The Vancouver North East Chiefs are moving to Coquitlam this season.
The B.C. Major Midget League team has called Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows home since the inception of the high-performance league in 2004, but this year will be playing their home games at Planet Ice in Coquitlam.
Coach Doneau Menard said the move made sense given the team already practices in Coquitlam and the majority of the team’s players hail from the Tri-Cities.
“As a coach, it’s easier to play in the same rink where we practice,” Menard said. The move is also convenient for the majority of players on the team.
“For whatever reason, we’re not getting many kids from Maple Ridge,” he said. “We’ll see how it works, but I think this will work out better for our team.”
Last season, the Maple Ridge-based team had only three players from Maple Ridge on its 20-player roster.
Menard thanked the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association for being accommodating with ice time, and said the move would free up more ice for local teams.
The Chiefs finished in sixth place in the 11-team provincial league, ending up with a 16-17-7 record in regular season play.
The BCMML was established in 2004 to provide elite level 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds an opportunity to play within their own age group at a high level and be developed for the next level of hockey. Teams in the league have an opportunity each year to compete for the National Midget Championship.
The North East Chiefs catchment zone covers Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
For more information about the BCMML, visit www.bchockey.net/mml/