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More BCHL games at alternate venues

 

In April, I wrote an article looking at BCHL games played at alternate venues. In response to that article, several Twitter users pointed out games I missed in the original article. With this article, I’ve decided to follow up and examine several more games which I missed.

Thanks to BCHLNetwork managing editor Brian Wiebe, I found an archive of games dating back to the 2003-04 season. I’ll limit my look to those games I missed and other games between 2003 and 2011 as details on these games may be sparse

The same rules as before apply. I won’t include any exhibition games at alternate sites because these are a common occurrence during the pre-season. Also, I’m counting games on secondary ice surfaces in arenas with two rinks.

As for the games, I found they vary in circumstance. Four games were at a neutral site in Richmond. Two games were played in a Western Hockey League arena, and one game was played in the town of Gibsons.

Before I get to those games, I want to touch on a game I covered before. On September 10, 2005, the Victoria Salsa hosted the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.

The Victoria Shamrocks were hosting the Mann Cup FInals at The Q Centre and because of this, the Salsa moved their game to SOFMC. Said game was watched by 2,491 fans and the Salsa defeated the Bulldogs 3-1. Their game was the first played at the newly opened arena.

Surrey’s neutral site games

From 2008-11, the Surrey Eagles played an annual neutral site game at Richmond’s Minoru Arena.

Each game was played on Dec. 29 against a different opponent coincided with the Richmond International Bantam Midget Hockey Tournament that begins on Boxing Day.

In 2008, the Eagles defeated the Powell River Kings 4-3 in overtime, and attendance was 1,194. A year later, the Eagles fell 5-1 to the Nanaimo Clippers in front of 1,220 fans.

In 2010, the Eagles dumped the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 4-1 in front of 1,089 fans. Finally, in 2011, the Eagles doubled the Cowichan Valley Capitals 4-2 in front of 821 fans.

Spruce Kings in the Cougars’ den

On Feb. 23-24, 2007, the Prince George Spruce Kings played two games at CN Centre. These games occurred before the 2007 RBC Cup, which was hosted that year by the Spruce Kings.

According to the February 2007 Royal Route Newsletter, the two games were played to help the Spruce Kings familiarize themselves with the CN Centre itself.

On the 23rd, the Spruce Kings edged the Nanaimo Clippers 4-3 in overtime. The attendance was 2,286. A day later, Prince George whacked the Quesnel Millionaires 7-1 in front of 2,732 fans.

As for the actual RBC Cup, the Spruce Kings finished as the silver medalists after losing the final game 3-1 to the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Aurora Tigers.

A stop in Gibsons

The Burnaby Express and Powell River Kings played a home game at Gibsons Arena on Feb. 7, 2010. Gibsons is a town on the Sechelt Penninsula accessible by ferry from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Gibsons was also the setting for the popular CBC program The Beachcombers.

In front of a capacity crowd of 675, the Kings tripped the Express 6-5 in overtime. Powell River goaltender Michael Gartieg stopped 28 shots for his 14th win of the season.

Gibsons previously hosted several Kings pre-season games but had never hosted an Express regular-season game. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information why the game was played in Gibsons.

Some final notes

While researching this article, I came across several things. The first involves the West Kelowna (née Westside) Warriors. They played their entire first season at Kelowna’s Memorial Arena. The second involves the Victoria Salsa as they played most of the 2003-04 season at Juan de Fuca Arena.

There are too many individual games to include in one article. As for why Victoria played at Juan de Fuca Arena, it’s because The Q Centre was still under construction and didn’t open until February 2004. The Salsa lost their first game at The Q Centre 5-1 against Cowichan Valley.

As for the Warriors, their home at Royal LePage Place didn’t open until September 2007 so that’s why they had to play their entire first season at Memorial Arena in Kelowna. Their first game at RLP was Sept. 8, 2007, a 5-3 loss to the Penticton Vees.