BCHL Today: Pandemic further postpones 2020-21 season, Bottini and Fust tryout for Swiss national junior team, and more


COVID-19 stalls 2020-21 BCHL season again

The BC Hockey League has postponed the start of the 2020-21 regular season due to the travel restrictions put in place by the province’s latest public health order.

The season was scheduled to start December 2, but all games between now and December 7 are cancelled, including the remainder of the exhibition games.

There is a chance games don’t start until the new year. “If the PHO extends their current restrictions beyond Dec. 7, we have the option of moving the start date to after the holidays, but it is our intention to begin play once the current order expires,” said BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb in a news release.

The league indicated a season schedule is forthcoming in anticipation of starting on December 8.

With the exhibition season officially over, the Penticton Vees finished atop the league with a 13-1 record. Nanaimo was second at 11-5 and Victoria third with an 8-4-3 record.

Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, Powell River and Wenatchee didn’t end up playing any official games as part of the extended training camp.

The Grizzlies trio of 2000-born forward Alex DiPaolo (23 points), 2001-born forward Cody Monds (21 points), and 2002-born rookie forward Ellis Rickwood (21 points) finished 1-2-3 in the exhibition scoring race.

2001-born netminder Kaeden Lane of the Vees had the best goalie numbers with a 4-0 record, a 1.30 goals-against-average, a .951 save percentage, and two shutouts.

Trail rookie Cayden Hamming was second in goaltending stats. The 2003-born goalie was 2-1 with a 1.34 GAA, a .954 SV%, and one shutout.

Lundy signs with Coquitlam

The Coquitlam Express signed 2002-born defenseman Lucas Lundy as a free agent. The Delta, BC product was with the Merritt Centennials since September as part of the BCHL’s extended training camp.

He played two games with the Cents during the pre-season and didn’t score any points.

Lundy started the 2019-20 season with the Delta Ice Hawks of the Pacific Junior Hockey League and had three assists in seven games.

He was traded to the Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and finished the season with 12 points in 37 games.

Bottini named to Swiss selection camp for World Juniors

Penticton Vees forward Stefano Bottini is a contender to play at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship after being named to the 34-player selection camp for the Swiss team.

Bottini, a 2002-born winger, had a goal and four assists in 10 games with the Vees during the extended training camp this fall.

The Swiss-Canadian had two goals and five assists in 14 international U18 games for Switzerland during the 2019-20 season.

Fust to try out for Swiss world junior team

2002-born forward Ray Fust of the Chilliwack Chiefs will take part in Switzerland’s selection camp as he tries to earn a spot to play at the World Juniors.

Fust, who’s committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, notched a goal and an assist in six games with Chilliwack during the exhibition season.

He played four games internationally for Switzerland last season and didn’t put up any points.