The B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) is re-launching its annual Showcase event, and one of the key changes is the addition of Penticton as a second host city.
The BCHL announced the introduction of the 2019 BCHL Showcase Festival, running from Oct. 2 to 5. The event will begin at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack with games between the Lower Mainland and Island Division teams on Oct. 2 and 3.
Then the event shift venues to the South Okanagan Events Centre (SOEC) in Penticton for games between the league’s Interior teams for NCAA and NHL scouts on Oct. 4 and 5. Penticton will also be the host for a B.C. Hockey Festival, which includes other levels of hockey outside of Junior A, as well as several fan interaction areas.
“Our showcase has grown in stature since its inception in 2012, thanks to the great work done in Chilliwack and we feel the time is right to add another few layers to the proceedings,” said BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb in a release. “From now on, the showcase is going to be a marquee event to signify the beginning of the hockey season in our province.”
The showcase is partnering with BC Hockey, which will work with the league to increase the reach of the event, including the participation of minor hockey programs across the province.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to share in expanding this celebration of amateur hockey in B.C.” said BC Hockey CEO Barry Petrachenko in the release. “October is a perfect timeframe to celebrate our game and to capture the excitement that is generated by the start of a new season.”
As with the previous version of the event, BCHL teams will play two games that count in their standings over the four-day event. The release states that past showcase participants include current NHL players Troy Stecher, Danton Heinen, Dennis Cholowski, Dante Fabbro, Devon Toews and Tyson Jost.
Defending champions Prince George Spruce Kings, from the Mainland Division, will play both of their games in Penticton against Interior conference foes the West Kelowna Warriors and Trail Smoke Eaters. The Penticton Vees will take the ice on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. to battle it out with the Vernon Vipers, and then they face off against the Wenatchee Wild in the closing game of the showcase at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5.
The Vipers are also matched up against the West Kelowna Warriors at 4 p.m. on Oct. 5. The only teams slated to play in both host cities are the Coquitlam Express and Merritt Centennials.
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