. PRICELESS.
Blog Readers and Supporters - Thanks for giving me the incentive to keep this blog up and going throughout the season. It takes way more work than most people realize. Thanks for the positive feedback, and thanks for the donations through the link on the right ------> (DON'T BE SHY TO CLICK IT!!) that keep me going and give me a kick in the butt when I'd rather take some down time or time with the family. The donations go a long way in not only making me feel like the time I put in is appreciated, but they also go a long way in making the blog what it is - new computer, new phone/camera, online hosting fees for audio, etc! I know not everyone is in a position to be able to do that - it means just as much when you pull me aside at the rink or when you send me an email or a message to say how much it means to you to be able to read the blog, to be able to listen to the broadcasts, and to be able to follow your son and bridge the gap between you when he's away "chasing the dream" far or near but in the end AWAY from home and family!
The Coaches and the Players - it was just incredible, what you guys did from the horrific start to making the Playoffs. It couldn't have been easy talking to me on some nights with how things were going. True pros through and through.
Ok, so who am I missing now? Oh right, the FANS! None of this happens, and this team isn't here without your generosity and support. Second to none not only in the league, and in the country. Your support of the broadcasts, and of the team, is incredible. You packed OUR rink, you invaded THEIR rinks, you pushed the team into the Playoffs and to the verge of the second round. I don't think this season would have happened ANYWHERE else. It's your hard earned $$$, and I thank and respect you for your mind blowing support!
Thanks as well to the BCHL, for giving us great hockey to watch at a great price. Thanks to the opposition, you can't have games without them. Thanks as well to the Officials - often maligned, never appreciated or commended enough.
Onwards and upwards to next season now!
The Bulldogs announced the Future Considerations portions of trades they made in advance of the deadline on January 10th - gone are Harlan Orr and Craig Martin - coming to the Bulldogs is Jesse Knowler.
It's certainly tough to see Orr and Martin go, two great guys, and players that had a big hand in the success of the team down the stretch. Best of luck to them in the future, and thanks for your efforts in a Bulldog sweater and in the community fellas! Knowler is certainly a welcome addition.
The trades made at the deadline in my opinion without question enabled the team to get into the Playoffs. Although the team fell short in Game 7 of Round 1, one has to think that the experience earned will be valuable in the future. One cannot dispute the financial impact of three extra Home games at the Dog Pound when it comes to the success of the franchise as well.
Bulldogs Announce Future Considerations Details
Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are releasing details of the future considerations components from deals made at the trade deadline that allowed the team to add depth and make the playoffs.
First of all, 1995-born forward Harlan Orr is the player named as future considerations in the deal that saw the team acquire 1993-born forward Mitch Owsley from the Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL). Owsley was a key ingredient for the Bulldogs down the stretch, contributing 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 16 regular season games. Half of Owsley’s goals came on the power play.
Harlan Orr was picked up by the Bulldogs early into the 2013/14 season after the Salmon Arm Silverbacks decided not to keep Orr just 6 games into the regular season. In his second season in the BCHL, Orr put up 34 points (9 goals, 25 assists) in 49 regular season games for the Bulldogs and added another 4 points in 7 playoff games against the Victoria Grizzlies in round 1.
The final future considerations trade that has a player departing the Bulldogs was made with the Trail Smoke Eaters at the deadline. That trade eventually turned out to see the playing rights of 1995-born forward Jake Kauppila and 1994-born forward Jesse Knowler come to the Bulldogs in exchange for 1995-born forward Craig Martin and 1995-born forward Jakson Elynuik. This trade allowed the Bulldogs to retain the services of Martin for the rest of the 2013/14 season while adding the skill, work ethic, and leadership of Jake Kauppila for the remainder of the 2013/14 season; Knowler will join the Bulldogs for the 2014/15 season.
Knowler, a former major midget teammate of Tryg Strand, spent his 17-year-old season with the Prince Alberni Raiders (WHL) and the last two years with the Smoke Eaters. Knowler had 9 multiple-point games for the Smokies in 2013/14, including a 3-assist performance against the Merritt Centennials, a 1 goal and 2 assist performance against the West Kelowna Warriors, and a 5 assist game against the Vernon Vipers. In a season where it would have been easy to pack it in, Knowler finished strong with 12 points in his final 7 games of the season with the Smokies, ending with 35 points in 47 games. Going the other way is Craig Martin, who was acquired in a trade early this season that had Martin and future considerations come to the Bulldogs for 1994-defenseman Jared Wilson. In 41 games in a Bulldogs jersey Martin scored 10 goals and added 13 assists. In 7 playoff games, Martin scored 4 goals and added 1 assist. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs would also like to formally announce that Jake Kauppila, who was originally committed to attend Michigan Tech for the 2014/15 season, is deferring for a season and is expected to be back with the Bulldogs next season.
As is always the case, the Bulldogs had to give up something to get something. Harlan Orr and Craig Martin were exemplary teammates and outstanding contributors to the team and to the community. The Bulldogs family wish Harlan and Craig all the best with their future teams and look forward to welcoming Jesse Knowler to the Bulldogs family and to a strong core of players returning for the 2014/15 season.
The Alberni Valley Bulldogs hit the ice next for the annual Spring Identification Camp in Port Alberni, BC from April 18-20, 2014. As always, the Bulldogs’ camp will be open to the public and an official schedule will be posted on the team’s website during the week leading up to the spring camp.
For more information please contact Alberni Valley Bulldogs Head Coach/GM Kevin
The Express advanced with a 4-3 triple-OT win last night in Victoria over the Grizzlies to improve their record in the round robin to 2 and 1, while the Grizzlies fell to 0 and 3. The Express tied the game with a minute to play, and killed off a 5 minute power play for the Grizz in the first OT. The Fitzgerald triplets went out in style, scoring all three goals for the Grizz.
Reaction has been mixed in regards to the Interior/Mainland/Island Semi-Final series. On one hand, I'm a traditionalist and a fan of a SERIES. On the other hand, I'm not really a fan of a Best-of-Five and I'm not really a fan of the Interior having to win two less games to get to the league finals as opposed to the Coast. For those that don't remember or don't know, the Coastal Conference representative last year had to win 10 games to advance to the League Finals - two Best-of-Five series, followed by a Best-of-Seven series. The Interior rep had to only win two Best-of-Seven series. I certainly don't think the Round Robin is perfect (what is, really?) but it at least seems somewhat more fair.
What would YOU do?
That's it for now.