The Alberni Valley Bulldogs made some roster changes last weekend to further strengthen the depth and size of the team, trading a player and adding two more.
Zach Funk (1996) has been traded to the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) in exchange for future considerations. Funk has been with the Bulldogs since entering the B.C. Hockey League as a 16-year-old rookie in the 2012-13 season.
“We are giving him an opportunity to go to a team where he’ll get more playing minutes and a bigger role,” said Alberni Valley Bulldogs general manager and head coach Kevin Willison. “Zach has been a great kid since day one and we wish him all the very best.
“The team would also like to thank Zach for all his hard work and dedication to the organization since 2012-13, both on and off the ice,” he said.
The Bulldogs also released 1995-born forward Joshua Smith. Smith was released by the Coquitlam Express earlier this season and became available to the Bulldogs at time when several players were out with injuries. Smith played 26 regular season and 19 playoff games with the Express last season en route to winning the Fred Page Cup.
Smith played in six games with the Bulldogs and registered one assist.
With roster space now created, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs have signed 1996-born forward Justin Marreck. The 6’3, 200-pound forward spent all of last season with the Tri-City Americans in the Western Hockey League.
“We’re happy to welcome Justin to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He will give us some size and grit on the front end and we look forward to seeing him grow as a hockey player while he’s with the team,” said Willison.
Marreck was a member of the 2012 bronze medal-winning Team BC that competed in the WHL U16 Western Challenge Cup in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and was coached by Bulldogs’ assistant coach/ GM Adam Hayduk.
Current Bulldog Tyler Povelofskie was one of Marreck’s teammates on Team BC.
The Bulldogs have also added AP Marcus Russell to the team (wearing No. 26) for the time being.
The Bulldogs are on the road this Friday, Nov. 7 when they head to Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo to meet the Clippers (7 p.m.). They’re home on Sunday, Nov. 9 for a 2 p.m. matinee with the Powell River Kings. The teams meet again in Powell River on Tuesday, Nov. 11 for another matinee.
ICE CHIPS…Bulldogs’ Evan Tironese is third in BCHL scoring with 27 points (six goals, 21 assists) in 16 games….Liam Blackburn of West Kelowna Warriors leads with 33 points.