LEAGUE NEWS

VIJHL Announces New President

The VIJHL has named our new league President, Mark MacDonald!

“’I am very excited for the opportunity to serve as President of the VIJHL as the league
enters exciting new horizons as an independent league linking closer to the BCHL,’
MacDonald says. ‘We want to build even stronger franchises that enable young men to
experience great personal growth and bright opportunities for the future, including
scholarships.’”

We are excited too, Mark! What an exciting time in our league!

Read the full article HERE

VIJHL Announces Decision To Become Independent League

After a board vote by the 11 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) franchises, the league has announced that it will become an independent league starting 2024-25 and will no longer be affiliated with Hockey Canada or BC Hockey.

This decision was made to enhance the development opportunities for VIJHL players and their families and to give the league greater autonomy over its future path.

“The VIJHL is pleased to announce our move to become an independent league starting next season and to operate outside of Hockey Canada’s umbrella going forward,” said VIJHL President Simon Morgan. “After months of hard work behind the scenes by the ownership group of our 11 franchises, this decision to move the VIJHL into a new space in junior hockey will allow players more opportunities for development going forward.”

The benefits of this move for the VIJHL include, greater development opportunities for players through affiliation agreements with higher levels of hockey, the ability to make decisions that are in the best interest of the VIJHL, an increased player pool that will raise the level of play in the league and much more.

“We would also like to thank our former league partners in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) and the Kootenay Interior Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) for their years of partnership and we wish them nothing but the best going forward,” said Morgan.

For more information about the VIJHL’s decision to become an independent league, please visit our Information Hub.

VIJHL ANNOUNCES DECISION TO BECOME INDEPENDENT LEAGUE

 

VIJHL Information Hub VIJHL Press Release

VIJHL Information Hub



VIJHL Board of Governors Update for 2022-2023 Season

Via – VIJHL Website

The VIJHL Board of Governors have completed their Annual General Meetings and there are some exciting changes coming in 22-23 for VIJHL fans.

Most notable for the fans is the adoption of a new schedule format that will see the schedule reduced to 48 games.

Non-Divisional opponents will face each other four times next season, up from two in 21-22. Each non-divisional opponent will play two home and two road games against each other next season. The balance of the 48 games will be played inside the divisions.

“Divisional games are always exciting, but this move allows a little more diversity in the schedule. Fans always love seeing the out-division teams pay a visit to their local rink and this will limit the need for a team to see the same divisional opponent for 9 or 10 games in a season” said VIJHL President Simon Morgan.

The decision to drop to 48 games will provide VIJHL players with a little more rest in-season and allow clubs to have more prime night home games.

The league also announced they would begin the search for a head of player safety and discipline. The paid position will be in charge of reviewing all major penalties and determining what supplemental discipline, if any is required. “Player safety is always one of the most talked about issues at our governor meetings and we feel having a dedicated person in-charge of supplemental discipline will be a great step forward for our league and our players.” Said Morgan.

With a new head of discipline being added, the move also allows the Board’s Steering Committee to return to its original purpose of helping grow the VIJHL with a renewed focus on the business of the league including growing sponsorships and helping clubs have more of an impact in their local markets. The 2022-2023 VIJHL Steering Committee is comprised of Linda Lahtinen of the Campbell River Storm, David Michaud of the Port Alberni Bombers, and Laura Peltier of the Saanich Predators.

While the schedule changes will be the most noticeable change the players and fans will see, Morgan added that the league continues to make tweaks to enhance the overall product for players and fans. “Most of the work done by the board behind the scenes will go unnoticed by fans, however it’s crucial to keep moving our league forward. We have a tremendous group of owners and governors who take great pride in the VIJHL and what we bring to Vancouver Island in terms of opportunities for players and community involvement.

The 2022-2023 VIJHL season is set to get started in early September with a schedule announcement coming a little later in the summer.

In the meantime, fans are encouraged to sit back, relax, and have a great summer, but before you do all of that, make sure you’re picking up a season ticket for your local VIJHL team.

 

 

Kraken Make Their VIJHL Debut

For the first time in over 9 years the Victoria Cougars faced off against a team for the first time. On September 13th, 2012 the Cougars played the Nanaimo Buccaneers for the first time. In that game current Head Coach Brody Coulter and Assistant Coach Jake Stolz were on the ice for the Cougars in a 3-2 win.

In this contest the expansion franchise Lake Cowichan Kraken took the ice for the first time. The Kraken were one of two new teams to join the VIJHL this season, the other being the Port Alberni Bombers. The Kraken were supposed to make their debut on Wednesday of last week but were forced to postpone their first three games due to a possible COVID exposure and out of an abundance of caution.

This game was a closely matched contest. The Kraken have not had a proper game or a long time to practice as a team, and they came out flying anyways. In a hard hitting period it was the goalies that stood out. Both Josh Robins and Jonah Chambers traded solid saves to keep the game tight. The Cougars grabbed the lone opening period marker. Ty Brant potted his first of the season.

Victoria took more control of the second period but Lake Cowichan held their own and often throwing the body more often. The Cougars outshot the Kraken 13-5 and netted the lone goal late in the period. Connor DeLay scored his first of the year. The shot totals might look skewed, and the Cougars did hold a majority of the play, but it was not a true reflection of the Kraken play. If shot-attempts were tracked like in soccer the totals would be a lot closer. The Kraken unleashed a dozen or more solid shots that were deflected away from the net. Both teams also traded hard checks throughout the period.

The final period was similar to the first two. Both teams traded great scoring chances that were thwarted by the keepers and both teams threw some huge hits. The Kraken did grab their first goal in franchise history. Unfortunately, due to a design choice on their uniforms the goal was credited to the wrong player. Kellen Brienan ripped a wrist-shot passed Jonah Chambers in the waning seconds of the game. Suhilpreet Deol was credited by the official, but it should be corrected upon review. I think this may be an issue for the Kraken. Their black uniforms have black numbers on a black shirt with a thin green line around the number making reading the numbers very hard.

Next up for the Cougars is Kerry Park on Saturday at 730pm on the road.