This year has a different feel from the get-go as it will not be starting at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, like the last three seasons have for all BCHL teams. I certainly enjoyed the spectacle that the Showcase was, with every BCHL team playing two games in two days to kick off the season. At the same time, I think I like the new timeline with it as it doesn't happen until three weeks into the season (the Bulldogs play at the Showcase on September 24th and 25th) with the event happening this year over four days as opposed to just two. Teams will not only show up in a little better form with more practice time together and more game action under their belt, but they will also play in better confines with all the games for all teams now being played in the big rink, and no games being played on the "community rink". There isn't a comparison in most facilities between their big rink and their secondary surface, but that gap in Chilliwack is even wider with the Prospera Centre having all the amenities including a video scoreboard and a great crew that gets lots of game action and replays on it during the contest. It's a big league feel.
I just realized that I wrote about 12 lines, all about the Showcase. None of that matters now of course, as it's about the NOW and that's the Cowichan Valley Capitals tonight. The Capitals might have a slight edge going into this game, as they already got their feet wet playing their first game last night where they emerged victorious, 3-2 over the Victoria Grizzlies
As much as everyone should be prepared for tonight, it's hard to create a real game atmosphere when it isn't a real game. Exhibition is one thing, tonight when the bullets are flying for real, so to speak, is a completely different thing. At the same time, maybe the Dogs can use the adrenaline and excitement that comes with game one to their advantage and they can come out flying.
It's important when the energy level and nerves might be a little high to just try and focus on the fundamentals and not try and do to much. Push the pace and move your feet, take the body and shoot the puck. The rest will take care of itself!
Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey tonight on 93.3 The Peak FM with the pregame show at approximately 6:45 and the play-by-play to follow at 7:00 with myself and Port Alberni City Councillor, Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society Director and Bulldogs Governor Ron Paulson providing colour commentary and analysis with Bruce MacDonald unable to make it. Dan the Statsman Tisserand will be on hand to compile team and player stats.
Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is BCHL Communications Director Brent Mutis, talking about all things BCHL and how you can follow the league beyond the coverage we provide on The Peak and I provide here on the blog.
If you aren't in listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:
Listening Live on your computer: www.933thepeak.com
Listening Live on your SmartPhone : www.tunein.com/mobile/
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone www.fasthockey.com