Around the BCHL: Merritt forward Mathieu Gosselin is BCHL Player of the Week

Around the BCHL is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Welcome to the September 18, 2018 edition of Around the BCHL, a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Merritt forward Mathieu Gosselin is the BCHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 16.

The second year Centennial is off to a red-hot start, collecting five goals and eight points in three recent games.

Gosselin had a four-point night (two goals, two assists) in a 7-6 win over the Surrey Eagles last Tuesday. He scored once and set up another in a huge 7-5 home-ice win over the defending BCHL champ Wenatchee Wild on Friday and scored twice in a 5-2 win over Salmon Arm on Saturday.

With eight points on the season, Gosselin is tied for the league lead in scoring with the Wenatchee duo of Christophe Fillion and Cristope Tellier. The 19 year old Quebec native is tied with Prince George Forward Ben Brar for the BCHL goal-scoring lead.

It’s a good start for Quebec… ians… in the league. Gosselin. Fillion. Tellier. All from La Belle Province.

Two of Gosselin’s teammates, Bradley Cocca and Brendan Schneider, are on the honourable mentions list for POW. Other honourable mentions are Powell River forwards Ben Berard and Ryan Brushett, Victoria forward Alexander Campbell, Cowichan goalie Jack Grant and Trail netminder Adam Marcoux.

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The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have super-charged their mascot for the 2018-19 season, and created a video to unveil the new look Kong.

Here it is.

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Catching up on recent transactions, the Nanaimo Clippers have acquired a promising new player.

The Clips picked up 2000-born defenceman Trevor Isaksson from the Penticton Vees for future considerations.

New Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Trevor Isaksson, captaining the Valley West Hawks during the 2017-18 season. Garrett James photo

Isaksson spent most of last season with the Valley West Hawks of the BC Major Midget Hockey League, captaining the team and putting up point-per-game stats (36-14-22-36) from the blueline. He was named to the BCMML All-Star team. A big kid at six-foot-two and 194 pounds (eliteprospects.com), Isaksson saw action in five games with the Vees, four in 2017-18 and one to start this season.

Seems like a good pickup for Nanaimo.

How deep must Penticton be to trade away a big bodied point-producing defenceman?

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Meanwhile, the Chilliwack Chiefs have added a piece to their blueline.

Alexander Marrocco made his BCHL debut Friday night, picking up a goal in a 4-2 road win over the Langley Rivermen.

The 18 year old added an assist the following night in a home win over Langley.

Marrocco is the younger brother of PJ Marrocco, a forward from last spring’s RBC Cup champion Chiefs, and Chilliwack head coach Brian Maloney said he’s been tracking the kid for a while. It wasn’t easy getting Marrocco on the roster though.

Maloney had to cut through a mile of red tape to get the Edmonton native to Chilliwack.

“We started scouting Alex right around the same time we started scouting PJ, maybe even a little bit earlier because we thought he would be a good addition to our team this year,” Maloney said. “He’s been in our plans for quite some time, but we had a hiccup getting him here because of some Hockey Canada registry problems.

“It took quite a bit of back and forth to get it done.”

He should be worth the wait.

Marrocco spent the last two seasons as a full-time player for the Knights of Columbus Pats, a midget AAA team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League. He posted six goals, 35 points and 58 penalty minutes in 47 regular season and playoff outings in 2017-18 and played one junior A game with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder.

Standing five-foot-ten and weighing 185 pounds (according to eliteprospects.com), Marrocco has sufficient size to survive in the BCHL.

“He gives us that puck moving defenceman that we need back there,” Maloney said. “He’s really good offensively, getting pucks through to the net, and just like any other young player, we’re working on the defensive side of his game.”

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It didn’t show up on the transaction wire, but the Surrey Eagles have made a change in goal.

Gone is veteran Seth Eisele, released after posting a 4.05 goals-against average and .871 save percentage in two early season outings.

The new guy is Cayden Bailey, who debuted Sunday with 38 saves in a 4-2 road loss at Chilliwack.

“We felt it was important to change direction in net. We didn’t get off to the start we had hoped and wanted to shake things up early,” Eagles general manager Blaine Neufeld told the Peace Arch News Monday. “We are here to win it all this year and there will be more fine-tuning to come. We understand it’s early but we see it as an opportunity to find the right pieces now so we can be playing into May.”

Surrey has started 0-4 and only Merritt has given up more goals than the Eagles (22 to 21).

Here’s Peace Arch News writer Nick Greenizan’s latest look at the team.

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And finally, your highlight of the day from a weekend game between Nanaimo and Powell River.

See if you can track the puck on your first viewing.

Eric Welsh is the sports editor at the Chilliwack Progress and has been covering junior A hockey in B.C. and Alberta since 2003.

Email eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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