The Alberni Valley Bulldogs open their 10th regular season of B.C. Hockey League action with a home game this Saturday, Sept. 24 against the Coquitlam Express. Puck drop is 7 p.m. at the AV Multiplex.
Teams are always a work in progress at this time of year, Bulldogs’ head coach and general manager Paul Esdale said. Coquitlam was a young team last year, but they have some young guns coming up like Alex Kerfoot, who was a top scorer in major midget last season.
“We know they can score,” Esdale said. “They can put the puck in the net.”
But so can the Bulldogs, and Esdale is hoping to capitalize on a weak Coquitlam defence for the first game of the season.
“If we use our speed and play physical, we can create some opportunities that way,” he said.
The Bulldogs are psyched up for the regular season to begin, he added.
“It’s been a long pre-season, with the new (BCHL roster) rules. Everyone’s ready to get things going.”
The team unveiled its lineup to corporate sponsors Wednesday night. Fans will get their first glimpse this Saturday during pre-game festivities, which include a celebration for the 10th anniversary.
Last-minute roster changes
The Bulldogs last week acquired 92 F Taylor House from the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.
The Cochrane, Alta. native racked up 25 goals, 52 assists and 82 penalty minutes in 56 regular season and playoff games with the Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) last season.
The 6’1”, 180-pound centre also played three games with the Penticton Vees.
“We scouted Taylor all last year and are thrilled with the addition of him to our lineup,” Esdale said. “Taylor will add size, speed and skill to our forward group.”.
The Bulldogs have also added former Western Hockey League goaltender Adam Todd to their lineup.
The Saskatoon Blades have re-assigned Todd to the Bulldogs.
The 17-year-old from Courtenay appeared in a pair of exhibition games for the Blades this season. In those two games he went 0-1 with a 4.00 goals against average and a .892 save percentage.
With the addition of Todd, the Bulldogs have released 93 G Peter Dudek and 93 G Sean Lawrence.
In other player moves, Konrad Litke has been traded to the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for future considerations.