One would think, wouldn’t one, that the KIJHL would try to organize its schedule to give a team like Beaver Valley a chance to take advantage of a near-holiday weekend when the best hockey draw in the area is out of sight and a little out of mind for local hockey fans.
It’s not as if the Nitehawks aren’t a strong staple of the league and deserving of the league tweaking the schedule in its favour.
Beaver Valley has a great history in junior B hockey in the province, and this year’s edition of the Nitehawks hasn’t lost in over a month.
Sharing the Home of Champions region with the Smoke Eaters means, however, that the lower tier Nitehawks get less attention – and attract fewer fans – than some less accomplished teams in other places, partly because people opt for the higher status Smokies games when the two have home dates in common.
Given those facts, one would think (wouldn’t one?) that the league in which the Nitehawks are a mainstay would try to arrange home games for Beaver Valley on weekends Trail is on the road, as it is until its last pre-Christmas home contest next Saturday.
Instead, with a big opportunity here for Beaver Valley, the club gets one home game for the weekend, Friday night against the Spokane Braves.
There are always complaints about the Smoke Eaters, the middle-of-nowhere member of the BCHL, but at least we understand most of the Smokies’ junior A partners would be just as happy if the franchise went away and aren’t about to do them any scheduling favours.
The Nitehawks should be different – they are, after all, a big reason why the KIJHL has thrived and grown – in the eyes of junior B schedule makers. It must be fairly easy, given the wealth of franchises near here, to set dates for Beaver Valley games, home and away, and should be easy, too, to favour the Nitehawks on a few of the times a season when that franchise may have a chance to make a little hay when (so to speak) the junior A sun isn’t overshadowing its efforts.
Given that currently obsolete computers – making do with less computing power than modern laptops – have piloted and are piloting spacecraft, ships trains and planes to and from far away places, (the spacecraft through unimaginable conditions to only recently dreamed of places) it seems sensible to assume there are programs (or programmers) out there today that could create better, more profitable, schedules around the conflicting passions of hockey fans in small markets without wreaking havoc on the fortunes of other league members.
It seems sensible, but then, (one assumes) there are politics at play even in these scenarios.
So, hockey folk, it only seems right that you make an effort to get to the lone Beaver Valley game this weekend (they have one Tuesday, as well) in support of a dynamic club and franchise that has been in our (and the Smokies) backyard for quite a while.
There will, I guarantee, be a lot of scoring.