Curtain rises on another BCHL season
Sep 6, 2013 / 4:45 pm
The 2013-2014 BC Hockey League season officially kicked off in Chilliwack this (Friday) afternoon.
All 16 league teams are in the Fraser Valley city over the next three days for the league's annual Bauer Showcase.
This is the second year for the Showcase and the second year it is being held in Chilliwack.
The league introduced the event last year after seeing the success of similar events in other league's across Western Canada.
More than 200 scouts and talent evaluators from US colleges and NHL teams were on hand in 2012 and at least that many are expected again this year.
"The motivation to do this is for two reasons, the benefit to the players and ultimately the benefit to the scouts," stated BCHL Commissioner, John Grisdale prior to puck drop Friday.
"The success last year with having over 200 scouts coming to watch hopefully we reach that this year."
Grisdale says he believes holding this event at the beginning of the season is perfect for that the league is trying to accomplish.
"The scouts are out here anyway and there are no NHL games going on so the scouts can come," says Grisdale.
"There's money available for scholarships because they haven't been out so we like to be the first league that gets looked at. Last year we ended up with 151 players with scholarships and 95 of those were new.."
Grisdale says that was a record for the league.
On the ice, the West Kelowna Warriors and Penticton Vees both used the short weekend to jump start their season.
Both clubs skated away with a pair of victories while division foes Salmon Arm, Trail and Vernon went winless in their two outings.
The Warriors and Vees will look to get off to similar starts this year.
Penticton face Victoria (Friday, 3:30 p.m.) and Alberni Valley (3:30 p.m. Saturday) while the Warriors take on defending BCHL champion Surrey (7:30 p.m. Friday) and Nanaimo (3 p.m. Saturday).
The Vernon Vipers will be looking to get off to a better start than a year ago.
Vernon, which will draw entry into the RBC Cup as the host city, take on Surrey (11:30 a.m.) Saturday and Chilliwack (6 p.m. Sunday).
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