The three stars of the opening week of the BC Hockey League season were clearly tinged with Harbor City.

Nanaimo Clippers goaltender Cooper Black, a true presence in the enclosure at six-foot-eight, 217 pounds, was named the BCHL first star for his two wins, a 1.50 goals-against average and a percentage of stops of, 958. The 20-year-old Alpena, Michigan native played for the NAHL junior Odessa Jackalopes last season and will move to the Ivy League in the NCAA division next season. 1 in Dartmouth.

“He’s a tough goalie with a high level of competition. His handling of the game and his overall understanding of the game are very noticeable, ”Clippers general manager and head coach Darren Naylor said in a statement.

Cooper replaces former Clippers goaltender Jordan Naylor, the coach’s son, who graduated as a junior after last season.

Meanwhile, the Nanaimo-bred Victoria Grizzlies forward showed why he’s touted for the top end of the 2023 NHL Draft by being named the second BCHL Star of the Opening Week for his opening week. three goals, two assists and five points in two. Games. Ryan Tattle of the Coquitlam Express was third star with one goal and six points in two games.

“Our team played well and I was able to complete a few chances and get off to a good start,” said Wood, who is engaged in the NCAA Division. 1 UConn.

It doesn’t appear that the six-foot-four forward has missed a beat since scoring five goals and adding eight assists for 13 points in 18 games when he was 16 for the Grizzlies in the BCHL 2021 bubble season shortened to pandemic. .

“Hopefully I can continue with the start I had until the end of the season,” said Wood, who was selected 41st overall in the second round of the 2020 WHL U-15 Draft by the Regina Pats, but who chose the BCHL / NCAA Course.

“It was definitely a challenge to go from midget to junior. But I worked to get bigger and faster and stronger over the summer and play at a higher pace. I’m aware of going back to the back check, because you don’t do that much in summer hockey. In the offensive zone, it’s about winning chances, especially when the games get tighter.

The Grizzlies (2-0) open a five-game road swing tonight at the Cowichan Community Center in Duncan against the Cowichan Valley Capitals (0-2). This will be followed by another Island Division game Friday night against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (1-1) at Weyerhaeuser Arena in Port Alberni and a return visit to Duncan to face the Capitals on Saturday night.

The Grizzlies will then take part in the BCHL Showcase at Chilliwack Coliseum, a one-stop-shop tournament for NHL and NCAA scouts, with games against the Prince George Spruce Kings on October 21 and the West Kelowna Warriors on October 22.

The Grizzlies are back for just one home game on October 28 against the Vernon Vipers at the Q Center before embarking on another road trip through Salmon Arm and Merritt on October 30 and 31.

Oddly enough, given the busy schedule of the Grizzlies’ first trips and the fact that the Clippers are an Island Division opponent, Victoria isn’t in Nanaimo (2-0) until Jan. 12. Wood will therefore have to wait a while for the return to the city in which he grew up playing.

“It’s going to be special and I can’t wait to be there,” said Wood, as the Grizzlies prepared for practice Tuesday for their more immediate stretch of road games.

“But it will only be another game at the end of the day.”


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