League announces schedule

The British Columbia Hockey League announced its schedule for the 2011-12 season Monday which will be the 50th in league history.

The British Columbia Hockey League announced its schedule for the 2011-12 season Monday which will be the 50th in league history.

The Trail Smoke Eaters play their first three games at home, taking on the Westside Warriors on Sept. 23 and 24 before playing a home and home against Merritt Centennials on Sept. 28 and 30.

After a great deal of effort by the league office and feedback from league coaches and general managers, the entire schedule is now available on the league website at www.bchl.ca

“I’d like to acknowledge the work done by our executive director Dave Sales on this season’s schedule,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “It’s an unenviable task and a huge job that Dave took on but I believe he’s come up with a schedule that works in everyone’s best interest.”

But Smoke Eaters president Tom Gawryletz is not entirely pleased with the new schedule.

“The league put it together, and we requested a few things but the things we requested we didn’t get any of them.”

He’d like to see the team’s Tuesday night games changed and a long trip to Chilliwack and then Powell River altered.

In addition, the league has Trail journeying to Prince George for a one-game road trip on Dec. 30.

“It’s a long way to go for one game.”

The league concentrated on scheduling more Friday and Saturday evening games, also known as “prime nights”, and significant increases were made in that area compared to last season. Of the 480 games scheduled, 67 per cent will take place on prime nights.

The Smoke Eaters do have an increase in their prime games with 21 this season.

“Anytime we can get around that 20 mark that’s pretty good.”

With Sundays included, 83 per cent of games will be prime or Sunday starts leaving only 17 per cent of games scheduled for midweek.

The puck drops on the upcoming campaign on Friday, Sept. 23 with 14 teams in action. All teams hit the ice the following night with eight games on the slate.

The schedule has a nine-day break at Christmas and concludes on Sunday, March 11, 2012 with three games scheduled

With files from BCHL media release.