Powell River Kings have been adding to their roster of late, and now the team knows when its next game will be. The 2022/2023 regular season schedule was released by the BC Hockey League (BCHL) on June 8.
Kings will open the new campaign against reigning Coastal Conference champions Nanaimo Clippers at Hap Parker Arena on September 23 and 24. The two teams will meet again in Nanaimo on September 30.
No longer part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, the BCHL has been able to reduce the number of weekday games around the league, resulting in more weekend home games for all teams. Kings will play 25 of their home 26 games on Fridays and Saturdays.
“This is the best home schedule we’ve ever had,” stated Kings’ general manager Chad Van Diemen in a media release. “When you don’t have to build backwards from the Centennial Cup, we can spread out the regular season; this is one of the positives of that. Financially it’s a huge bonus for our team and the league as a whole to be able to play Fridays and Saturdays and maximize ticket sales.”
Next season will also see the return of cross-conference games after highway closures forced the league to cancel all games between Coastal and Interior conference teams.
Visiting teams from the interior next season include defending Fred Page Cup champions Penticton Vees (November 26), Merritt Centennials (December 2), Wenatchee Wild (January 6) and Vernon Vipers (February 17).
Kings will make their first-ever trip to Cranbrook to take on the Bucks (October 21), then visit Trail Smoke Eaters on October 22. They will also have stops in Salmon Arm (November 11), and Prince George (February 24).
52 of the 54 games have set dates with two games at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack still to be announced. Dates and opponents will be revealed later this month.
Highlighted dates: December 10, Kings vs Surrey, final home game of 2022; December 17, Kings at Victoria, last game before Christmas break; December 30, Kings at Victoria, first game after Christmas break; December 31, Kings at Alberni Valley, New Year’s Eve showdown; January 6, Kings vs Wenatchee, first game of 2023; March 18, Kings vs Cowichan, final regular season home game; March 26, Kings at Coquitlam, final game of regular season.