BCHL Bulletin: Smoke Eaters paused by COVID-19, Express bring in a goaltender, and more!

COVID-19 hits pause on the Smoke Eaters

The BCHL announced on Tuesday that the Trail Smoke Eaters have paused all team activities for the next five days in accordance with the league’s COVID-19 protocol and provincial health regulations.

As a result, the Smokies three games this week are postponed. They were set to travel to Prince George on Wednesday before visiting Salmon Arm on Friday and Vernon on Saturday.

Trail’s next game is scheduled for Jan. 12 at home against the Wenatchee Wild.

Warriors add Marinkovic for 2022-23

The West Kelowna Warriors have added 2004-born forward Tomis Marinkovic as a new recruit for the 2022-23 BC Hockey League season. The Coquitlam, BC native has 13 goals and 21 points in 18 games with the Vancouver North East Chiefs U18 of the BC Elite Hockey League this season.

Express pick up Woodside from Victoria

The Coquitlam Express has acquired 2001-born goaltender Carter Woodside from the Victoria Grizzlies for future considerations. The Asquith, SK product was 4-2-0 with a 3.32 goals-against average and an .890 save percentage in six games with the Grizzlies this season.

In his three BCHL seasons, Woodside has a 19-19-2 record alongside a 2.83 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage, and one shutout in 44 games with Victoria, Prince George, and Merritt. He also played one Western Hockey League game with Regina in 2018-19.

Bowen commits to the University of Vermont

2002-born Chilliwack Chiefs forward Ethan Bowen has de-committed from the University of North Dakota and will instead attend the University of Vermont starting this September.

The Anaheim Ducks prospect, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Draft, has 10 goals and 23 points in 19 games for his hometown Chiefs this season.

He has played a total of 137 games over the last four BCHL seasons, posting 52 goals and 114 points, all with Chilliwack.

Panetta, Fraser, and Bidewell nab BCHL three stars of the week

Salmon Arm forward Daniel Panetta, Nanaimo forward Tristan Fraser, and Cowichan Valley netminder McCoy Bidewell are the BCHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 2.

Panetta, 20, had five goals as the Silverbacks went 3-0 last week. The Belleville, ON product scored once in a 4-2 road win in Merritt on Wednesday, had all three goals as Salmon Arm blanked Vernon on Friday, and scored again on Saturday as the Backs dumped the Vipers 4-1 in the second half of a home-and-home.

Fraser, a 20-year-old, posted a goal and four assists last week – in one game. The West Vancouver, BC native had his 10th multi-point game of the season on Sunday as the Clippers thumped Coquitlam 7-0, factoring in on five of Nanaimo’s goals. Fraser is now sixth in the BCHL in assists with 23.

19-year-old Bidewell was 1-1 for the Capitals last week, making 74 saves on 77 shots. The Grande Prairie, AB product kicked out 36 shots on Wednesday in a 3-2 win over Alberni Valley. He wrapped the week with 38 saves in a 2-0 loss on Saturday at home against the Bulldogs. Bidewell’s .923 save percentage on the season is third-best in the BCHL.

Canucks send Rempal to their taxi squad

The Vancouver Canucks sent forward Sheldon Rempal (110 goals, 103 assists in 167 games with Nanaimo from 2013-16) to their taxi squad on Tuesday.

Rempal, a 26-year-old Calgary, AB native, has eight goals and 20 points in 22 games with the Abbotsford Canucks of the American Hockey League this season, his first as a member of Vancouver’s organization.

Dobson dealt in the SJHL

2001-born forward Nick Dobson (one goal, one assist in 16 games with Cranbrook in 2020-21) was traded in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League on Tuesday from Weyburn to Winkler. The Enniskillen, GBR product put up a goal and 10 assists in 16 games with the Red Wings this season.

Chrcek signs a deal with South Carolina

Defenseman Damian Chrcek (six goals, 26 assists in 107 games with Salmon Arm from 2014-16) has signed with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.

The native of Marysville, MI played one game this season with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. He didn’t play any games of record in 2020-21 because of the pandemic, but spent the previous four seasons at Michigan State University, compiling two goals and four points in 33 games.