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British Columbia Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2008 Fred Page Cup Playoffs
BCHL Logo.jpg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1961
Commissioner John Grisdale
No. of teams 17
Country(ies)  Canada
Most recent champion(s) Vernon Vipers
Most championships Vernon10
Official website

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 17 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 Boston Bruins who played for the since-renamed Penticton Panthers, Scott Gomez of the Montreal Canadiens, who played for South Surrey, Paul Kariya of the St. Louis Blues who played for Penticton and Carey Price of Montreal Canadiens who played for the Quesnel Millionaires. Willie Mitchell is a native of British Columbia and happens to be the only current member of the Vancouver Canucks to have played in the BCHL, as a member of the Kelowna Spartans, in 1994-95.



2009-10 Teams

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
Burnaby Express Burnaby, British Columbia Bill Copeland Sports Centre 2001
Langley Chiefs Langley, British Columbia George Preston Recreation Centre 1970
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
Quesnel Millionaires Quesnel, British Columbia Quesnel Twin Arenas 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 1973
Williams Lake TimberWolves Williams Lake, British Columbia Caribou Recreation Complex 2002

Timeline of Teams

Royal Bank Cup champions

The Royal Bank Cup has been captured by a BCHL team five times since the trophy's founding:

Centennial Cup champions

The Centennial Cup was the forerunner to the Royal Bank Cup. The Centennial Cup was awarded for 25 years from 1971 to 1995 inclusive:

BCHL Fred Page Cup Champions

  • 1962 Kamloops Rockets
  • 1963 Kamloops Rockets
  • 1964 Kamloops Rockets
  • 1965 Kelowna Buckaroos
  • 1966 Kamloops Kraft Kings
  • 1967 Penticton Broncos
  • 1968 Penticton Broncos
  • 1969 Victoria Cougars
  • 1970 Vernon Essos
  • 1971 Kamloops Rockets
  • 1972 Vernon Essos
  • 1973 Penticton Broncos
  • 1974 Kelowna Buckaroos
  • 1975 Bellingham Blazers
  • 1976 Nanaimo Clippers
  • 1977 Nanaimo Clippers
  • 1978 Nanaimo Clippers
  • 1979 Bellingham Blazers
  • 1980 Penticton Knights
  • 1981 Penticton Knights
  • 1982 Penticton Knights
  • 1983 Abbotsford Flyers
  • 1984 Langley Eagles
  • 1985 Penticton Knights
  • 1986 Penticton Knights
  • 1987 Richmond Sockeyes
  • 1988 Vernon Lakers
  • 1989 Vernon Lakers
  • 1990 New Westminster Royals
  • 1991 Vernon Lakers
  • 1992 Vernon Lakers
  • 1993 Kelowna Spartans
  • 1994 Kelowna Spartans
  • 1995 Chilliwack Chiefs
  • 1996 Vernon Vipers
  • 1997 South Surrey Eagles
  • 1998 South Surrey Eagles
  • 1999 Vernon Vipers
  • 2000 Chilliwack Chiefs
  • 2001 Victoria Salsa
  • 2002 Chilliwack Chiefs
  • 2003 Vernon Vipers
  • 2004 Nanaimo Clippers
  • 2005 Surrey Eagles
  • 2006 Burnaby Express
  • 2007 Nanaimo Clippers
  • 2008 Penticton Vees
  • 2009 Vernon Vipers

BCHL Records

Individual records

  • 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

Team records

NHL Alumni



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