by Dave Koszegi
on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 at 1:16pm.
As long-time hockey fans, and sponsors of our local Bulldogs, we love to keep tabs on the team and get out to our home town games at Weyerhaeuser arena whenever we can. The Bulldogs are currently a Junior "A" ice hockey team and members of the coastal conference of the BC Hockey League, which is considered one of the top junior hockey organizations in North America.
The team has a history of nabbing coveted awards and trophies from Best Sportsmanship to Defense, Rookie of the Year and MVPs. The Bulldog's also have NHL alumni including Michael Teslak, Harry Zolnierczyk and former Bulldogs coach of the year, Jim Hiller, who is currently the assistant coach of the Detroit Red wings.
We have much to be proud of with this strong and dynamic young team headed by captain Mitch Makin who is entering his third season with the Bulldog's after racking up 13 goals and 19 assists in the 2013/14 season. We've also welcomed vet goaltender Billy Christopoulos, a two-year goalie from the Des Moines Buccaneers, with the USHL, who is considered by many as a hidden gem. This season is now in gear with stellar performances already that have highlighted dominating wins, including our home opener against the Powell River Kings which we ended in a strong 4-3 comeback. Below are a few news and highlights of the new season so far!
BC Hockey League: Player of the Week& Honorable Mentions
Since the start of the season we've seen some stellar ice time with a Player of the Week nod going out to Dylan Haugen, who scored three goals in three games; two of them game winners. Kurt Gosselin also received 1st Star honourable mention in early October from the BC Hockey League. Gosselin's scored three goals already this season with eight assists.
The Latest Trades, Releases & Signings
We saw a series of moves with the team this year, including a trade of Zach Funk to the Nipawin Hawks (SJHL). Josh Smith was released and Justin Marreck signed. We wish Funk and Smith all the best and look forward to the great potential of 18-year-old Marreck. The 6'3" forward was a member of the 2012 bronze-medal Team BC that completed in the WHL U17 western Challenge in Moose Jaw, Sask. He's recently played in a couple Bulldogs games including a 4-2 win against the Chilliwhack Chiefs and a tie with the Langley Riverman. Marreck's size and strength will be a strong asset for the team moving forward!
New Veteran Forward Scott Cooke Signed... And Then Retired
At the start of October we saw the team get another key boost from Surrey, BC native Scott Cooke, who spent his major midget days with the Valley West Hawks and was drafted in the 5th round by the Vancouver Giants in 2009. After the Giants and most recently with the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs saw the skill and work ethic in Cooke and consider him a huge gain for the team. Unfortunately, in November, Cooke retired from hockey due to medical reasons. In a statement to the press he said, "Although my time with the Bulldogs was brief, I loved playing here and will miss the players, organization, fans, and especially the game." It's a big loss to the team, and we wish him all the best in the future.
Noteworthy Bulldog Alumni
Our former Bulldogs goalie Connor LaCouvee who is currently the goaltender for Boston University made headlines in October. The new collegiate player anchored his team's first season victory with an astounding 31-save performance during their 8-1 win over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst game. LaCouvee made the most of his opportunity when startling goalie Matt O'Connor was out with injury the night before. LaCouvee, 20, is a freshman at BU and hails from Qualicum Beach.
Upcoming Home Games in Port Alberni: Bulldogs Schedule
With upcoming home games including two at the end of the month against Nanaimo on Nov. 26 and Nov. 29, there's plenty of time to plan ahead. Grab your tickets now and get ready to cheer on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Port Alberni's junior hockey league is also offering a Winner's Choice Lottery which is now underway, with cash prizes and a grand draw for $25,000 or a new 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Check the Bulldogs' website for current and upcoming news and events.
For more on Alberni Valley Minor Hockey, visit their website and find out about ice schedules, tournaments, coaches clinics, hockey camps and more. Questions about real estate for sale near our arena? Call us at 250.723.7653.