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This is the 2020-21 British Columbia Hockey League season. This is the league's 30th season under this name and its 59th season overall dating back to the founding of the Okanagan Mainline Junior Hockey League in 1961.

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic[edit | edit source]

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has called into question the start of the league's season as the provincial government has more aggressive in terms of restrictions for public gatherings and social distancing that most of the rest of provincial and state governments in Canada and the United States. Several teams in the Western Hockey League and the British Columbia Hockey League have indicated if capacity is severely reduced or no spectators are allowed at games sitting out may be the less financial damaging choice as opposed to playing with reduced crowds. A capacity of 25% of normal capacity would be required for most teams to make an attempt to play.[1] Teams are likely to request help from both the provincial and federal governments as junior hockey teams have traditionally had strong ties to their communities and restrictions on business and social gatherings have adversely affected businesses in their communities diminishing sponsorships and ticket sales.

The closure of the Canada-US border would likely put the Wenatchee Wild out of action for the season unless a temporary home in British Columbia could be worked out. Availability of American players is likely to be greatly reduced or non-existent as entry into Canada will most likely not be granted to amateur hockey players. On November 24th the team would formally announce they would not be playing for the 2020-21 season due to restrictions in place in the state of Washington and the closure of the Canada-US border which is unlikely to be re-opened until the spring of 2021 at the earliest.[2]

The league was originally planning on a December 1st start but would have to revise the schedule when the provincial Health Office pushing the start of the season to a tentative December 8th start with the possibility of the season start into 2021 seeming to be a likely scenario.[3]

Return to Play[edit | edit source]

On March 19th, the league announced a schedule that starts April 2nd and will run for five weeks. The schedule involves the sixteen teams that are playing this season in five pods with three or four teams in each pod playing only each other over the five weeks.

Chilliwack (Chilliwack Coliseum), Burnaby (Scotia Barn), Penticton (South Okanagan Events Centre), Port Alberni (Weyerhaeuser Arena), and Vernon (Kal Tire Place) were chosen as pod locations.

Cancellation of Playoffs[edit | edit source]

On April 27th the league issued a release stating that the league would not hold playoffs for the 2020-21 season when the pod schedules finished on May 11th.[4]

Membership Changes[edit | edit source]

Realignment[edit | edit source]

With the addition of the Cranbrook Bucks the league realigned from a 3 division format to a two conference nine team each format with the top eight teams in each conference qualifying for the playoffs.

Teams[edit | edit source]

Interior Conference
Team City Arena Joined BCHL
Cranbrook Bucks Cranbrook, British Columbia Western Financial Place 2020
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 Rolling Mix Concrete Arena 1972
Salmon Arm Silverbacks Salmon Arm, British Columbia Shaw Centre 2001
Trail Smoke Eaters Trail, British Columbia Cominco Arena 1987
Vernon Vipers Vernon, British Columbia Kal Tire Place 1961
Wenatchee Wild Wenatchee, Washington Town Toyota Center 2015
West Kelowna Warriors West Kelowna, British Columbia Royal Lepage Place 1994

Coastal Conference
Team City Arena Joined BCHL
Alberni Valley Bulldogs Port Alberni, British Columbia Weyerhaeuser Arena 1998
Chilliwack Chiefs Chilliwack, British Columbia Prospera Centre 1996
Coquitlam Express Coquitlam, British Columbia Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex 2001
Cowichan Valley Capitals Duncan, British Columbia Island Savings Centre 1980
Langley Rivermen Langley, British Columbia George Preston Arena 1990
Nanaimo Clippers Nanaimo, British Columbia Frank Crane Arena 1972
Powell River Kings Powell River, British Columbia Hap Parker Arena 1988
Surrey Eagles Surrey, British Columbia South Surrey Arena 1976
Victoria Grizzlies Victoria, British Columbia The Q Centre 1967

Standings[edit | edit source]

Due to restrictions in place, the teams were placed into smaller pods which made up the only teams they played for the season.

Port Alberini Pod[edit | edit source]

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts %
Victoria Grizzlies 20 14 6 0 0 93 55 28 .700
Alberni Valley Bulldogs 20 11 5 3 1 82 64 26 .650
Nanaimo Clippers 20 8 11 0 1 59 82 17 .425
Cowichan Valley Capitals 20 7 11 2 0 44 77 16 .400

Coquitlam Pod[edit | edit source]

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts %
Surrey Eagles 20 17 2 1 0 102 44 35 .875
Powell River Kings 20 7 11 1 1 65 94 16 .400
Coquitlam Express 20 6 11 3 0 64 93 15 .375

Vernon Pod[edit | edit source]

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts %
Vernon Vipers 20 13 5 1 1 69 55 28 .700
Salmon Arm Silverbacks 20 9 7 2 2 73 73 22 .550
West Kelowna Warriors 20 8 10 1 1 58 72 18 .450

Penticton Pod[edit | edit source]

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts %
Penticton Vees 20 18 1 0 1 90 23 37 .925
Trail Smoke Eaters 20 9 11 0 0 47 72 18 .450
Cranbrook Bucks 20 3 16 0 1 39 81 7 .175

Chilliwack Pod[edit | edit source]

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts %
Prince George Spruce Kings 20 14 5 0 1 74 37 29 .725
Chilliwack Chiefs 20 13 7 0 0 66 57 26 .650
Merritt Centennials 20 3 17 0 0 45 91 6 .150

Fred Page Cup Playoffs[edit | edit source]

Format[edit | edit source]

With the slight realignment of the conferences for the 2020-21 season the playoff format was modified. Sixteen of the seventeen teams will qualify for the playoffs.The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs with the traditional 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5 match-ups. Teams are re-seeded after the first round. A 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 format is used in the conference semifinals. Conference semifinal winners meet in the conference final and the conference winners meet in the Fred Page Cup final. All series are best-of-seven. Traditionally, the Fred Page Cup winners advance to the Doyle Cup against the champion of the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs for a spot in the Centennial Cup, however the 2021 Centennial Cup was cancelled by Hockey Canada on February 5th.[5] No official word if the Doyle Cup will still be contested due to the cancellation of the national championship.

The league playoffs would be cancelled by the league on April 27th.

The Page Cup champion advances to the 2021 Doyle Cup against the champion of the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the winner of that best-of-seven series advancing to the 2021 Centennial Cup.

References[edit | edit source]

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