The Chilliwack Chiefs were heading into the BCHL Showcase Festival having won two games in a row. They looked to continue that momentum against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the Coquitlam Express.
Wednesday night at the end of day one of the Showcase Festival, the Chiefs played the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for the second time in four days after beating them 5-2 on Sept. 28 at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Kolby Thornton got the start in net for the Chiefs and Jackson Glassford for the Bulldogs.
The first period saw the Chiefs put an unbelievable 24 shots on goal and Glassford would turn away all of them but one. Alberni got off to a quick start, scoring 19 seconds into the game on a goal by Jackson Munro. It was his second of the year unassisted. The Chiefs tied the game at 13:59 when Tyler Christall got his first of the year from Ethan Bowen and Nikita Nesterenko.
The second period saw a bit more action. Alberni got the lead back at 6:41 when Austin Spiridakis would get his first of the year from Caige Sterzer and Munro. The top power play in the BCHL drew the Chiefs even when Cooper Moore notched his fifth of the year from Peter Reynolds and Bowen.
In the third, the Chiefs took control, scoring again on the power play when Reynolds got his third of the year from Nesterenko and Bowen. Then Moore scored his second of the game and sixth of the year from Jake Veri. The Chiefs capped the game off on a goal from Kyle Penney – his third of the season – from Bowen and Arlo Merritt.
Thornton stopped 31 of 33 shots while Glassford stopped 44 of 49 and earned the third star of the game.
On Thursday night and day two of the Showcase Festival, the Chiefs faced division rival and the top team in the Mainland Division. The Coquitlam Express came in with a 7-1-1 record. The first period saw the Express jump out the lead when Conner Gregga got his first of the season on the power play from Massimo Rizzo and Steven Bellini. The Express would throw 13 shots on goal compared to the Chiefs directing five at the Coquitlam net.
The second period saw no goals and no power plays, but the Chiefs found their legs that were missing in the first. They flipped the first period script and threw 13 shots on goal compared to the Express’ six.
The third saw the Chiefs pull away from the Express, starting with a goal at 4:25 to tie the game when Brett Willits got his third of the year from Reynolds and Nesterenko. Chilliwack took its first lead when Joey Larson put one past Express netminder Clay Stevenson at 10:42 from Bowen and Reynolds. 15 seconds later, Kyle Penney got his fourth from Jack Agnew and Xavier Henry. Coquitlam pulled Stevenson for the extra attacker to try and get back in the game, but with five seconds left, Bowen scored his sixth of the season on the empty net from Larson and Christall to secure the win.
Caron stopped 27 of 28 for his 3rd win of the season. Stevenson would stop 29 of 32 in the loss.
The Chiefs in the last week have handed Wenatchee its first loss in regulation, beat the Bulldogs twice, ended Coquiltam’s five game win streak, and outscored their opponents 20-7 in their last four. They also boast the best power play in the BCHL with a 32.6 percent efficiency.