Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Please visit the links and support my friends and supporters!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alberni Golf Club Update

Man, is it time for golf season yet? I'm half of the belief that it's always golf season our here, being from Northern Manitoba...but the weather sure has been a drag! With my schedule with a couple of young kids it's easier said than done to get lucky and be able to get out and play on the one or two nice days we've seemed to have since...... September?

When it comes to the Alberni Valley in the summer, it's a tie for me when it comes to where my favorite place is - it's either the lake, or the golf course. We are incredibly lucky to be blessed with both within minutes of our front doors.

I managed a round last week - I was very impressed with the course conditions, considering how wet it has been for the last couple of months.

The second Men's Night of the season is coming up tomorrow night, April 27th - always a great time, with great prizes and a great dinner at a great price, so make sure you call the Proshop to register ASAP at 250-723-5422.

Speaking of Bruce, thankfully he has a great sale right now on Pro V's, at the rate I lose them it's much appreciated! Ha!

Demo Days are coming up to try out the latest new products from Ping and Cobra - I'm a Cobra guy, but have always love the Ping stuff. The Ping night is May 11th and the Cobra night is May 18th.

The Alberni Golf Club holds their Junior Golf Open House Saturday, May 6th from 1pm to 3pm. 

Kids will receive instruction in driving/chipping/putting/etiquette etc, followed by a snack and refreshments. It's all FREE of charge.

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of golf and a huge fan of the Alberni Golf Club. I have to sing their praises once more in regards to Junior Golf. Not only is the Open House great, and their program and rates fantastic, but I have been just blown away by the membership and the staff at the course and how they have treated my little guy Griffin since he has started golfing there over the last couple of years. One would think perhaps that a golf course isn't the place for a kid - I would have been one of those people. The reality is that it couldn't be further from the truth. Bruce, Kathy, Brian and all the staff have gone out of their way to make Griff feel welcome. Good, well behaved kids are welcome anywhere, and at the same time brats aren't! Whenever we are out on the course or on the range or chipping or putting everyone seems to take a lot of joy out of seeing a little guy out there.

Here's some pictures from the event over the past years...


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Great Harry Zolnierczyk story....

(image: Jamie Penner)

Here's a pretty cool story on former Bulldog Harry Zolnierczyk, who just last week became the first Bulldog to play in - and score a goal in - an NHL Playoff game.

Click the below link to check it out - mixed in with some great examples of Harry's perseverance and character is a funny video where teammates attempt to spell his last name!

(image: John Russell)

Click to read Playoffs Worth the Wait for Zolnierczyk


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bulldogs make Coaching Change


Port Alberni The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hockey club wish to announce that they have released Head Coach and GM Kevin Willison, effective immediately.

The decision to release Willison was made after much deliberation and consideration of the best interests of the team going forward.

‘Kevin has served both this team and our community with all his heart and we did not come to this decision easily’ says PAJHS President Ron Paulson. ‘We will miss his character and gritty determination that was reflected in the teams he put on the ice.’

During Willison’s tenure as Head Coach/GM the Bulldogs made the playoff in 4 of the 5 years, including winning the Island Division playoffs in 2013.

‘Both Bobbi and I have truly enjoyed our time here in Alberni.’ says Willison. ‘We would like to thank all of the fans and people in the community for their hospitality and friendship over the past 5 years.’

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs will start recruiting for a new Head Coach immediately. Associate Coach Alex Evin will be supervising hockey operations until a new Head Coach is signed.

For more information, please contact: Ron Paulson 


This is the part of the business I most certainly do not enjoy, as much as I'm well aware that it is certainly a part of the business. As a former Coach of a team I worked for in the MJHL once said "Coaches are fired to be hired" 

I'm sorry to see Kevin go. He's a great coach and even more importantly a better person. It's beyond tough to be in my position to not develop relationships with the people that play on or work for the team I work in conjunction with, simply due to the amount to time we spend together during the duration of a season. 

Having said that,  it is even harder to have everyone always get along due to the nature of the business and the ups and downs and highs and lows. Kevin has always treated me with nothing but the utmost respect, professionalism and class and was always a pleasure to work with, and I can't thank him enough for that. 

Looking at the human side as opposed to all the hockey and business side of things, I certainly don't want to have to tell my sons the news, as "Coach Willy" always had an open door for them when I'd pop by the rink for a pow wow during some of the precious few quiet times at the office and my family couldn't be more thankful for that. 

On the hockey and business side of things, I can understand why the decision to make this move was made, with the season the team had and how they finished out of the playoffs. I look forward to meeting the new coach, and what they do with the team and working with them.

My final thanks to Kevin back to the hockey side would be for all the moments going back to 2012 when he took the job here. The 2013 Island Championship is something I'll never forget - one of only two times that the Bulldogs played in the Conference Final, with the Nolan Graham led Bulldogs losing in Game 7 to Powell River in 2009-2010. While the runs weren't as long with losses in Game 7 in 2014 to Victoria and in Game 7 in 2015 to Nanaimo and Game 5 to Nanaimo in 2016, they were also a pleasure to cover. While last season was certainly a challenge to say the least, I was also incredibly proud of how hard he team played and refused to quit despite the circumstances late in the season. 


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Chase Van Allen signs with Alaska Aces

Big congrats to former Bulldog Chase Van Allen - the Bulldogs 2012-2013 Best Defenceman and Humanitarian of the Year - for signing his first pro contract over the weekend with the ECHL's Alaska Aces. Further congrats for going out and picking up his first career point in his first career game on Saturday! Way to go Chaser!

Get more details from the Aces website HERE


Sunday, February 26, 2017

2016-2017 Bulldog Team Award Winners

Player Awards 2017

Rookie of the Year:    JAKE WITKOWSKI
Coaches Award:   PAUL SAVAGE

Academic Players of the Year:

College:   CONNOR WELSH   

High School:  KYLE KAUFMANN & CAYDEN KRAUS                                                
       AVB nominated Cayden for Academic All- Star to the BCHL

Best Defenseman:  TREVOR COSGROVE  
Unsung Hero:   MALIK KAILA
Most Improved:  RYAN STEELE
Humanitarian:  JT WARD
Most Sportsmanlike:   HENRY MARSHALL                         

Fan Choice is voted on by the Fans: Voted and pick by the fans (hardest worker game in game out) : JORDAN SANDHU                  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Dogs snap losing streak at nine, end season with 5-5 tie against Kings

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel, the largest full facility hotel in Port Alberni, BC. When staying with us there is no need to give up conveniences you are used to. You can discover treasures to take home at the Alberni Harbour Quay, and then browse our onsite Cold Beer, Wine Store and liquor store or retreat to our Stamps Cafe or Pastimes Sports Bar and Grill to enjoy a snack or to watch the game on our big screen TV. Then, relax in our sauna or pool before settling in our luxurious accommodations to enjoy the vintage wine picked up earlier. That's when you will truly understand why the tranquil setting of our hotel has been called the perfect place to call home. If traveling on business, our Port Alberni Hotel boasts over 4500 square feet of meeting space in four rooms that are perfect for small conventions, banquets, parties, meetings and weddings. AV equipment and catering are also available.

This game was crazy through the early moments, with the Dogs winning the opening faceoff and getting the puck deep in the Kings zone. They held the zone, but couldn't generate a chance before the Kings entered the Bulldogs end and promptly went up 1-0 as Brody Claeys played the puck, but it was cut off by a Bulldog defender and almost banked off of Claeys initially, but stayed out on a scramble with Claeys making a couple saves and his defenders helping to clear the paint. They couldn't clear the zone though, as the puck went to the line where it was thrown on net and deflected off Claeys and in under his arm to make it 1-0 at 1:21 of the first with Kyle Betts getting credit for the goal, with assists to Joshua Bruce and Carter Turnbull. The Bulldogs didn't appear deflated by giving up the opening goal for the ninth straight game, as they tied it almost immediately on a scramble at the Kings net that saw Cayden Kraus find a loose puck after a pretty initial move by Kyle Kaufmann. Kraus would be stopped, but Alex MacDonald slammed the rebound home into the open side at 2:08 of the first to make it 1-1. The Kings responded almost immediately, as Josh Coblenz was allowed to walk right to the slot where he snapped a quick release past the blocker of Claeys to make it 2-1 at 2:33 of the first, with Joshua Bruce assisting. The Kings smelled blood at this point, and several great chances to build their lead, with Brody Claeys came up big, repeatedly to keep the Dogs in it. The most notable stop was on a 2 on 1 rush that turned into a breakaway for Gavin Rauser, but Claeys came up with a big pad save to keep it a one-goal game. The Dogs would push back and get a breakaway chance of their own as a beautiful pass by Cayden Kraus sent Jake Witkowski in alone. He wouldn't be able to get a shot away while fighting off a defender's stick around his hands, and also couldn't draw a penalty shot, or even a minor penalty. The Dogs would get the equalizer late in the first, on a great effort by Cayden Kraus to hustle and win a race in the Dogs zone to chip the puck out at the line to create a 2 on 1 rush. Jake Witkowski would carry the puck wide down the left wing and deep to out wait a defender before putting a perfect pass to the top of the crease for Alex MacDonald, who roofed it under the bar and over Wilson to make it a 2-2 game at 18:26 of the first. Shots in the period were 12-11 Kings.

The Bulldogs were flat to start the second, with the Kings having several good scoring chances around Claeys in the first two minutes that they couldn't convert. The Bulldogs again got their legs going to push the pace and push back to earn a power play. They looked certain to have earned a 5 on 3 power play when Trevor Cosgrove was chopped down behind the Kings goal with the puck, but the Referees looked on. At the other end moments later, an eerily similar trip WOULD be called against Kyle Kaufmann. The Dogs would then be penalized again on a hook, giving the Kings a 5 on 3 power play as the boo bird voiced their displeasure. Credit the Kings for capitalizing on it, on a pretty set up to the crease from the left point that was deflected home from the paint by Ben Berard to make it 3-2, with Cam Donaldson and Carmine Buono assisting. The Bulldogs would earn the predictable even up call before the remainder of the power play was up, but couldn't find the net before allowing a discouraging shorthanded goal as a Defenseman quit on the puck at the attacking line to give up a shorthanded breakaway that saw Brody Claeys come up with a big save on Tristan Mullin. He would slide out of position, and his defenders offered him no help as Gavin Rauser slid it into the open net to make it 4-2 at 9:40 of the second. The Bulldogs would again show no quit, and made it a one-goal game late in the period on a great shift by Kyle Kaufmann, Stratton Pickett and Spencer Hunter battling the puck to the slot in the Kings zone where Kaufmann spun and fired to find the far corner, low along the ice past Wilson at 14:55 of the second. Just 25 seconds later it was a tie game as Alex MacDonald broke up a play in the Dogs end to send Cayden Kraus up ice down the left wing. He sprung Jake Witkowski for a breakaway that Wilson came up big on, but Kraus drove the net to one-time the rebound home top corner to make it 4-4 at 15:20 of the second. The Dogs weren't able to build on the momentum though, as they gave up a series of open looks in the slot in the following minutes leading to the Kings taking the lead as Carter Turnbull was set up wide open in the hashmarks where he snapped a shot past the blocker of Claeys to make it 5-4 at 17:01 of the second, from Tristan Mullin and Kyle Betts assisting. Shots in the period were 18-17 Bulldogs, for a 29-29 total after two periods.

The third period began with the Bulldogs drawing a power play five minutes into it, and connecting on it to tie the game as Connor Welsh took a hit at the right point to keep the puck in the attacking zone. He would get it deep for Henry Marshall, who fed Ryan Steele in the right corner. He would simply put it on net from a terrible angle, but Wilson had trouble with it as it snuck through and went across the line to the far post where Nicholas Rasovic poked it home to make it 5-5 at 5:43 of the third. Each side had their chances through the remainder of the period, but both Wilson and Claeys were big to keep it tied and force overtime. Third period shots were 13-8 Powell River for a 60 minute total in their favour of 42-37.

The first overtime saw the teams trade chances, with the Dogs having a couple good early looks, and the Kings having a great initial chance hit the bar and stay out. Brody Claeys would come up with a big in alone chance for Tristan Mullin on a beautiful move to make a Bulldog defender miss as the game went to three on three double OT. The Dogs would earn a power play chance early into it, on a Ryan Steele play at the defending blue line. The Dogs had a couple good looks, but couldn't beat Wilson. Claeys would come up huge again at the other end on a 2 on 1 rush robbing Jonny Evans in the slot to keep the game going. In the end it would go the distance, with neither team finding the net as 70 minutes wasn't enough to find a winner and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Shots in overtime were 7-5 Bulldogs for a total of 47-44 Kings with Brian Wilson and Brody Claeys being the goalies of record.

Bulldogs host Kings tonight to wrap up 2016-2017 season

It's the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season tonight for the Bulldogs (16-32-7-2, 5th Island) as they host the Powell River Kings (37-18-1-0, 2nd Island) at the Dog Pound. 

The Bulldogs were in Duncan last night, where they lost their ninth straight, 2-1 to the Capitals.

The Kings haven't played since last Saturday night, when they won their fourth in a row 4-1 over the Nanaimo Clippers on home ice. 

These teams last met February 7th in Powell River, a 9-0 Kings win.

The Bulldogs are hosting a pregame BBQ and Tailgate party - proceeds from it go towards Literacy Alberni. There will be live music performed by Alberni Teens Can Rock as well, so be sure to get to the rink early to take part in the festivities. 

It's always a tough night when a season ends. Careers for the 20 year olds and graduating players come to a close, and it's the last time in a game that this group will compete together. Maybe I'm out the outside looking in, but I've been impressed with how close this team seems to be despite all the rough results lately. It's my hope that they can come out as a group and have fun and end their season on a high. It certainly won't be easy against the always tough Kings, who will be looking to head into the playoffs on a high note as well.

Van Isle Ford Bulldogs Hockey is on the air on 93.3 The Peak FM live from the Multiplex starting with the pregame show at 6:45, with the puck dropping at 7:00pm. Bruce MacDonald will provide colour commentary and analysis while I'll handle the play-by-play and hosting duties.

Tonight's 2nd Intermission guest is former Bulldog Connor LaCouvee, currently playing his Junior season with the Boston University Terriers

If you aren't in listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

Friday, February 24, 2017

Valiant effort comes up short as Dogs drop ninth straight 2-1 to Capitals

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel, the largest full facility hotel in Port Alberni, BC. When staying with us there is no need to give up conveniences you are used to. You can discover treasures to take home at the Alberni Harbour Quay, and then browse our onsite Cold Beer, Wine Store and liquor store or retreat to our Stamps Cafe or Pastimes Sports Bar and Grill to enjoy a snack or to watch the game on our big screen TV. Then, relax in our sauna or pool before settling in our luxurious accommodations to enjoy the vintage wine picked up earlier. That's when you will truly understand why the tranquil setting of our hotel has been called the perfect place to call home. If traveling on business, our Port Alberni Hotel boasts over 4500 square feet of meeting space in four rooms that are perfect for small conventions, banquets, parties, meetings and weddings. AV equipment and catering are also available.

The Bulldogs generated the first great scoring chance of the game just 90 seconds in, with Alex MacDonald setting up Cayden Kraus for a one-timer between the hashmarks, but Lane Michasiw made a solid blocker save. The Bulldogs would be penalized on a faceoff seconds later, and the Capitals connected on the advantage just five seconds into it on a set up to the hashmarks for Mitch Skapski, who snapped one home high, far-side past the glove of Schamerhorn to make it 1-0 at 1:59 of the first with Max Newton and Ayden MacDonald drawing the assists. The Dogs were penalized again just seven minutes into the game, but this time came up with a solid kill with Carson Schamerhorn making a couple good saves in tight to keep it a one-goal game. It didn't stay that way for long though, as the Caps took a 2-0 lead on a tough luck play in the Dogs end that saw a puck bounce through no less than three Bulldogs before being found by Michael Montambault in the slot. He threw a cross-ice pass to John Sladic on the goal line, where he managed to bank one off of Schamerhorn and in. Chris Harpur also drew an assist on the play at 11:50 of the first. The Bulldogs response to the hole they found themselves in was quite admirable, as they didn't sag but did just the opposite, pushing right back and generating a couple good chances before earning a power play opportunity. They couldn't buy a goal on it, but had a handful of good looks and lots of pressure. The closest they came was when Ryan Steele deflected a Tristan Bukovec set up from the point off the crossbar. Shots in the period favoured the Bulldogs 17-10.

The second didn't start well for the Bulldogs, but they bent and didn't break and pushed back to break both a shut out streak, and a long power play drought as Jake Witkowski won the draw right back onto the tape of Trevor Cosgrove, who snapped a perfectly placed shot top corner, short-side over the blocker of Lane Michasiw to make it 2-1 at 5:40 of the second, just three seconds into the power play. There would be no scoring throughout the remainder of the period, but not for a lack of chances for either side. The best for the Bulldogs was later in the period on the power play, as Lane Michasiw made a great rink-wide pad save on a Tristan Bukovec one-timer chance, and a follow up rebound save. Carson Schamerhorn was also sharp at the other end, coming up with a big left toe save on Michael Montambault in tight to keep it a one-goal game. A nasty incident (seems to be a prevailing theme when these teams meet, doesn't it?) as Sean Driscoll took exception to a Nicholas Rasovic hit and went at him with a high stick. Rasovic shoved back, and both players immediately dropped their gloves. Rasovic would instantly lose his footing and fall on his back, and Driscoll proceeded to throw no less than 8 punches at him while he was defenseless and the Linesman weren't yet on the scene. I can't say how much I detest the lack of class or respect shown by a player that takes advantage of a defenseless opponent in the fashion that Driscoll did, or any player does. Maybe I'm just from a different era? Shots in the period favoured the Capitals 12-8, with the Dogs up 25-22 after two periods.

The third period was played at a crisp pace from the puck drop, with the Dogs showing considerable jump to their step and generating good chances and extended attacking zone time in attempting to find the equalizer. They came close early in the period, but Trevor Cosgrove had his shot hit the post and stay out. The teams would have their chances throughout the frame, with both goalies coming up big, with Carson Schamerhorn making at least four saves in quick succession in the latter stages of the game from point blank range, after getting some help on a great back check earlier by Paul Savage to maybe save a goal on a wrap around chance for Ayden MacDonald. The Dogs would fight to the dying seconds, and had a great look on a shot and a rebound at the side of the goal with the goalie out for the extra attacker, but the elusive bounce again wasn't there as the Capitals made the lead stand to the final buzzer for the 2-1 final.

Shots in the third favoured the Bulldogs 13-12 for a game total of 38-34 Bulldogs with Carson Schamerhorn taking the loss in net while Lane Michasiw picked up the win. The Dogs went 1 for 4 on the power play while the Capitals went 1 for 3.

With the loss, the Dogs have lost nine in a row. They try to end their season on a high note tomorrow when they host the Powell River Kings.


Bulldogs face Capitals tonight in Duncan

It's the final road game of the season tonight, as the Bulldogs (16-31-7-2, 5th Island) visit the Capitals (23-28-3-2, 3rd Island) tonight at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan.

The Bulldogs were last in action Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam, where they lost their eighth straight game, 3-0 to the Express. The Capitals were in action Wednesday night at home, as they hosted the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the make up game originally slated to be played on February 10th. The Capitals lost their second in a row with a 3-1 loss to the 'Backs.

These teams last met on February 14th, a 5-1 Capitals win at the Dog Pound.

 93.3 The Peak FM will bring all the action to you on Pacific Chevrolet Bulldogs Hockey, with the broadcast beginning with the pregame shows at 6:45 in advance of the 7:00pm puck drop with Dan Tisserand on hand to compile team and player stats while I provide the play-by-play.

Today's 2nd Intermission guest is Port Alberni Native and former Bulldog Josh Bonar - who has now come full circle from a player as he is now on the Bulldog Scouting Staff. Josh is a pretty neat story, as he is a local player from the a different era, growing up when there was no Multiplex and no Bulldog franchise. 

As we talk about during the interview, he's been involved in hockey as both a player and now a coach, for almost half of his life. He returned from the WHL to play for the Bulldogs from the 2003-2004 through 2004-2005 seasons before playing two years of CIS Hockey. He then turned pro and has seen the world while doing it, playing in the Central Hockey League and the Southern Professional Hockey League along with stops overseas in Norway, Hungary, Romania and Kazakhstan. The picture above is a piece of fan art from his time in Europe. 

Along with helping the Bulldogs on the scouting side of things, he's also working as a coach with the Burnaby Winter Club AND has his foot in the door with the Vancouver Canucks, working as an assistant to their coach in their video department, which is pretty darn cool if you ask me!

If you aren't in listening range of 93.3 The Peak FM you can listen/watch the game by:

Listening Live on your computer:
Listening Live on your SmartPhone :
Watching Live on your computer/SmartPhone

The Bulldogs will be without Keith Anderson and Mackenzie Wight tonight and tomorrow - read below for more details.... 


February 23, 2017

Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs will be short two forwards the remaining two regular season games. Keith Anderson (Hermiston, OR) and Mackenzie Wight (Chilliwack, BC) have been recalled by their respective Western Hockey League teams.

Anderson will be joining the Everett Silvertips and has previously spent time with the Victoria Royals in the 2015-16 season. He has played in 39 WHL games. As a Bulldog, Anderson scored 8 Points (4 Goals, 4 Assists) and registered 76 Penalty Minutes in 29 Games.

Wight will be joining the Swift Current Broncos and has previously spent time with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He has played 6 WHL games. As a Bulldog, Wight scored 12 Points (6 Goals, 6 Assists) in 27 Games.

The Bulldogs did not qualify for the post-season for the first time since 2011-12 but would like to wish Keith and Mackenzie all the best as they continue their hockey opportunities.

For further information or comment on the above story please contact Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ head coach and general manager Kevin Willison