Inaugrual Year As An Independent League
2023-24 British Columbia Hockey League Season

NEWS

NEWS

BCHL - Independent League

The BCHL's Board of Governors has voted to not renew the league's agreement with Hockey Canada, meaning its 18 franchises will operate outside Hockey Canada's system as of June 1, 2023.

STAFF:

Promoted Brad Lazarowich from Director of Officiating and Player Safety to Vice-President of Hockey Operations and Jesse Adamson has his role changed from Manager, Communications and Events to Director of Communications and Events.

Returning are Coordinator of Finance Mario Galea and Safe Sport Officer Monique MacKinnon. Alex Waddington is back with a new title, from Coordinator of Events to Manager of Events.

Executive Committee and Management Awards

Executive Committee, includes league Board of Governors Chair Graham Fraser from the Penticton Vees, Salmon Arm governor Brooks Christensen, Alberni Valley governor David Michaud, Trail governor Rich Murphy, and Victoria governor Ron Walchuk. BCHL CEO Chris Hebb and Commissioner Steven Cocker also sit on the Executive Committee.

Cranbrook Bucks Owner and President Nathan Lieuwen was voted as the BCHL's Executive of the Year for 2022-23. Lieuwen's Bucks finished second in the Interior DIVISION in just their third year in the league.

Wenatchee Wild Director of Sales and Marketing Gretchen Littler was voted as the BCHL's Marketer of the Year for 2022-23.

FRANCHISES:

June 9 - The BC Hockey League (BCHL) Board of Governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Langley Rivermen to local businessmen Dana Matheson and Jamie Schreder, after purchasing the franchise from outgoing owner John Henderson.

June 16 - The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) acknowledged that the ownership group of the Wenatchee Wild has successfully acquired the Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and will be moving the team to Wenatchee for 2023-24. This will mean the BCHL"s Wild franchise will no longer be active in the league.

BCHL announces expansion to Alberta

February 1 - The BC Hockey League (BCHL) has announced that five Alberta-based teams have signed franchise agreements and are now officially members of the league, as of January 31.

Effective immediately, the Blackfalds Bulldogs, Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints are members of the BCHL.

The five teams will engage in competition with each other (20 games, 5 against each opponent) for the remainder of the season and will eventually crown an Alberta champion. Following the conclusion of the BCHL Playoffs, there will be an opportunity for the champion from Alberta to meet the champion from B.C. in a year-end competition.

The "Official" press release is HERE

Prospects Combine

The BC Hockey League (BCHL) will host a Prospects Combine in Toronto, Ont. from June 6 to 9, 2024, featuring players born between 2006 and 2009.

The four-day camp will take place at the Scotiabank Pond in the North York region of Toronto and will be led by BCHL coaches. All 22 BCHL teams will be in attendance, including coaches, general managers and scouts. The combine will include on-ice scrimmage games, as well as an off-ice education component on the BCHL and college hockey.

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RULE CHANGES

RULE CHANGES:

OVERTIME:

Move to a new overtime format in an attempt to end more games without going to a shootout.

Go to a 3-on-3 format for a 10-minute period in regular season games tied at the end of regulation. Previously, the league played a five-minute 3-on-3 overtime period. Regular season games tied at the end of overtime will continue to be decided by a shootout.

ROSTERS:

  • Teams have a maximum of 25 active roster spots, plus an additional card if a team chooses to have a third goaltender.
  • A minimum of five players from B.C. on the 17 Canadian teams (This remains the same as in previous seasons and is similar to other leagues across the country).
  • * B.C. players will include athletes born in the province as well as those who have developed in the B.C. youth system for at least three of the past five years.
  • * Players from outside the province who change residency during or prior to the BCHL season will no longer be considered B.C. players. This was a Hockey Canada and BC Hockey regulation that proved to be a barrier for athletes who didn't have the ability to uproot their families.
  • U.S.-based teams will continue to need a minimum of five players from their branch (Washington State, Arizona, California and Colorado).
  • Canadian-based teams will require a minimum of 13 players from Canada.
  • U.S.-based teams will require a minimum of 13 players from the USA.
  • A maximum of two players from outside of North America is permitted per team. (Russian and Belarussian players are temporarily not allowed due to the political situation in Russia).
  • Teams can dress a maximum of 19 players and two goalies for a game.
  • A maximum of six 20-year-olds on a roster are permitted at one time in 2023-24, which remains unchanged from previous years.
  • A minimum of three players under the age of 18 are required for each team, which is an increase from two in previous years.
  • A minimum of four rookies are required on a roster, which remains unchanged from previous years.
  • A maximum of two former CHL players of any age are permitted on a roster. Ex-CHL players rostered to BCHL rosters as of Jan. 10. 2023 are to be grandfathered in.
  • A maximum of eight affiliate registrations are permitted per team. Affiliates may come from any independent minor/youth/high school league across North America.
  • * BC Hockey has dictated that CSSHL, BCEHL and Junior B can no longer affiliate with BCHL as an independent league

Important Dates

  • June 1, 2023: Registration opens for the 2023-24 season.
  • September 1, 2023: Training camps open across the BCHL.
  • September 30, 2023: A 24-hour roster freeze is in effect to avoid athletes being negatively affected by Hockey Canada's rule on players who choose to participate in independent leagues. Information will be communicated to players when they sign their Letter of Intent.
  • February 10, 2024: BCHL transfer deadline
  • March 1, 2024: BCHL signing deadline

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SHOWCASE SERIES

The BCHL has worked alongside the Seattle Kraken to bring the league's annual Showcase event to Kraken Community Iceplex in Seattle. The building, which is the Kraken''s official practice facility, will host all 18 BCHL teams in October as they play two regular-season games in front of fans, NHL scouts and NCAA coaches over a four-day stretch. Kraken Community Iceplex features three NHL-size rinks, 12 dressing rooms, the Kraken's official restaurant 32 Bar & Grill, and more.

2023 BCHL SHOWCASE FESTIVAL BY BAUER OCTOBER 22-26, KRAKEN COMMUNITY ICEPLEX, SEATLE, WASHINGTON.
BCHL Teams GP W L 0 SOL PTs OTW SOW GF GA
Alberni Valley Bulldogs 2 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 10 3
Chilliwack Chiefs 2 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 11 9
Coquitlam Express 2 1 1 0 0 2 1 0 6 12
Cowichan Valley Capitals 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 10
Cranbrook Bucks 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 7 10
Langley Rivermen 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 9
Merritt Centennials 2 1 1 1 0 3 0 0 10 7
Nanaimo Clippers 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 13 10
Penticton Vees 2 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 8 3
Powell River Kings 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 9
Prince George Spruce Kings 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 7 11
Salmon Arm Silverbacks 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 7 5
Surrey Eagles 2 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 10 5
Trail Smoke Eaters 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 9 11
Vernon Vipers 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 11 8
Victoria Grizzlies 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 5 8
West Kelowna Warriors 2 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 6 5

Points garned during the "Showcase Series" are awarded towards the "Regular Season Standings".

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2022-23 BCHL REGULAR SEASON (Sortable Table - Clickable Columns, Click Sort, Click Reverse)

ALBERTA CONFERENCE GP W L OL SL PT OW GF GA PM DR
Blackfalds Bulldogs
w/AJHL
68
48
39
30
22
15
6
2
1
1
85
63
1
n/a
291
193
257
158
233
n/a
3
Brooks Bandits
w/AJHL
65
45
58
41
6
4
1
0
0
0
117
82
6
n/a
386
242
147
87
261
n/a
1
Okotoks Oilers
w/AJHL
69
49
38
33
28
14
3
1
0
1
79
68
6
n/a
326
218
257
144
217
n/a
4
Sherwood Park Crusaders
w/AJHL
67
47
49
37
16
9
2
1
0
0
100
75
4
n/a
356
236
224
137
270
n/a
2
Spruce Grove Saints
w/AJHL
66
46
26
19
34
24
5
2
1
1
58
40
5
n/a
211
114
237
129
272
n/a
5
COASTAL CONFERENCE GP W L OL SL PT OW GF GA PM DR BCR
Alberni Valley Bulldogs 54 33 20 1 0 67 3 203 161 793 3 7
Chilliwack Chiefs 54 32 17 4 1 69 5 171 160 677 2 5
Coquitlam Express 54 21 29 1 3 46 5 146 196 606 6 12
Cowichan Valley Capitals 54 16 34 3 1 36 2 154 234 775 8 15
Langley Rivermen 54 19 28 7 0 45 2 151 190 541 7 13
Nanaimo Clippers 54 27 33 3 1 58 1 203 191 565 5 10
Powell River Kings 54 14 35 5 0 33 2 165 210 725 9 17
Surrey Eagles 54 44 8 2 0 90 3 225 128 475 1 1
Victoria Grizzlies 54 29 2 1 2 61 2 176 175 585 4 9
INTERIOR CONFERENCE GP W L OL SL PT OW GF GA PM DR BCR
Cranbrook Bucks 54 20 31 3 0 43 7 133 178 496 7 14
Merritt Centennials 54 22 26 5 1 50 2 176 206 585 6 11
Penticton Vees 54 38 10 3 3 82 5 202 116 423 1 2
Prince George Spruce Kings 54 16 35 3 0 35 5 148 236 618 8 16
Salmon Arm Silverbacks 54 34 17 0 3 71 5 180 37 539 3 4
Trail Smoke Eaters 54 28 20 6 0 62 3 186 187 576 5 8
Vernon Vipers 54 33 19 2 0 68 4 196 160 621 4 6
West Kelowna Warriors 54 33 11 11 0 77 4 208 158 548 2 3

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PLAYOFFS

TIE-BREAKER CRITERIA AND PLAYOFF FORMAT

TIE-BREAKER CRITERIA:

WITH RESPECT TO PLAYOFFS, FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING THE TOP TEAMS, THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA SHALL BE USED UNTIL THE TIE IS BROKEN:

  1. The Team having the most POINTS.
  2. The Team having the most WINS.
  3. Team Having the Most WINS IN GAMES vs EACH OTHER
  4. The team having the most POINTS IN GAMES AGAINST EACH OTHER
  5. The Team having the most POINTS IN GAMES AGAINST EACH OTHER
  6. The Team having the best GOALS FOR AND AGAINST IN GAMES AGAINST EACH OTHER. (by taking the goals for and subtracting the goals against in games between the teams)
  7. Should teams remain tied after the above tie breakers, the team with the MOST POINTS EARNED in games involving DIVISIONAL OPPONENTS ONLY will be used to determine the DIVISIONAL STANDINGS. (This tie-breaker only applies in determining divisional standings)

PLAYOFF FORMAT:

COASTAL & INTERIOR DIVISIONS:

THE 2024 SHAW BCHL PLAYOFFS, WILL ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING STRUCTURE:

  • ROUND ONE, April 5-16: The top-eight teams from each DIVISION will qualify for the postseason and play a best-of-seven series based on the following seeding: 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6 & 4 vs 5.
  • ROUND TWO, April 19-30: The teams will then reseed in the next round, for the following order: 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 in each DIVISION.
  • ROUND THREE, May 3-14: The winners will then play in their respective DIVISION final.
  • ROUND FOUR, May 17-28: Each DIVISION campion will then play for the Fred Page Cup, BCHL Championship.
  • ROUND FIVE: (Coastal vs Interior winner) VS Alberta Division

ALBERTA DIVISION:

All five teams in Alberta will make the postseason, with the fourth and fifth seeds facing off in a best-of-five wildcard series to determine who will join the top three teams in the semifinal. Once their postseason reaches the semifinal, the remainder of the playoffs will be best-of-seven.

In addition, the year-end standings will be determined by winning percentage and the teams previous records from before their merge into the BCHL will count towards their standings.

  • WILDCARD SERIES, April 10-16: best-of-five - 4 vs 5.
  • SEMIFINALS, April 19-May 1: best-of-seven, 1 vs wilcard winner, 2 vs 3.
  • FINALS, May 10-25: best-of-seven

BC vs AB:

  • BC vs AB: Alberta Division vs (Coastal vs Interior Winner)

The two playoff winners will meet in a best-of-three series from May 31 to June 2, with all three games being hosted by the Alberta champion. This series will mark the official end to the 2023-24 BCHL season.

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ALBERTA CUP PLAYDOWNS

WILCARD SERIES

ALBERTA CUP - WILDCARD SERIES
Okotoks (4 vs 5) Spruce Grove GF GA OT
#1, April 10, Spruce Grove @ Okotoks 6 2 0
#2, April 11, Okotoks @ Spruce Grove 3 2 0
#3, April 13, Spruce Grove @ Okotoks 5 4 0

SEMIFINALS

ALBERTA CUP - SEMIFINALS
Brooks (1 vs 4) Okotoks GF GA OT
#1, April 19, @ Brooks 4 0 0
#2, April April 20, Okotoks @ 5 2 0
#3, April April 23, Brooks @ 5 0 0
#4, April 24, @ Okotoks 4 1 0
#5, April 26, @ Brooks 8 2 0
#6, April 28, @ Okotoks 3 2 0
#7, April 30, @ Brooks 5 1 0

Sherwood Park (2 vs 3) Blackfalds GF GA OT
#1, April 19, @ Sherwood Park 5 3 0
#2, April 20, @ Sherwood Park 6 4 0
#3, April 23, Sherwood Park @ 10 3 0
#4, April 24, Sherwood Park @ 7 4 0

FINALS

ALBERTA CUP - FINALS
BROOKS BANDITS VS SHERWOOD PARK CRUSADER
ALBERTA CUP
Brooks Bandits vs Sherwood Park Crusaders GF GA OT
#1, May 10, Brooks @ 8 1 0
#2, May 11, Brooks @ 5 1 0
#3, May 17, Sherwood Park @ 4 3 0
#4, May 18, @ Brooks 4 3 1
#5, May 22, @ Brooks 7 3 0
#6, May 24, Brooks @ Sherwood Pard 0 0 0
#7, May 26, Sherwood Park @ Brooks 0 0 0

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FRED PAGE CUP PLAYDOWNS

ROUND 1

ROUND 1 - PRELIMINAIRIES
COASTAL DIVISION QUARTERFINALS
Surrey (1 vs 8) Cowichan Valley GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Cowichan Valley @ Surrey 4 2 0
#2, April 6, Cowichan Valley @ Surrey 5 0 0
#3, April 9, Surrey @ Cowichan Valley 5 3 0
#4, April 10, Surrey @ Cowichan Valley 4 2 0
#5, April 12, Cowichan Valley @ Surrey 5 2 0

Chilliwack (2 vs 7) Langley GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Langley @ Chilliwack 5 4 1
#2, April 6, Langley @ Chilliwack 2 1 2
#3, April 8, Chilliwack @ Langley 3 2 1
#4, April 9, Chilliwack @ Langley 5 2 0

Alberni Valley (3 vs 6) Coquitlam GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Coquitlam @ Alberni Valley 5 4 1
#2, April 6, Coquitlam @ Alberni Valley 4 2 0
#3, April 9, Alberni Valley @ Coquitlam 5 3 0
#4, April 10, Alberni Valley @ Coquitlam 3 1 0
#5, April 12, Coquitlam @ Alberni Valley 2 1 0
#6, April 13, Alberni Valley @ Coquitlam 3 1 0
#7, April 16, Coquitlam @ Alberni Valley 4 1 0

Victoria (4 vs 5) Nanaimo GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Nanaimo @ Victoria 4 2 0
#2, April 6, Nanaimo @ Victoria 8 2 0
#3, April 9, Victoria @ Nanaimo 5 3 0
#4, April 10, Victoria @ Nanaimo 3 2 0
#5, April 12, Nanaimo @ Victoria 3 0 0

INTERIOR DIVISION QUARTERFINALS
Penticton (1 vs 8) Prince George GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Prince George @ Penticton 3 0 0
#2, April 6, Prince George @ Penticton 3 0 0
#3, April 9, Penticton @ Prince George 3 2 0
#4, April 10, Penticton @ Prince George 3 2 0

West Kelowna (2 vs 7) Cranbrook GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Cranbrook @ West Kelowna 8 2 0
#2, April 6, Cranbrook @ West Kelowna 4 3 1
#3, April 9, West Kelowna @ Cranbrook 3 2 0
#4, April 10, West Kelowna @ Cranbrook 4 3 0
#5, April 12, Cranbrook @ West Kelowna 6 5 0
#6, April 14, West Kelowna @ Cranbrook 4 3 1
#7, April 16, Cranbrook @ West Kelowna 0 1 0

Salmon Arm (3 vs 6) Merritt GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Merritt @ Salmon Arm 3 2 1
#2, April 6, Merritt @ Salmon Arm 3 2 0
#3, April 9, Salmon Arm @ Merritt 4 1 0
#4, April 10, Salmon Arm @ Merritt 5 4 0
#5, April 12, Merritt @ Salmon Arm 1 0 0
#6, April 13, Salmon Arm @ Merritt 4 1 0

Vernon (4 vs 5) Trail GF GA OT
#1, April 5, Trail @ Vernon 2 0 0
#2, April 6, Trail @ Vernon 5 2 0
#3, April 9, Vernon @ Trail 5 3 0
#4, April 10, Vernon @ Trail 3 2 0
#5, April 12, Trail @ Vernon 6 2 0

ROUND 2

ROUND 2 - QUARTERFINALS
COASTAL DIVISION SEMIFINALS
Surrey (1 vs 4) Victoria GF GA OT
#1, April 19, Victoria @ 2 1 1
#2, April 20, @ Surrey 4 1 0
#3, April 22, @ Victoria 5 3 0
#4, April 23, Surrey @ 3 0 0
#5, April 25, @ Surrey 3 2 0
#6, April 27, Surrey @ 7 3 0

Chilliwack (2 vs 3) Alberni Valley GF GA OT
#1, April 19, Alberni Valley @ 3 1 0
#2, April 20, Alberni Valley @ 3 1 0
#3, April 22, @ Alberni Valley 5 1 0
#4, April 24, @ Alberni Valley 3 2 0

INTERIOR DIVISION SEMIFINALS
Penticton (1 vs 4) Vernon GF GA OT
#1, April 19, @ Penticton 2 1 1
#2, April 20, @ Penticton 3 1 0
#3, April 23, Penticton @ 4 0 0
#4, April 24, @ Vernon 3 2 1
#5, April 26, Vernon @ Penticton 2 1 1

West Kelowna (2 vs 3) Salmon Arm GF GA OT
#1, April 19, Salmon Arm @ 6 1 0
#2, April 20, @ West Kelowna 5 4 1
#3, April 23, @ Salmon Arm 2 1 0
#4, April 24, @ Salmon Arm 3 0 0
#5, April 26, Salmon Arm @ 6 2 0

ROUND 3

ROUND 3 - SEMIFINALS
COASTAL DIVISION FINALS
Cliff McNabb Memorial Trophy
Surrey vs Alberni Valley GF GA OT
#1, May 4, @ Surrey 2 1 0
#2, May 5, @ Surrey 3 2 1
#3, May 8, @ Alberni Valley 3 2 1
#4, May 9, Surrey @ 5 2 0
#5, May 11, Alberni Valley @ 3 2 1
#6, May 13, @ Alberni Valley 5 2 0
#7, May 14, @ Surrey 3 2 0

INTERIOR DIVISION FINALS
Ryan Hatfield Memorial Trophy
Penticton vs Salmon Arm GF GA OT
#1, May 2, Salmon Arm @ 2 0 0
#2, May 3, @ Penticton 4 1 0
#3, May 6, Penticton @ 4 1 0
#4, May 8, @ Salmon Arm 2 1 1
#5, May 10, Salmon Arm @ 3 1 0
#6, May 11, Penticton @ 3 0 0
#7, May 14, @ Penticton 4 3 0

ROUND 4

ROUND 4 - FRED PAGE CUP
COASTAL CHAMPION VS INTERIOR CHAMPION
FRED PAGE CUP
#1, May 17, @ Surrey 6 0 0
#2, May 18, Penticton @ 3 1 0
#3, May 21, @ Penticton 3 1 0
#4, May 22, Surrey @ 3 2 0
#5, May 24, @ Surrey 4 0 0
#6, May 26, Surrey @ 3 1 0

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE

ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
ALBERTA CUP VS FRED PAGE CUP
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE TROPHY
#1, May 31, @ Brooks 5 2 0
#2, June 1, Brooks @ 4 1 0

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League Expansion

Welcomes Alberta Teams

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, the BC Hockey League (BCHL) has announced that five Alberta-based teams have signed franchise agreements and are now officially members of the league, as of January 31. Effective immediately, the Blackfalds Bulldogs, Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints are members of the BCHL.

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