- British Columbia Hockey League
British Columbia Hockey League Current season or competition:
2011–12 BCHL season
Sport Ice hockey Founded 1961 Commissioner John Grisdale No. of teams 16 Country(ies) Canada (16 teams) Most recent champion(s) Vernon Vipers Most titles Vernon Vipers – 10 Official website www.bchl.ca/
The British Columbia Hockey League is a Junior "A" ice hockey league from British Columbia under Hockey Canada, a subsection of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Founded in Vernon in 1961, the BCHL now includes 16 teams. These teams play in two conferences, known as the Coastal and the Interior. The winner of the BCHL playoffs (Fred Page Cup) continues on to play in the Doyle Cup in a best-of-7 series against the champion of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The winner of the Doyle Cup will compete in the Junior "A" National Championship for the Royal Bank Cup.
In 1961, the heads of four junior "B" hockey teams in the Okanagan region of British Columbia got together and formed the first ever Junior "A" league in British Columbia's history. The Okanagan-Mainline Junior "A" Hockey League, the precursor to the BCHL, was comprised originally of the Kamloops Jr. Rockets, the Kelowna Buckaroos, the Penticton Jr. Vees, and the Vernon Jr. Canadians.
In 1967, the league expanded out of the Okanagan region, bringing in the New Westminster Royals and the Victoria Cougars. With the expansion, the league decided that since it had stretched out of the Okanagan region, that it need a new name - The British Columbia Junior Hockey League. A year later, the Vancouver Centennials joined the league as well. In the 1970s, the Victoria Cougars jumped to the Western Hockey League and the New Westminster team was forced to fold due to the invasion of the Estevan Bruins into their arena. In 1972, the Bellingham Blazers and the Nanaimo Clippers expanded the league to 8 teams.
On a side note, in the early 1970s the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association separated the two tiers of Junior "A" hockey. The BCJHL, being a Tier II league, was disallowed from competing for the Memorial Cup. Therefore, the variety of Tier II Junior "A" leagues across Canada agreed to compete for a new trophy called the Centennial Cup. The '70s also saw the rise of a rival league for the BCJHL. The Pacific Coast Junior Hockey League, which briefly existed in the 1960s, was resurrected by Fred Page, the man that the Eastern Champion Junior "A" Fred Page Cup and the BCHL Championship trophy are named for. The Richmond Sockeyes were the PCJHL's most dominant team, which even defeated Nanaimo in the BC Championship, the Mowat Cup, to move on to what was the precursor to the Doyle Cup. In 1979, the PCJHL and the BCJHL merged. The 77-78 season proved to be a strange one. The BCJHL sent their regular season champion, the Merritt Centennials off to play in the interprovincial playdowns as league champions without playing a single playoff game. The BCJHL continued their league playoffs without them, crowning Nanaimo as the playoff champion after Penticton refused to finish the playoff finals due to a series of brawls in the third game of the series. Merritt played off against the Prince Albert Raiders of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in the Abbott Cup (the Western Canada Championship) and lost in 5 games (best-of-7). The Raiders lost the Centennial Cup finals to the Guelph Platers of the Ontario Hockey Association.
In 1986, Penticton won the BCJHL's first ever National Championship defeating the Metro Valley Junior Hockey League's Cole Harbour Colts by a score of 7-4 to win the Centennial Cup. A year later, the BCJHL's Richmond Sockeyes won the league's second national title as well.
In 1990, the BCJHL was renamed to its current name, British Columbia Hockey League, and changed its logo twice, in 1990 and 2000, continues to expand with new teams and young players.
The most notable star to come from the BCHL is Olympian and National Hockey League hall of famer Brett Hull who played for Penticton. Hull holds the BCHL record for most goals in a season (105), which he set in 1983-84, a record that still stands today. Other NHLers who once played in the BCHL include Chuck Kobasew of the Colorado Avalanche who played for the since-renamed Penticton Panthers, Scott Gomez of the Montreal Canadiens, who played for South Surrey, and Carey Price of Montreal Canadiens who played for the Quesnel Millionaires. Willie Mitchell of the Los Angeles Kings is a native of British Columbia and played in the BCHL, as a member of the Kelowna Spartans, in 1994-95.
Coastal Conference Team City Arena Joined BCHL Alberni Valley Bulldogs Port Alberni, British Columbia Weyerhauser Arena 1998 Cowichan Valley Capitals Duncan, British Columbia Island Savings Centre 1980 Nanaimo Clippers Nanaimo, British Columbia Frank Crane Arena 1972 Victoria Grizzlies Victoria, British Columbia Bear Mountain Arena 1967 Coquitlam Express Coquitlam, British Columbia Coquitlam Sports Centre 2001 Langley Rivermen Langley, British Columbia Langley Events Center 1990 Powell River Kings Powell River, British Columbia Powell River Recreation Complex 1988 Surrey Eagles Surrey, British Columbia South Surrey Arena 1976 Interior Conference Team City Arena Joined BCHL Merritt Centennials Merritt, British Columbia Nicola Valley Memorial Arena 1961 Penticton Vees Penticton, British Columbia South Okanagan Events Centre 1961 Prince George Spruce Kings Prince George, British Columbia Prince George Coliseum 1972 Chilliwack Chiefs Chilliwack, British Columbia Prospera Centre 1996 Salmon Arm Silverbacks Salmon Arm, British Columbia Sunwave Centre 2001 Trail Smoke Eaters Trail, British Columbia Cominco Arena 1987 Vernon Vipers Vernon, British Columbia Wesbild Centre 1961 Westside Warriors West Kelowna, British Columbia Royal Lepage Place 1994
- Williams Lake TimberWolves (suspended by League for being a "franchise not in good standing")
Royal Bank Cup champions
The Royal Bank Cup has been captured by a BCHL team six times since the trophy's founding:
- 2010: Vernon Vipers
- 2009: Vernon Vipers
- 2006: Burnaby Express
- 1999: Vernon Vipers
- 1998: South Surrey Eagles
- 1996: Vernon Vipers
Centennial Cup champions
- 1993: Kelowna Spartans
- 1991: Vernon Lakers
- 1990: Vernon Lakers
- 1987: Richmond Sockeyes
- 1986: Penticton Knights
BCHL Fred Page Cup champions
- For the Pacific Regional playoffs, please go to the Doyle Cup.
- For the National Championship, please go to the 2011 Royal Bank Cup.
Please note: In chart, league champions are bolded.
Year League champion League runner-up Memorial Cup era 1962 Kamloops Rockets Kelowna Buckaroos 1963 Kamloops Rockets Kelowna Buckaroos 1964 Kamloops Rockets Kelowna Buckaroos 1965 Kelowna Buckaroos Kamloops Kraft Kings 1966 Kamloops Kraft Kings Kelowna Buckaroos 1967 Penticton Broncos Kelowna Buckaroos 1968 Penticton Broncos Kelowna Buckaroos 1969 Victoria Cougars Penticton Broncos 1970 Vernon Essos Victoria Cougars Centennial Cup era 1971 Kamloops Rockets Vancouver Centennials 1972 Vernon Essos Penticton Broncos 1973 Penticton Broncos Chilliwack Bruins 1974 Kelowna Buckaroos Langley Lords 1975 Bellingham Blazers Kelowna Buckaroos 1976 Nanaimo Clippers Penticton Vees 1977 Nanaimo Clippers Penticton Vees 1978 Nanaimo Clippers Penticton Vees 1979 Bellingham Blazers Kamloops Rockets 1980 Penticton Knights Nanaimo Clippers 1981 Penticton Knights Abbotsford Flyers 1982 Penticton Knights New Westminster Royals 1983 Abbotsford Flyers Kelowna Buckaroos 1984 Langley Eagles Penticton Knights 1985 Penticton Knights Burnaby Blue Hawks 1986 Penticton Knights Richmond Sockeyes 1987 Richmond Sockeyes Kelowna Packers 1988 Vernon Lakers Richmond Sockeyes 1989 Vernon Lakers New Westminster Royals 1990 New Westminster Royals Vernon Lakers 1991 Vernon Lakers Powell River Paper Kings 1992 Vernon Lakers Bellingham Ice Hawks 1993 Kelowna Spartans Powell River Paper Kings 1994 Kelowna Spartans Cowichan Valley Capitals 1995 Chilliwack Chiefs Powell River Paper Kings 1996 Vernon Vipers Langley Thunder 1997 South Surrey Eagles Vernon Vipers 1998 South Surrey Eagles Penticton Panthers 1999 Vernon Vipers Chilliwack Chiefs 2000 Chilliwack Chiefs Vernon Vipers 2001 Victoria Salsa Merritt Centennials 2002 Chilliwack Chiefs Vernon Vipers 2003 Vernon Vipers Chilliwack Chiefs 2004 Nanaimo Clippers Salmon Arm Silverbacks 2005 Surrey Eagles Vernon Vipers 2006 Burnaby Express Penticton Vees 2007 Nanaimo Clippers Vernon Vipers 2008 Penticton Vees Nanaimo Clippers 2009 Vernon Vipers Powell River Kings 2010 Vernon Vipers Powell River Kings 2011 Vernon Vipers Powell River Kings
Timeline of teams
- 1961 - Okanagan-Mainline Junior Hockey League founded with Kamloops Jr. Rockets, Kelowna Buckaroos, Penticton Jr. Vees, and Vernon Jr. Canadians.
- 1962 - Vernon Jr. Canadians become Vernon Blades.
- 1963 - OMJHL changes name to Okanagan Junior Hockey League.
- 1963 - Penticton Jr. Vees leave league.
- 1964 - Penticton returns as Penticton Broncos.
- 1964 - Kamloops Jr. Rockets become Kamloops Kraft Kings.
- 1967 - OJHL changes name to British Columbia Junior Hockey League.
- 1967 - Vernon Blades become Vernon Essos.
- 1967 - Kamloops Kraft Kings become Kamloops Rockets.
- 1967 - New Westminster Royals and Victoria Cougars join from Pacific Coast Junior A Hockey League.
- 1969 - Vancouver Centennials join league.
- 1970 - Chilliwack Bruins join league.
- 1971 - New Westminster Royals and Victoria Cougars leave league.
- 1972 - Vancouver Centennials become Vancouver Villas.
- 1972 - Nanaimo Clippers join league.
- 1972 - Bellingham Blazers join league.
- 1973 - Kamloops Rockets move and become White Rock Centennials and then Merritt Centennials.
- 1973 - Vancouver Villas leave league.
- 1973 - Langley Lords join league.
- 1973 - Vernon Essos become Vernon Vikings.
- 1975 - Penticton Broncos become Penticton Vees.
- 1975 - Bellingham Blazers become Maple Ridge Blazers.
- 1976 - Kamloops Braves join league.
- 1976 - Maple Ridge Blazers become Bellingham Blazers.
- 1976 - Abbotsford Flyers join league.
- 1976 - Chilliwack Bruins become Maple Ridge Bruins.
- 1976 - Langley Lords become Langley Thunder.
- 1977 - Maple Ridge Bruins become Revelstoke Bruins.
- 1977 - Kamloops Braves become Kamloops Chiefs.
- 1978 - Vernon Vikings become Vernon Canadians.
- 1978 - Kamloops Chiefs become Kamloops Rockets.
- 1978 - Bellingham Blazers become Bellingham Ice Hawks.
- 1978 - Chilliwack Colts and Delta Suns join league.
- 1979 - Penticton Vees become Penticton Knights.
- 1979 - Revelstoke Bruins and Kamloops Rockets merge to become Revelstoke Bruins/Rockets.
- 1979 - Richmond Sockeyes and Nor'Wes Caps join league from Pacific Junior A Hockey League.
- 1979 - Delta Suns, Langley Thunder, and Vernon Canadians leave league.
- 1980 - Vernon rejoins league as Vernon Lakers.
- 1980 - Cowichan Valley Capitals and Coquitlam Comets join league.
- 1980 - Revelstoke Bruins/Rockets change name to Revelstoke Rockets.
- 1980 - Bellingham Ice Hawks move and change name to Vancouver Blue Hawks.
- 2011 - Quesnel Millionaires sell and move to Chilliwack, change their name to the Chilliwack Chiefs.
- Most goals in a season: 105, Brett Hull, Penticton, 1983–84
- Most assists in a season: 111, Bob Ginetti, Burnaby, 1986–87
- Most points in a season: 188, Brett Hull, Penticton, 1983–84
- Most goals in a season, defenceman: 38, Campbell Blair, Vernon, 1986–87
- Most assists in a season, defenceman: 77, Bruce Harris, Bellingham, 1978–79; Ian Kidd, Penticton, 1984–85
- Most points in a season, defenceman: 109, Campbell Blair, Vernon, 1986–87
- Most goals in a season, rookie: 84, John Newberry, Nanaimo, 1979–80
- Most assists in a season, rookie: 103, Doug Berry, Kelowna, 1974–75
- Most points in a season, rookie: 185, John Newberry, Nanaimo, 1979–80
- Most shorthanded goals in a season: 14, Greg Hadden, New Westminster, 1988–89
- Most powerplay goals in a season: 32, Dan Bousquet, Penticton, 1993–94
- Longest consecutive shutout streak: 250 minutes, 25 seconds, Brad Thiessen, Prince George, 2005–06
- Most wins in a season: 52, New Westminster Royals, 1989–90; Vernon Vipers, 1998–99
- Most points in a season: 108, New Westminster Royals, 1989–90
- Most goals scored in a season: 498, Penticton Knights, 1984–85
- Fewest goals against in a season: 130, Penticton Knights, 48-game schedule, 1981–82; 137, Penticton Vees, 60-game schedule, 2005–06
- British Columbia Hockey League
- BCHL History
- BCHL Individual Regular Season Records
- BCJHL Teams @ Internet Hockey Database
- BCHL Teams @ Internet Hockey Database
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