Bryce DiRocco inks first contract with Glacier Kings of VIJHL
A Port Alberni born goaltender is leaving town to become a king. The Comox Valley Glacier Kings of the Vancouver Island Junior B Hockey League announced this week that they have signed Alberni Valley goalie Bryce DiRocco to his first ever junior hockey contract. DiRocco appeared in this exhibition season with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL, and also spent time practicing with the local BCHL team.
He was the starting goalie for the midget A Bulldogs, and while that is a tough loss for the local minor rep team, Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association president Al McCulloch said he would never hold anyone back who is trying to get to the next level.
DiRocco had already backstopped the midget Bulldogs to two tournament medals this season (one gold, one silver).
DiRocco was already affiliated with the Glacier Kings, and had appeared in two games with the team. His only start was on Oct. 14 against the Nanaimo Buccaneers, when he stopped 20 of 22 shots for the win. DiRocco also played in relief duty against the Westshore Wolves on Nov. 9 and made five saves on six shots in 16 minutes of play. The midget rep Bulldogs have called up Ryan Price from the midget B team to help replace DiRocco and team up with the team’s other goalie, Jason Brunt.
The Glacier Kings are leading their division with a record of 12-10-0-2, three points ahead of Nanaimo.
Somerville taking different route
Local hockey player took unorthodox way to playing college hockey at UVic
After two seasons of Junior B hockey, Luciano Somerville was ready to hang up his skates and focus on school, even with two years of eligibility remaining. He didn’t even know that there was a hockey program at the University of Victoria. Now, the freshman forward is eight games into his BCIHL season with the Vikes.
“I was just planning on going to school and not playing hockey anymore,” Somerville said after helping out with the Alberni Valley Hockey Academy Wednesday. “When I found out they had a team, I talked to the coach and got a try-out.”
Somerville managed to make the team and is now playing college hockey, something he dreamed to do but thought was unattainable if he didn’t play Junior A. “It’s definitely a route I didn’t expect to take,” said Somerville, 19. “I was expecting to play Junior B then try to play Junior A and try to get a scholarship somewhere. That’s the only way I thought I could do it. I never thought this would happen.”
Somerville is majoring in sciences at UVic.
Playing in the BCIHL, he said, is comparable to playing in the BCHL, just with older players. “Most of them are at least 20 and they’re all ex-Junior A guys. It’s like playing with men.”
Somerville spent four years with the Alberni Valley Hockey Academy and he said it played a big role in his journey to playing in college. Going through practices with his rep teams throughout his minor hockey career, Somerville felt he didn’t have enough time to work on individual skills, rather, his team’s practices were more focused on systems.
While those are an integral part of the game, it was the hockey academy that allowed him to succeed by helping him take his shooting, stick handling and skating to another level. It is part of the reason why he helps out with the hockey academy whenever he is back in Port Alberni. Despite not playing Junior B anymore – he had two years left – Somerville is still traveling around the province playing a high level of hockey, and has the chance to do so for the next four years.
The University of Victoria men’s hockey team plays in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League against teams such as Simon Fraser University, Eastern Washington University, Trinity Western University and Thompson Rivers University.
(Port Alberni Goalie) Edward Dyson takes next step in his hockey career heading to the junior A team in Lower Mainland
Port Alberni’s Edward Dyson is set to spend his final year of junior hockey in the BCHL, as he recently signed with the Surrey Eagles.
Dyson, who will be playing his 20-year-old season in 2012-13, spent the last two years in Dawson Creek as the starting goalie for the Dawson Creek Rage, a Tier 2 Junior A team in the North American Hockey League.
When the Rage folded after just two years in the league, Dyson had discussions with multiple BCHL teams to finish out his junior career with them, and that included his hometown Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
However, he believes Surrey was the most committed to him and were offering more playing time – the Eagles lost both their goalies from last season and the only other one on their roster is a rookie – and more exposure.
“[Earning the starting job] will be based on performance, though,” he said.
Dyson does have experience in the BCHL. He had a brief stay with the Cowichan Valley Capitals where he played one game, and it came in a home loss to the Bulldogs.
Dyson will get a chance to play the Bulldogs in Port Alberni in front of friends and family on Feb 23 for the first, and, barring a playoff series, last time.
“That’s going to be a neat experience,” Dyson said.
Making the switch from the NAHL to the BCHL will have some similarities. Dyson said the NAHL is better than it’s made out to be.
“Not many people know about the NAHL because it’s an Amer-ican league, but it’s pretty competitive,” he said.
However, making the jump to the BCHL is part of the plan for the 6’4″ goalie who is heading closer to home in search of an NCAA Div. 1 scholarship.
“I had a few options to go to school at the beginning of last year, but they didn’t really work out,” Dyson said. “My personal goal is to get more recognition from Div. 1 schools.
The difference, though, will be the travel.
Playing in Dawson Creek, the shortest road trip for the Rage was 16 hours long. With the BCHL’s new scheduling format, 32 of the team’s 56 games will be played within the Mainland Division, with the only real road trip in that division being to Prince George.
Being a ferry ride away from home won’t hurt, either.
Another difference will be the competitiveness of his team.
Last season, Dawson Creek finished with the second worst record in the 28-team league. Dyson went 6-27 with a 4.27 GAA.
In Surrey, Dyson will join a team that finished second in the Coastal Conference and reached the second round of the BCHL playoffs.
There will still be work to do, though, as the Eagles lost their three leading scorers to graduation, as well as two of their top three defencemen.
Eagles forward Lindores lands scholarship to Northern Michigan
Thursday, April 19, 2012 – Submitted by BCHL Media
Surrey Eagles forward Robert Lindores has secured a scholarship to Northern Michigan University for the coming season. Lindores had by far his most productive BCHL campaign this season scoring 26 goals and 35 assists for 61 points. His previous career high was nine goals and 12 assists the season prior.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound native of Port Alberni played four full seasons in the BCHL and suited up for 207 games. He played his first two seasons for his hometown Alberni Valley Bulldogs before coming to Surrey in 2010.
Lindores becomes the third current BCHLer to commit to Northern Michigan along with Cohen Adair of Powell River and Darren Nowick of Vernon. The Wildcats compete in the NCAA’s Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
For several years now, Stacey McCulloch has followed many of the former AVMHA players as they carried on with hockey. Again this year she has a list of 15 AVMHA Alumni who continue to play hockey and 5 former players who have returned to AVMHA to coach.
To view all the Alumni reports, click on TEAMS on the menu at the top of the page and from the drop down menu, select ALUMNI. Or click on this link: ALUMNI
After a disheartening female hockey season last year, when Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association voted to cancel all local Minor Hockey Female Competitive teams reduced into 2 Vancouver Island Zone Teams, Jordan Dowling was determined not to let this get her down.
As a recent grade 12 graduate from ADSS and a graduate of AVMHA, Dowling decided to come back this past September and return to AVMHA as a coach. Assistant coaching along side Head Coach Andre Savard and Assistant Coach Heather Senger for the ‘AAA Photography’ Midget Thunder Female Team, Dowling is just learning how to hone her coaching skills. “The Female Program on Vancouver Island suffered last year and still is. Last year we played with tremendous difficulty as female players either quit playing or moved into the male league”. Dowling played hockey for 8 seasons (3 of which were spent in the Competitive program). ” I had so much fun in the years spent in Minor Hockey, playing for quite a few really good coaches (Diane Moore, Mel Campbell, Kevin Hasselberg, and my dad), and loved being part of a team. We travelled all over B.C, Everett, WA and made a trip 2 seasons ago to San Jose, California for a tournament”.
Dowling comes from a hockey oriented family; her older sister Kylie plays in the local Female Rookie League; her younger sister Hayley currently lives in Penticton, B.C playing for the Okanagan Hockey Academy as an upcoming female goaltender; her Dad Dave plays in the local Men’s Rookie League and also spent the past 2 seasons on the AVMHA Executive for Female Co-coordinator; and her Mom Kelly has served many years as Team Manager and also for VIAHA’s Female Midget Commissioner.
“I really wanted to come back and coach because in my real world I want to become a teacher, so coaching gives me the opportunity to teach what I’ve learned (in hockey). The team so far is doing very well and have won more games this season so far than last. It doesn’t feel like I’m giving back, it’s just so much fun to be on and off the ice with the girls that I’ve played hockey with last year”. Currently taking her 1st year University studies at North Island College and working part-time at Parks & Rec, Dowling managed to tie up her skates and hit the ice with the local Female Competitive Team the JAL Design Panthers.
Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association is proud to have Jordan Dowling on the coaching staff for Female Hockey this season and wish her success in her first year of coaching.
Sponsor of the Female Midget Thunder Team
As a recent grade 12 graduate from ADSS, Darcy Haggard decided to live in his hometown for awhile to figure out what he’d like to do. Taking on work at McDonald’s Restaurant, he decided he would like to get back on the ice this past September. Unfortunately for Haggard, AVMHA did not field enough players for their Juvenile Team this season, so he took advantage of the ice and went for the next best thing; Coaching.
Haggard practically grew up on the ice playing in both the Recreation & Competitive Leagues. He has a strong hockey family background. His Dad Pat played Recreation & Competitive hockey throughout his child/teen years; his Mom Michelle still plays hockey in the local Female Rookie League; his brother James played Recreation & Competitive and now plays in the local Men’s Rookie League; his cousin Carly Haggard is a well known hockey player and very well known coach for the ‘Guelph Gryphon’s Women’s Hockey Team’, in Guelph, Ontario.
Trying his hand at coaching for the ‘JAL Design & Graphics’ & ‘Brakers Electric’ Midget ‘B’ Rep team has been a very easy transition for Haggard. Assistant coaching alongside Head Coach (in his 2nd season) Bruce Brunt, and Assistant Coaches Rob Cole and (1st year Coach) Nolan Jarvis he has learned immensely from and continues to do so this season. Haggard definitely sees the game from a different perspective from the bench, “I decided to assistant coach, because I love hockey and it’s great to be back on the ice. This year’s team is focused and hardworking and has very strong goaltending with Andrew Cusson in net (Midget ’A' Rep Goaltender from last season) and also Jason Brunt. Really hoping to make the playoffs and finish strong this season”. The downside from being an 18 year old Assistant Coach? “Well, I’m only a year older than the 3rd year Midget players, so communication is sort of a challenge at times. It’s all good though, they’re a great group of guys”.
Darcy Haggard is also a Referee for AVMHA the past 5 seasons. He won AVMHA’s Referee of the Year 2010/2011 last season.
The Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association is proud to have Darcy Haggard on the coaching staff this year and wish him success in his first year coaching in the competitive program.
Sponsors of the Midget B Bulldogs Team