There has been something of a scoring renaissance in the BCHL the last two years.
Coming into last season, there had not been a 50-goal scorer in the BCHL since Mitch MacMillan of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in 2009-10. But Corey Mackin reached 50 last year with the Coquitlam Express and this year, Nanaimo’s Sheldon Rempal and Penticton’s Scott Conway have both reached the magical mark, giving the league multiple half-century scorers for the first time since 2007-08. (Vernon’s Hunter Bishop and Burnaby’s Brodie Reid had 57 and 52 that year respectively).
As chance would have it – just one night after Conway reached 50 – Rempal and Conway go head to head Friday at Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo.
It’s a rematch of last year’s Fred Page Cup BCHL Finals, where the Vees came back from 2-0 down in the series to win it in six games. Friday’s matchup could be another look at a future postseason battle as they are the top-two clubs in the BCHL. Penticton has 85 points, good enough to lock up not only a playoff spot but assure them first in the Interior Division. Nanaimo is the only Island team to secure a postseason berth.
Penticton is coming off a wild 7-5 comeback win Thursday night in Victoria where they trailed 5-1 at one point. Nanaimo is 7-2-1 in their last 10 and have an 11-point lead over Powell River in the Island Division.
And each armed with a 50-goal man, it’s not surprising to learn these are the two highest-scoring teams in the league.
Both Rempal and Conway are in their finals seasons of Junior hockey. Rempal is in his third BCHL season with Nanaimo and has shattered his previous high of 29 goals. Conway is back in the Junior ranks after a season at Penn State where he was productive as a freshman with the Nittany Lions. Rempal will head to NCAA Clarkson University next year while Conway has earned an opportunity with the defending champs, Providence College.