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An Island Perspective with Dan Marshall


At the end of September the separation has already begun in the Island Division. The Victoria Grizzlies are proving to be the class of the division and their record after one month was seven and two. That includes a 5-1 record versus division opponents with only loss being to second place Nanaimo.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs were 1-4-0-2 in the opening month of the season and it took until the last game to get that elusive victory. Against divisional opponents the Bulldogs record was 0-3-0-1. Alberni had a tough time in two four goal losses to Victoria and Nanaimo but other than that they were involved in five one goal games.

Nanaimo is in the unfamiliar position of having to look up at a rival in the standings. The reason is the head-to-head games against the Grizzlies. Victoria is 2-1 against the Clippers and the early signs point to that season series deciding the division. They don’t play again until the middle of November when they clash four times in a row. The math is easy: that’s a possible eight point swing.

I wrote in this very blog that the Cowichan Valley Capitals would be one of three teams competing for a division title this year. They still may do that but it’s been a surprisingly slow start in Duncan. A three and four September is not a disaster but the team had five of seven games at home and only managed a two and three record. The Caps will have to tighten up defensively in October as they have given up seven goals and eight goals in two of their early season home games.

In October every team in the division has a stretch of four in a row on the road except Nanaimo. Victoria has the toughest trip though as they will play four in four in the Interior. One of the quirks in the Clippers schedule is a three game series with the Burnaby Express that comes to an end on Thanksgiving Sunday.

It’s hard to believe but over the next two weeks most teams in the BCHL will hit the quarter pole – and fall is only just beginning.

Dan Marshall, the radio voice of the Nanaimo Clippers, will be blogging the BCHL's Island Division during the 2008/09 season. Check back often for Dan's insights and the latest news from Vancouver Island.