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

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

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!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Matt Hatch signs with Philadelphia Flyers, Grizz make changes

Great news came yesterday from Philly as former Bulldog Matt Hatch has signed a Pro contract with the Flyers organization. The Flyers affiliate is moving to Allentown, PA for the 2014-2015 season from Adirondack.

Hatch of course was a big part of the Union Dutchmen's NCAA title this spring, and was a big part of the Bulldogs run to the Coastal Conference Finals in 2009-2010.

Here's a highlight of Hatch with a game tying goal early in the 2009-2010 season. It feels like, and looks like, its from 100 years ago! 

Some changes in the BCHL's Island Division, as Craig Didmon has stepped down as Head Coach of the Grizzlies, to be replaced by new GM Brad Knight.

No information at the moment on the team website or any team Social Media accounts, but details can be found in the Times Colonist HERE