BCHL Today: BCHL confirms CJHL exit, eight first BCHL goals, and more


BCHL confirms Canadian Junior Hockey League departure

The BC Hockey League executed the perfect Friday evening news dump with the above tweet sent at 6:01 pm yesterday.

Whether or not that was the intention of the league remains to be seen, but regardless, the BCHL confirmed earlier reports that it has in fact, withdrawn from the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

The BCHL was quick to note the departure from the CJHL does not mean it is intending to withdraw from BC Hockey or Hockey Canada.

Vernon vs. West Kelowna first career BCHL goals

2004-born defenseman Tyson Jugnauth picked the right time to get his first career BCHL goal as it was the game-winner in a 4-2 win over the Vernon Vipers.

Jugnauth, who’s committed to the University of Wisconsin for Sept. 2022, potted the goal at the 18:34 mark of the second period on Friday.

21-year-old Tyler Carpendale scored 11 goals in the Western Hockey League over the last three seasons, but Friday night saw him tally his first two in the BCHL.

The Powell River product provided all the offense for the Vipers in the loss, scoring once each in the first and second periods. He had four points in six games for Vernon during the exhibition season.

Cranbrook vs. Penticton first career BCHL goals

2003-born Crae Dawson is listed as an affiliate player on the Penticton Vees roster, but he had an impact on Friday, scoring his first BCHL goal to give them a 2-0 lead en route to a 5-3 win over Cranbrook.

Dawson, who’s from Oliver, BC, had three points in three games with the Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League before the season was paused and then canceled due to COVID-19.

Vees forward Ryan McGuire notched his first marker in the BCHL during Friday’s win over the Bucks. It came 8:22 into the second period.

The 2002-born product of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec is coming off a 2019-20 season where he scored 22 goals in 30 games for Belmont Hill School.

After scoring a goal and five points during the exhibition season last fall, 2002-born Cranbrook forward Noah Leibl got his first regular-season BCHL goal in the loss to the Vees.

The Del Mar, California product is no stranger to finding the back of the net after he scored 44 goals in 72 games with Shawnigan Lake School U18 Prep over the last two seasons.

Coquitlam vs. Powell River first career BCHL goals

2003-born Powell River Kings forward Owen Barrow only took four games to get his first BCHL goal and it came in their 5-4 OT win against Coquitlam.

The Kamloops, BC product had a goal in two games with his hometown Storm of the KIJHL before the pandemic shut things down. He put 23 points in 36 games with Yale Academy Prep in 2019-20.

Rookie forward Ethan Riesterer joined Barrow in notching his first BCHL goal in the win against the Express. He beat Coquitlam netminder Jaden Little with 5:04 left in the third period.

Riesterer, a 2003-born forward from Richmond, BC, was on the Kings’ radar as far back as last season when he played three games for them as an affiliate.

2002-born forward Keeton Oakley is with the Express on loan from the Langley Rivermen and he posted his first BCHL goal in the loss to Powell River. He scored at 9:07 of the second to stake Coquitlam to a 2-0 lead.

Oakley had 21 goals and 48 points in 42 games with the Langley Trappers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League during the 2019-20 season.

Nash traded from Columbus to Toronto

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded 31-year-old forward Riley Nash (38 goals, 46 assists in 56 games with Salmon Arm from 2006-07) to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.

Nash is currently injured with a sprained knee and expects to miss four to six weeks. The Consort, Alberta product had seven points in 37 games with Columbus this season. He was placed on injured reserve by the Blue Jackets earlier this week.

LaFontaine named NCAA top goaltender

University of Minnesota netminder Jack LaFontaine (30-13-1, 2.19 GAA, .923 SV%, and 3 shutouts in 45 games with Penticton in 2018-19) is the winner of the 2021 Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in NCAA Division I hockey.

The 23-year-old Carolina Hurricanes draft pick finished the season with a 20-6 record along with a 1.65 goals-against-average, a .937 save percentage, and five shutouts. He is the first BCHL alumnus to ever win the Mike Richter Award.

Welsh and Marrocco transfer to Long Island University

A pair of BCHL alumni have transferred to Long Island University for the 2021-22 NCAA hockey season.

24-year-old Whistler, BC product Tyler Welsh (31 goals, 62 assists in 108 games with Victoria and West Kelowna) spent the last four seasons at Yale and put up 10 goals and 39 points in 93 games.

Arizona State forward P.J. Marrocco (11 goals, 12 assists in 28 games with Chilliwack in 2017-18) will join Welsh at LIU this fall. The 23-year-old posted 21 goals and 40 points in 94 games with the Sun Devils over the last three seasons.

Turris waived by the Edmonton Oilers

Forward Kyle Turris (102 goals, 91 assists in 110 games with Burnaby from 2005-07) was placed on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Turris, a product of New Westminster, BC, signed a two-year contract with the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent in October. He has five points in 25 games with Edmonton this season.

Hirose recalled from the AHL to the Detroit Red Wings

Forward Taro Hirose (33 goals, 88 assists in 116 games with Salmon Arm from 2014-16) was called up by the Detroit Red Wings to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Hirose, 24, has two assists in six games with the Red Wings this season. He also posted three goals and 14 points in 13 games with Grand Rapids.

McNeely signs extension with Tölzer Löwen

Forward Tyler McNeely (74 goals, 141 assists in 161 games with Surrey, Coquitlam, and Burnaby from 2004-07) signed a contract extension with Tölzer Löwen of DEL2, the second tier of pro hockey in Germany.

2021-22 marks the 34-year-old’s third season with Tölzer Löwen after putting up 31 goals and 92 points in 75 games between 2019-20 and this season.

Three Stars of the Night

First Star: Powell River forward Josh Kagan scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner against Coquitlam.

Second Star: Chilliwack goaltender Mathieu Caron stopped 23 shots for his sixth career BCHL shutout.

Third Star: West Kelowna forward Marcus Joughin posted a goal and two assists in a win over Vernon.

Honourable Mentions: Cowichan Valley forward Jacob Brockman and Vipers forward Tyler Carpendale each tallied two goals. put up a pair of goals. Penticton forwards Jacob Quillan and Luc Wilson, along with Bucks forward Zeth Kindrachuk and Express forwards Tyler Schleppe and Ryan Tattle each had a goal and an assist.