From Now Till Then


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It’s August 17th. That means we’re just a little more than a month out from game 1 of the 2014/2015 BCHL season, beginning in Chilliwack at the Showcase. I went on a mild Twitter-flood last night, updating fans on what the basic timeline is between now and then. Realising that not everyone is on Twitter, here is that same timeline (expanded on a little bit):

  • Players have begun arriving into Powell River. Some will be on hand to help with ice sessions at the annual Kings Hockey School, which runs Monday-Thursday. Along with the coaches, this years crop of players (both old and new) will help train the next generation of Kings.
  • Camp is August 29th to 31st, all at the Hap Parker Arena. I’ll post a more detailed schedule later this week, as I know that many fans enjoy watching the scrimmages and in particular the Green vs White game at the conclusion of camp. There is already a lot of excitement for this season. On Friday, Powell River held its annual Blackberry Festival Street Party and many fans that I ran into were asking about camp, and expressed their eagerness to check out this year’s crop of Kings.
  • The 3-day camp will likely cut the numbers from around 40 to the 25-30 range, then that number will get fine tuned down to 22 in time for the Showcase on September 20th. The Kings will use 3 exhibition games on the lower mainland between September 12th and 14th to help select the roster.

Once September 20th hits, it’ll be on until the end of the season as this year’s schedule is 2 weeks shorter, but still with the same number of games.

Enjoy the warm temperatures. Before you know it, it’ll be at the rink every weekend to cheer on the Kings. I’ll be at the rink this week and will post some updates and interviews from camp both here on the blog and on the Kings YouTube account.


The Kings have been pretty busy over recent days not only setting up for the 2014/2015 season, but putting the final touches on the previous season. Here’s a quick rundown in case you’ve missed anything from the last few days:

Chatham Commits
Kyle Chatham will join fellow King Aidan Wright at Lake Superior State University this coming season, committing to the school this week. Chatham was steady-eddie on the Kings blue line this year who just rarely got beat. He played a very simple but effective style of game that evolved as the year went on. When he scored against Chilliwack in December, we began to see a more offensive Chatham develop, and it’ll be a while before I forget him jumping in the rush short handed and scoring from a Stephen Hiff pass at the Hap. You can read more here.

Imoo Dealt to Cents
The Kings have seemingly settled their goaltending for this season, by dealing Jonah Imoo to the Merritt Centennials. Jonah joined the team at the roster deadline in January 2012 and shared duties with Sean Maguire, Braeden Ostepchuk and Jeff Smith in his 3 seasons with the club. In 95 regular season and playoff appearances with Powell River, Jonah posted a 46-35-3 record. The deal is for future considerations and leaves Brett Magnus and Stefan Wornig as the tandem to go into the season. Wornig joins the team from the Delta Hockey Academy, and saw time as an AP with the Kings during the World Junior A Challenge last year. More on the Imoo deal is here.

Additions to the Roster
A few new names have cropped up on the Kings roster over the last few days as players begin to be carded in preparation for the 2014/2015 season. The first is Carime Buono, a 97-born defenceman who suited up last year with the Vancouver NW Giants in his lone year of Major Midget hockey. Also added is 94-born defenceman Chris Diver, who joins the Kings from the NAHL’s Bismarck Bobcats. Diver, in 74 games with Bismarck and Wenatchee, posted 4-33-37 during two regular seasons. Diver is American born, from Delaware.

The last player to be added to the roster on the BCHL website as it stands now is Liam Lawson. The Vancouver-product has some BCHL experience, playing a handful of games with Surrey as an AP last season. When not with the Eagles, he was with the Richmond Sockeyes of the PJHL and posted an impressive 53 points (20-33) from 43 games last year.

No doubt there will be many more additions to come leading into main camp at the end of August. You can check out the current Kings roster here, which will be updated as commitments become finalized processed in the various systems that need to be done before the season begins.

Hockey Down Under


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There isn’t much hockey news pertaining to the Kings these days. Thoughts of those in Powell River are more about the lake or Savary Island than they are sticks and pucks. In fact with the draft and free agency come and gone, hockey is about as far from the Canadian thought process as it will probably ever be during the year. In Australia however, things are a little different.

For those that don’t know, I was born and raised in Australia for 15 years, before moving to Canada 12 years ago. It’s in Australia where I am right now, on holiday with my fiance, catching up with family and being a tourist back “home”. Today (Sunday the 13th), I went to my first AIHL (Australian Ice Hockey League) game, pitting the hometown Melbourne Ice against the visiting Sydney Bears. The game was played at the beautiful Heinke Arena inside the Medibank Icehouse, right in downtown Melbourne.

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Given Kings news is a little light right now, and there are a handful of ex-BCHLers playing in Australia, I thought I could extend the reaches of this blog to include a neat experience in Australia. Here are some highlights from the game from my shaky camera in my seat, with Melbourne in blue and Sydney in white:

Final score was 10-1, this game was unfortunately well over by the end of the 1st.

For those curious, here are some key differences between the Canadian and Australian game:

  • Teams complete a 15 minute warmup, then immediately line up for the National Anthem and opening faceoff. There is no opportunity to warm up, then head back to the room to fine tune gear and get ready for the game. There was also no zamboni flood between warmup and the 1st.
  • The “rink rats” as we would call them were dressed for the occasion, with one in shorts.
  • The AIHL plays 3 periods, however the first two are only 15 minutes long. The third is a full 20 minutes, not that it mattered in this game. The Ice (in blue) were up 4-0 after just 6 minutes.
  • Passion for the game in Australia is excellent and well beyond expectations. The league is relatively new, but the Ice have done an excellent job with club memberships (similar to a Kings Society Membership) and building a good fan base. I would suggest around 1500 people were at the game, with the stands around 95% full and many others standing at ice level. That’s pretty good considering there was a football game (Australian rules football, or AFL) just across the road at the same time.
  • These two teams were at opposite ends of the standings (or the “ladder” as its called in Australia). Melbourne were in 3rd heading into the game, with Sydney near or at the bottom. However, despite the big loss, Sydney had just come off a win over the other Melbourne team (the Mustangs) the night before. The Mustangs lead the AIHL standings.
  • Teams shake hands at the end of game, a tradition in Canada typically reserved for playoffs.
  • 3 official system that seemed to work the same as it does in Canada. There were a lot of interference calls that could have probably been labelled something different (hook, etc) but it all amounts to the same time in the box.
  • The understanding for the game seemed to be pretty good too. There were no random screams of “shoot” on Melbourne’s ample powerplay time. The fans seemed to understand “working the puck around”.
  • Skill level was probably a bit better than the BCHL, but chalk that down to age and experience as this would be equivilent to a semi-pro league. Systems, and the other “technical” stuff is probably a bit better and more consistent in the BCHL.
  • The AIHL also has an import rule, with only 4 players apparently allowed to be non-Australian (or New Zealanders). Sydney has apparently found a loophole in this system, scouting a pair of Canadian players with New Zealand family. The two quickly got New Zealand passports and now play as “locals” for the Bears.

All in all this was a fabulous experience. The Icehouse is a great facility with a good fan base in a nice part of Melbourne. The league has grown leaps and bounds in recent years with online streaming and social media a big reason behind that. If you’re planning a trip to Australia and need a June/July/August hockey fix, this is an excellent way to get it. Here are some photos that I managed to grab from the game:

For the Kings, the players are due to begin returning/arriving in mid-August for hockey schools in Powell River, followed by camp on the final weekend of the month. The team will play a handful of exhibition games September 11-13, before beginning the season September 20th at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack.


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The BCHL today releasing the final schedule for the 2014/ 2015 schedule for all 16 teams. Already announced were the Showcase matchups, taking place for the Kings September 20th and 21st against Chilliwack and Trail. Now the other 56 games are known, here are some highlights:

Home Opener – Sunday October 5th (2:00pm)
It’s tough it’s on a Sunday, but this is always a high energy game. I know the Kings are planning a lot of family activities before and during the game, so mark this on the calendar for the kids.

First Matchup against Victoria – Saturday November 8th
It’s a long wait to see the divisional opponent that’s knocked the Kings out of the playoffs the last two years. The first Grizzlies visit to the Hap is on the 22nd of November.

13/14 Divisional Winners – Friday and Saturday February 6th and 7th
The Kings will take on the Rivermen and Vees back to back at the Hap in February, two teams that clinched their division last season. In the case of the Rivermen, they won the Regular Season crown as well. The Kings visit the Vees December 6th and the Rivermen December 19th.

Longest Homestand: 6 (twice)
The Kings will enjoy an extended stay in their own beds in both November and the end of January into February. Out of the 12 games, 8 are against Divisional opponents.

Longest Road Trip: 7 (December)
As has become typical over recent years, December means bus time for the Kings. They’ll be away from the Hap between December 13th and 29th. In this stretch the Kings will hit Victoria and Alberni twice, with other visits to Cowichan, Vernon and Langley. This swing of games does extend over the Christmas break however.

You can check out the full Kings schedule here.


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The calendar reads June, but today’s announcement from the BCHL says that the 2014/2015 season is right around the corner. The league today announcing the Showcase matchups for the 3rd annual event at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. For those unfamiliar, the BCHL Showcase consists of two regular season, neutral site games for each club. It is a great event for fans and scouts to see a large number of players in a short period of time.

The Kings season will start on Saturday September 20th against the host Chilliwack Chiefs. It’s the 2nd straight year the Kings have opened up against Chilliwack, with Powell River earning a 6-1 win to start the 2013/2014 campaign. Then it’s a quick turn-around to a 10:30am start on Sunday morning against the Trail Smoke Eaters. It’s another team that Powell River is used to seeing early in the year, as the two clubs took part in a pre-season tournament in Trail for a few years a number of seasons ago.

For those concerned about the short turn-around, it’s something the Kings are somewhat used to. Last year the Kings played a similar Saturday night/Sunday morning schedule and returned to Powell River with a pair of big wins.

Here is the full BCHL Showcase Schedule for all 16 clubs:

Friday, Sept. 19:

  • 3:30pm Vernon Vipers vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals(Secondary Rink)
  • 4pm Salmon Arm Silverbacks vs. Langley Rivermen (Main Rink)
  • 7pm Coquitlam Express vs. West Kelowna Warriors(Secondary Rink)
  • 7:30pm Penticton Vees vs. Surrey Eagles (Main Rink)

Saturday, Sept. 20:

  • 11:30am Cowichan Valley Capitals vs. Merritt Centennials(Secondary Rink)
  • 12:00pm Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Coquitlam Express (Main Rink)
  • 3pm Alberni Valley Bulldogs vs. Penticton Vees(Secondary Rink)
  • 3:30pm Victoria Grizzlies vs. Vernon Vipers (Main Rink)
  • 6:30pm Nanaimo Clippers vs. Prince George Spruce Kings(Secondary Rink)
  • 7pm Chilliwack Chiefs vs. Powell River Kings (Main Rink)

Sunday, Sept. 21:

  • 10:30am Powell River Kings vs. Trail Smoke Eaters(Secondary Rink)
  • 11am Prince George Spruce Kings vs. Alberni Valley Bulldogs (Main Rink)
  • 2pm Langley Rivermen vs. Victoria Grizzlies(Secondary Rink)
  • 2:30pm West Kelowna Warriors vs. Nanaimo Clippers (Main Rink)
  • 5:30pm Surrey Eagles vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks (Secondary Rink)
  • 6pm Merritt Centennials vs. Chilliwack Chiefs (Main Rink)

For the other 56 games on the schedule, I’d expect to see that released late this week or early next.


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The Powell River Kings have committed to 1997-born forward and Powell River product, Hunter Findlater for the 2014/2015 season.

For Findlater, playing for the Kings is a dream come true. “This has been a goal for me since starting hockey in Powell River when I was a kid” says Findlater. “I’m really excited to get going with the team and I’m really looking forward to camp.”

Over the past two seasons, Findlater has played for the BC Major Midget League’s North Island Silvertips. Last year, Findlater was a point per game, scoring 20 goals and 20 assists in 40 regular season contests. The Nanaimo-based Silvertips missed the BCMML playoffs, but the 40 points put Findlater at the top of team scoring, and 28th overall in the league.

Aside from his Powell River roots, Findlater is hardly a stranger to the Kings organization, as the 5’10, 170lb winger played 11 games with the Kings last season, including an extended stint in the playoffs. “Everything in the playoffs is so fast and physical, and I think that experience last year will really help me out this season” says Findlater, who generated a number of chances around opposition nets during the Kings’ playoff run. “I’m really happy with how I did in the playoffs, and was disappointed we couldn’t go further, but that experience is going to be huge for me this year.”

“We’ve been following him for the last couple of years, and he obviously AP’d with us last year and played quite well in our games” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “We felt as an AP he was a good part of our club last year and we’re happy to have him this season.” Lewis adds that he’s happy though to add a player to the Kings roster with an intimate knowledge of the team. “He knows what we’re about. He’s familiar with the program, he’s seen it from the inside out from both playing with us last year, and being around it since he was a kid.”

Findlater will spend the summer in Powell River, getting ready for camp in late August. “I want to try and get bigger and stronger, be harder to knock off the puck” says Findlater. “His speed is what’s going to help him make the transition from Major Midget to Junior A” says Lewis. It’s a view shared by Findlater, “I also want to try and get faster…just make sure I’m ready to go for camp.”

The Powell River Kings Main Camp begins in late August, with the season opening up at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, September 19-21.


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The Kings have acquired 20-year-old goaltender Brett Magnus from the Nepean Raiders of the CCHL, in exchange for forward Luke McCaw and future considerations.

Magnus, from Notre Dame de Grace, Quebec is a big goaltender, listed at 6’3, 200lbs. “I like to play aggressive and use my size to my advantage” says Magnus. “I’m really happy to get the opportunity to spend my last year of Junior out in BC, and especially in BC.”

Last year with the Raiders, Magnus went 15-8-2-3 (W-L-OTL-SOL) with a 2.84 GAA and .923 save percentage. He also posted 4 shutouts, helping his team to a 27-24-4-7 record last season. Prior to his time with Nepean, Magnus spent two years at a Pennsylvania-based Prep School.

“With the premature departure of Jeff Smith (to UMass Lowell), we had a hole in our goaltending tandem that we had to address” says Kings Head Coach Kent Lewis. “We’re really happy to get Brett, we’re getting a guy coming in here who we expect to be the mail carrier for this club. He’s a big, athletic goalie who will be Division 1 bound.”

An NCAA future is Magnus’ goal too. “I need to get faster and more flexible” says Magnus. “I want to work on my overall game, but those are two areas where I want to get better at. I’ve heard really good things about the BCHL, and Powell River’s goalie development in particular, so I’m really excited to get there.”

In the trade the Kings give up Luke McCaw, from St. John’s, Newfoundland. McCaw played his rookie season with the Kings in 2013/2014, scoring 4 goals and 9 assists in 59 regular season and playoff contests. “To get good something, you have to give up something good, and that’s what’s happened here with Luke” says Lewis. “Nepean is a good program and this move maybe gives him an opportunity to play a big role on that club this season.”

The Kings welcome Brett to the organization, and wish Luke the best with Nepean and his future hockey endeavours.

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