CHILLIWACK CHIEFS – BCHL
The host team at this year’s RBC Cup is the Chilliwack Chiefs. They are a year and a game removed from almost winning the BCHL title last year and getting to the RBC Cup, where they lost to the renowned Penticton Vees in Game 7 of the BCHL final, and then lost 3-2 to the Vees in the runner-up game in the Western Canada Cup.
Chilliwack will have waited for 62 days before playing a competitive hockey game on Saturday since losing to the Prince George Spruce Kings in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.
They have two talented young forwards that were gold medal winners along with Pistons F Riese Gaber at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge with Team Canada West in Corey Andonovski (’99) and Harrison Blaisdell (’01).
The Chiefs’ leading scorers during the regular season were Will Calverley (46 points) and Tommy Lee (41 points).
On defense, Bryan Allbee led all Chiefs in scoring for the postseason with 3 goals and 3 assists. Allbee and 6’5” Kyle Yewchuk is tasked with leading a group of young defenceman such as 2000-born Powell Connor, and Matt Slick (’99).
Chilliwack split their goaltending duties during the regular season, much like the Pistons, but the performance was average. Mathieu Caron got the majority reps in net for the Chiefs (37 GP), but Daniel Chenard, who played in 31 GP in the regular season, got the call to start in the first round. It looks like it will be Chenard’s net in Chilliwack, as he was brilliant in the first round with a 1.51 GAA, a .927 SV%, and had one shutout.
The Chiefs are the wildcard in this tournament, again waiting 62 days in between games. They have a talented young lineup that should be full of energy with the hometown crowd behind them.
LEADING PLAYOFF SCORERS (BCHL)
D Bryan Allbee (’97) – 7 GP – 6 PTS (3 G, 3 A)
F PJ Marroco (’97) – 7 GP – 3 PTS (2 G, 1 A)
F Adam Berg (’97) – 7 GP – 3 PTS (1 G, 2 A)
Daniel Chenard – 1.51 GAA, .927 SV%, 1 SO