Five BCHL teams ready to host pod season


The BC Hockey League put out an official announcement regarding how the pod structure breaks down, and on its website, stats and standings have rolled over to what’s being called “2020-21 Pod Season”.

The stats from the 89 games which took place from September to November last fall have been switched from “2020-21 Training Season” to “2020-21 Exhibition Season”.

Those games and stats won’t appear in any player profiles on websites like Elite Prospects or HockeyDB because they were truly exhibition games – which aren’t included on those sites for any other leagues, even the National Hockey League.

But with BCHL teams slowly releasing rosters on the league site, we now know exactly where each team will play the season and against which opponents.

It’s a long way to the pod

The pods are confirmed to be in Port Alberni, Coquitlam, Vernon, Penticton, and Chilliwack.

With those being the geographic locations of the pods, games will take place at the Weyerhauser Arena in Port Alberni, Kal Tire Place in Vernon, South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, and The Chilliwack Coliseum.

The Coquitlam Express is the only host pod team that won’t play in its home rink. The ice is set to be removed from the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex in preparation for lacrosse season, so the Coquitlam pod is relocated to Scotia Barn – Canlan Ice Sports in Burnaby.

The Express relocated to Burnaby ahead of the 2005-06 BCHL season and played at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre, which coincidentally is a three-minute drive from Scotia Barn, for five seasons. Coquitlam welcomed the club back in time for the 2010-11 season.

The Port Alberni pod is home to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Nanaimo Clippers, Cowichan Valley Capitals, and Victoria Grizzlies.

The Vernon pod will host the hometown Vipers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, and West Kelowna Warriors.

The pod based in Penticton features the Vees, Trail Smoke Eaters, and Cranbrook Bucks, who are playing their inaugural season in the BCHL.

The Chilliwack pod will see the host Chiefs play along with the Merritt Centennials and Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Coquitlam pod – playing out of Burnaby – includes the Express, Surrey Eagles, and Powell River Kings.

A schedule of all games is expected to be released by the BCHL next week with the puck set to drop in early April.