Alex Brewer of the Bulldogs clears the puck away from Erik Wieking of the Capitals in front of Bulldogs’ goalie Bryce Dirocco on Friday at Fuller Lake Arena. Score tied 3-3.

BCHL: New edition of Alberni Valley Bulldogs on ice Saturday (Aug. 31)

Bulldogs' head coach Kevin Willison will have to pare down his roster by six players before the Bauer Showcase in Chilliwack Sept. 6.

The 2013-14 edition of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs Jr. A hockey team hit the ice last weekend for a trio of exhibition games, tying Cowichan Valley 3–3 on the road, and losing to Victoria 4–2 on the road and 6–2 at home.

Not an auspicious start for a team in transition, but not a worry for head coach and general manager Kevin Willison.

“At the end of the day the boys had a long week,” Willison said.

“Training camp is not an easy time of year,” he said, adding that main camp was larger than he and assistant coach Adam Hayduk anticipated.

But that was last weekend.

This weekend the Bulldogs will play a home-and-home series against the Nanaimo Clippers to close out their exhibition season. The roster sits at 28 players, and Willison has six more decisions to make.

B.C. Hockey League teams must pare their rosters down to 22 players by Sept. 6, the beginning of the Bauer BCHL Showcase at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

The Bulldogs’ blueline is deep and offensively “I think we’re going to be fine,” Willison said. “What we lack is size at the front end. We don’t want to get pushed around.”

He and Hayduk will be looking to make a change up front in the coming weeks to bring some size up front.

Forward Tryg Strand, named team captain last week, has been playing with Hunter Stewart and Mitch Makin at centre, and already shown some chemistry. Strand scored twice in the 4–2 loss to Victoria.

“That line will probably play against a lot of other top lines,” Willison predicted.

Brad Rebagliati has looked solid for the starting role in net. Behind him, Blake Pearson has been the surprise of training camp, Willison said.

Pearson, a 1997 player from the Okanagan Hockey Schools has had a good camp.

“He got thrown in [the game] in Victoria and shut the door.

“He looks very solid,” Willison said.

GAME TIME

ALBERNI VALLEY Bulldogs host Nanaimo Clippers Saturday, Aug. 31, 7 p.m. at Weyerhaeuser Arena in the AV Multiplex for the second game in a home-and-home exhibition series.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Body discovered in Port Alberni building

RCMP turn investigation over to BC Coroner’s office

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

First Vancouver Island heat wave of the summer is here

Environment Canada issues a special weather statement as temperatures creep into the 30s

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Alberni Valley Vintage Tractor Club contributes to charity

Funds raised from hay sales go towards BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughters’ death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Most Read