One of the top rivalries in the BCHL is taking a massive hit due to re-alignment.
The Wenatchee Wild are moving out of the Mainland division, where they’ve clashed with the Chilliwack Chiefs. The BCHL’s only U-S based franchise will settle into the Interior conference next season.
Familiarity breeds contempt and Wenatchee and Chilliwack have finished 1-2 in the Mainland division in each of the Wild’s first two years in the league.
In 2015-16, Wenatchee’s first season in the league, the Chiefs were first (38-13-4-3) and the Wild second (34-16-4-4) and the teams met in the division final where Chilliwack bounced Wenatchee in five games.
The Wild steamrolled the league in the 2016-17 regular season, posting a BCHL-best record of 45-9-4-0.
The Chiefs were second in the division at 41-11-6-0 and the teams again met in the division final.
Again, Chilliwack took them out, shocking Wenatchee with a four-game sweep.
The Wild will become the Interior conference’s seventh team along with Penticton, Vernon, West Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Trail and Merritt.
The Mainland division will be reduced to five teams with Chilliwack joined by Prince George (still there, somehow), Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam.
All teams will be in action at the BCHL Showcase, which takes place at Chilliwack’s Prospera Centre Sept. 20-24.