(This article was originally published on June 7, 2020)
Like any sports league around the world, the BCHL has had some interesting player names in its history. After listening to TSN 1040’s midday show with Don Taylor and Bob Marjanovich, their idea of an all-name team got me thinking about what the BCHL all-name team consists of?
I’ll make a complete 23 man roster and head coach of the most interesting, cool, and straight-up hockey names to ever grace the BCHL. The criteria for the team is they have to have played a minimum of 25 games in the BCHL and for the head coach, be behind the bench for at least one season.
The high-flying forwards
Deadmarsh played one season in the BCJHL in 1967-68 for the Kelowna Buckaroos. He then went and played two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings and was drafted 15th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1970 NHL Draft. He played six seasons in the NHL with Buffalo, Atlanta, and Kansas City. Deadmarsh then played five seasons in the World Hockey Association with Vancouver, Calgary, Minnesota, Edmonton, and Cincinnati.
Darrel “Butch” Owchar
Owchar played two seasons in the BCJHL with the Kamloops Rockets from 1971-73. He then played two seasons in the AJHL with the Calgary Canucks from 1973-75.
Winofsky played two seasons with the Bellingham Blazers from 1972-74. He also played 25 games with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL over two seasons from 1974-76. Winofsky wrapped up his career with seven seasons in the German second league sandwiching two stints in the German Elite League in 1983-84 and 1985-86.
Effraimsson played two seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals from 1980-82 where he had 35 goals and 64 assists for 99 points.
Potskin played one season with the Chilliwack Chiefs in 1990-91. He led the team in scoring with 145 points in 57 games as well as 156 penalty minutes. He turned pro straight from the BCHL and played nine games with the Roanoke Valley Rebels in the ECHL in 1991-92 before retiring.
Roodbol played one full season with the Surrey Eagles in 1991-92. He had 35 points in 59 games and 113 penalty minutes. He had a cup of coffee in the Western Hockey League, playing two games with Seattle in 1991-92. Roodbol then played 47 games in the BCHL with Surrey, Victoria, and Bellingham from 1992-94.
Zol played four seasons in the BCHL from 1992-96 with the Kelowna Spartans and Chilliwack Chiefs. Over the four seasons, Zol had a total of 72 goals and 101 assists for 173 points in 233 games.
Cheeseman played two seasons with the Vernon Lakers and Vipers from 1994-96. With Vernon, Cheesman had 66 goals and 93 assists for 159 points. After Vernon, he played four years at Lake Superior State University before turning pro. He played four seasons in the Central Hockey League and Western Professional Hockey League with the Columbus Cottonmouths, Amarillo Rattlers, Corpus Christi Icerays, and San Angelo Outlaws/Saints.
Costanzo played two seasons with the Vernon Vipers from 2003-05. After junior, he played three years at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. He then played one season with the Mississippi Riverkings of the CHL and one season with the Romford Raiders of the English Elite League. He retired after playing 16 games for Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League in 2010-11.
Muchalla played three seasons with the Prince George Spruce Kings from 2004-07. He then split the next two seasons with the Spruce Kings and Penticton Vees. Muchalla then played one year of NCAA Div. III hockey at Wentworth Institute of Technology before transferring to Mount Royal College of the ACAC.
Westwood played three seasons in the BCHL from 2003-06. In his first season with Quesnel, Westwood racked up an astonishing 430 penalty minutes in 43 games. He then had 153 penalty minutes in 32 games the next season and finished his hockey career with the Mills and PG, posting 170 penalty minutes in 48 games. In total, Westwood had 756 career PIMs in 123 games or just over six penalty minutes per game.
Difrancescantonio played one season with the Langley Hornets in 2005-06 after spending half of the previous season with Surrey. With the Eagles, he had five goals in 27 games. In 60 games in Langley, he had four goals and nine assists along with 101 penalty minutes. He holds the record for the longest last name in BCHL history that’s not hyphenated.
— Calgary Hitmen (@WHLHitmen) February 17, 2018
Dodginghorse played two seasons with the Vernon Vipers from 1995-97. He then played two seasons with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and wrapped up his career with two seasons in the ECHL for the Johnstown Chiefs and Pensacola Ice Pilots, respectively.
The bone-crushing defensemen
Casler played one season with the Victoria Cougars in 1968-69. Despite having an awesome name, unfortunately, there are no stats available for Casler.
Hillert played two seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers from 1980-82. He had a combined 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points, and 115 combined penalty minutes.
Balkovec split the 1989-90 season between the Merritt Centennials and Cowichan Valley Warriors, scoring 19 points. He spent the next season with Merritt and posted 14 goals and 64 assists. Balkovec was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft.
He played four years at the University of Wisconsin and then two years at the pro level. Balkovec split the 1995-96 season with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings and Raleigh Icecaps of the ECHL. He then split the next season with Raleigh and Grefrath EG of the German second league.
Dudley played one season in the BCHL with three teams. He started the 1994-95 season with the Langley Thunder, played in 24 games and scored 24 points. He was traded to the Victoria Salsa where he played 11 games and had 17 points. Dudley then was traded to Penticton where he played 21 games and put up 23 points. After junior, Dudley played eight seasons in the CHL and SPHL before retiring after the 2004-05 season.
Rush played two seasons with the Chilliwack Chiefs from 2012-14. In his two seasons, Rush had 13 goals and 29 assists. The Chiefs traded Rush to Prince George. He played one game for the Spruce Kings and then played four games for Wilfrid Laurier University in 2014-15 before hanging ’em up.
— BDNMB (@bdnmbca) August 24, 2016
McCrimmon, who has a solid, straight-up hockey name, played one and a half seasons with the Vernon Vipers from 2004-06. In his time with the Vipers, McCrimmon accumulated five goals, 17 assists for 22 points. He played three games for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL before returning to the Vipers. He also played 14 games for the Selkirk Steelers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in 2006-07 and ended his hockey career with the University of Manitoba in 2007-08.
The masked crusaders
Love played for the Vernon Essos in 1970-71. There are no statistics available, but he also played senior men’s hockey for the Quesnel Kangaroos of the Cariboo Hockey League.
Paussinen played one season with the Bellingham Blazers in 1979-80. Again, despite having a wicked name, there are no statistics available.
— Salmon Arm Silverbacks (@SASilverbacks) November 29, 2017
Didur played four seasons in the BCHL from 2013-18. In his one season with Surrey, Didur had a record of 7-14, with 4.19 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage. With Langley, Didur averaged a 3.20 GAA and a .902 SV% over three seasons. In 2017-18, Didur was traded to Salmon Arm, and he posted a 5-8 record with a 4.18 GAA and a .867 SV%.
The Backs traded Didur to the Estevan Bruins of the SJHL, where he posted a 12-5-1 record over 19 games, with a 2.46 GAA and a .902 SV%. In the playoffs, Didur led the Bruins to the SJHL finals but lost in seven games to the Nipawin Hawks. He is currently at Concordia University Wisconsin.
Gruhn was the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins in 1972-73. Prior to coaching, Gruhn played one season with the St. Boniface Seals of the MJHL in 1937-38. He played senior hockey after that with the Calgary Stampeders, Regina Rangers, Montreal Senior Canadiens, Montreal R.C.A.F, Winnipeg R.C.A.F Bombers, and the Quebec Aces.
Gruhn caught the eye of the Vancouver Canucks of the PCHL from 1947-49. After the Canucks, Gruhn played three more years in the PCHL with his last one being split between the New Westminster Royals of the PCHL and Nanaimo Clippers of the PCAHL. After he retired, Gruhn was named head coach of the Bruins. He had a record of 29-31-1 in 61 games.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel: Played three-and-a-half seasons with the Merritt Centennials from 2004-07.
Rocky Reiner: Played two games with the Abbotsford Flyers in 1980-81.
Tanner Hlookoff: Played two seasons with the Quesnel Millionaires from 2006-08.
Jono Payton: Played one season with the Nanaimo Clippers in 1994-95.
Dallas Goodrunning: Played one season with the Vernon Vipers in 2007-08.
Butch Tent: Played five seasons for the Merritt Centennials from 1981-86.
Fabio Luongo: Played 27 games with the Williams Lake Timberwolves in 2004-05.
Partik Bhungal: Played one season with the Powell River Kings in 2005-06.
Chet Musgrove: Played three seasons with the Merritt Centennials from 1993-96.
Mathew Berry-Lamontagna: Played two-and-a-half seasons with West Kelowna, Coquitlam, and Cowichan Valley from 2011-14.