It's the start of a new season for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (0-0-0-0) and the Nanaimo Clippers (0-0-0-0) as the teams meet at the Frank Crane Arena for the British Columbia Hockey League's opening night of the 2016-2017 season.
There are few nights over the course of a year that compares to opening night. A fresh sheet of ice, a fresh slate, nothing but zeros through every team and individual column. It's a night that many players may always remember, if it's the first one of their career. Granted, the excitement level might be lower for the players, coaches , officials etc that have been "been there and done that", but opening night is always guaranteed to get the blood going in anyone involved with hockey. For the guys new and old that maybe are feeling a butterfly or two floating around their guts, in the end, it's just hockey. A fresh sheet of ice and skates stick and puck. 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. Oh yeah, one more thing. Outwork the other team. Do that and the rest will take care of itself!
I would say that's half right, but maybe the more accurate thinking is that every night is big, and every minute within it, and every shift, faceoff, backcheck, hit and shot are of equal importance. Two points is two points, and you never know if you might be playing on the last day of the season needing two points to make the playoffs, like the Dogs did last year, or win your division or claim home ice advantage.
Catch all the action on Pacific Chevrolet 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, Bruce MacDonald and Dan the Statsman Tisserand covering the play-by-play / colour and analysis / team and player stat duties.
Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is Victoria Grizzlies play-by-play voice Scott Didmon, as the Dogs visit the Grizzlies tomorrow night.
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