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First Half Review

RICHMOND WARHAWKS

Current Record: 6-1-0, 38 GF, 20 GA, +18

Select Stat: The Warhawks have been shorthanded 19 times this season, the most of any team in the league.

Bronson Cooper

Amrit Shergill
First Half Summary: The Warhawks are a team that has been steadily building since their league debut in 2009. They often field a higher caliber team during the Spring and this year the trend has continued. At the midway point the team finds itself with a 6-1 record, and a promotion to the "A" division that came as a surprise to many on the club, but none that have watched the team play this season from the outside. Long time Wolverines standout Amrit Shergill has signed on for his third tour of duty with the Warhawks, and is off to a great start with 5 goals and 10 points in just 4 games. Bronson Cooper has also returned after bouncing back and forth between the Hawks and Bullies. He currently leads the team with 13 points and has been playing set-up man with 11 assists. Sunny Basi continues to be the big goal scoring threat for the club with 6 goals in 7 games, but he is getting some good support this year from Ami Gill and Sean Grewal who each have netted 6 tallies as well. Gone are the days when the Warhawks relied on a single line. Last year's impressive rookie duo of Marquez Ng and Mick Lui are also back in the fold and producing well. The defense is solid and features a couple of Ghostriders cast offs, Sat Ahluwalia and Bhal Randhawa, that are proving their release was a mistake. They have combined well with the team's other mainstays on the back end, Kevin Booth, Nick McNicol, Deepak Takhar, and Cyril Duncan to give the club a talented, ball moving collection of defenders. Booth leads the club's defensemen with 7 points through the first half of the season. Perhaps the most interesting change the team made happened late last season when they made the move from their long time goaltending incumbent, Cliff Stayner, to Shane Ram. Shane has been as good as advertised, posting a 5-1 record this year with an impressive GAA of 2.83. His .873 Save percentage also ranks him among this season's leaders. Though the Warhawks are solidly built up and down the lineup, they still lack the star power of the Ghostriders or Barons, and in the playoffs they'll need Shane to continue coming up big.
Season High Point: A 1-0 defeat of the powerful Ghostriders in which Shane Ram was absolutely unbeatable.

Season Low Point: A 6-3 loss to a short-benched (but talent stacked) Stingrays lineup, for the Warhawks only loss.

VANCITY GHOSTRIDERS

Current Record: 5-1-0, 38 GF, 17 GA, +21

Select Stat: The Ghostriders are 10 for 10 on the penalty kill and also have a shorthanded goal to sit at a +1 while down a man.

Rick Baker

Dave Fisher
First Half Summary: The Ghostriders have loaded up on the talent as they are taking a serious run at an "A" Division title this year. Much of their usual lineup has been turned over and some hired guns have been brought in, but this brings up an interesting dilemma, as the team must now cobble together a lineup with a bunch of part time players. This method has brought the team dangerously close to forfeiting a game or two this season. Having said that, there is little question that this is the most talented roster in the Ndub this season. The Riders brought in elite goaltender Rick Baker as the number one this year and he hasn't failed to deliver, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.60 GAA (3rd in the league) and a .901 Save %, which is the second highest number in the league. Up front the big names begin with the one and only Dave Fisher. He is having yet another incredible season, leading all players in scoring with numbers of 5-6-14-20. The 14 assists is also tops in the league. Steve Mulholland has also been brought in and he too has been productive with 10 points in 3 games. Blake Creamer has returned to the Ghostriders fold after stints with a few other teams including his own Bullies squad. He posted some of his best numbers with the Riders in the early part of his career and is off to his best start to a season with 9 points through 4 games played. Blake has also brought a host of former Bullies along with him (Ricky Janda, Larry Mey, Matt Lisson, Brad Crawford, Will Arthurs), but most have just played a game or two and are part-time additions. The biggest addition on the blueline is Jay Dove. He collected a big milestone earlier with his 700th point, before later adding to his growing suspension total. The team is now without his booming shot for the middle third of the season, and will have to find offense from a different source for a while. That hasn't been a problem so far as this team is loaded with dangerous offensive players. Some of the core of the team from previous seasons that we've yet to mention include Jonathan Yueh, Brodie Jackson, and the ever dangerous Waseem Khalil. Waseem is second on the club with numbers of 6-6-6-12.
Season High Point: The Riders easily win a clash of the "A" div titans in a big statement game, downing the Barons 5-2.

Season Low Point: With a shiny new and fully stacked roster to begin the season, the Ghostriders get shutout by the Warhawks to ruin their big debut.

LANGLEY BARONS

Current Record: 5-1-0, 39 GF, 23 GA, +16

Select Stat: Craig Houle has more assists this season (12), than any other Barons player has points.

Craig Houle

Roy Cabrita
First Half Summary: After a brutally tough 2012/13 season, the Barons took a short hiatus and returned for a successful "B" div campaign in 2013/14. With a couple more pieces added, including the return of long time Barons star Craig Houle, the team once again finds itself as a legitimate "A" div contender. The team won its first five games of the season before hitting a brick wall in the form of the Ghostriders in their most recent outing. An interesting showdown awaits them next with their first meeting with the Warhawks. As mentioned earlier, Houle has been the go-to player for the Barons during the first half, as he leads the team in scoring with 13 points in 6 games. All but one of those are assists, but he made the most of his goal with it being an OT winner! A late addition to the lineup, Graeme Spence has been on fire with an impressive stat line of 3-3-8-11. He is a veteran center that can do it at both ends of the floor. The same can be said for Steve Bourne, who is part of the successful pipeline between the Barons and the Outlaws that has benefited both teams in their respective leagues. Steve has also collected 3 goals and 11 points to sit tied in team scoring with Spence. Reports out of the Barons camp have reigning "B" MVP, Rod Wardell, on the shelf with injury for an undisclosed amount of time. He remains their key goal scoring threat and had already counted 7 goals in his first 3 games. Though the season is short, the Barons will certainly hope he is good to go by the playoffs. One of the biggest surprise acquisitions of the year has to be Roy Cabrita. The long time Barons rival was looking for a change this season and seems to be enjoying his time in a new uniform. The goalies have been coming up big against him so far, but he is one of the league's best pure snipers and will be raking in goals sooner rather than later. The team pulled out all the stops last week also adding former Ravens star (and another in the Outlaws group) Brian Brum as well as one of the league's deadliest scorers, Zach Kelm. On defense the club has a host of experienced defenders in Ed Silva, Dave Penland, Mike Grandia, and Spinder Gosal, as well as the aforementioned Craig Houle. Ryan Bell is also making a significant contribution to the club in his sophomore season, and has collected 4 goals in 6 games. The goaltending is in capable hands with Eddy Bordignon, but it is also worth noting that Dean Saslnek has got in a start to qualify for the postseason under this season's more relaxed playoff qualification rules.
Season High Point: The Barons score late to tie and then beat the Rage in overtime, with both goals coming shorthanded.

Season Low Point: The team's five game win streak to start the year comes to a crashing halt at the hands of the Ghostriders.

NORTH VAN MERCENARIES

Current Record: 4-3-0, 39 GF, 26 GA, +13

Select Stat: The Mercenaries have had 24 powerplay opportunities. The rest of the teams are only averaging 9 for the year.

Myles Scott

Karson Levack
First Half Summary: In their first year of NWBHL competition, the Mercenaries have been making a name for themselves. They have lost to the "A" teams but beaten all of the "B" teams on their way to a 4-3 record so far. Though this is a young team, with a roster largely composed of players born in the early 90's, there are some league veterans on the club. Dan Ko is the most veteran player on the squad with almost 400 games of Ndub experience to his credit. Myles Scott and Jamil Jeraj also have some significant experience, and the team recently picked up Jim White for some added offense from the back end. As for the young guns, Karson Levack has been the team's most consistent producer through the first half. He has soft hands and currently leads the Mercenaries with 6 goals and 13 points. Just behind him is the lanky Kevin Geddart with a stat line of 5-7-12. Team manager Myles Scott also has been a solid contributor with 12 points. There are a couple of players that have shown up as late additions to the squad, but they have been absolutely dominant in the couple of games they've played. Luke Tully is a diminutive, shifty set-up man and Silvan Harper is an elite talent, power forward, whose play bears a striking resemblance to that of Gugan Gill (only at forward). The two have lit it up, with Luke registering 9 and Silvan 8 points in their pair of games. Silvan was named the first star in both games that he played. Jamil Jeraj has been impressive on the blueline for the team with 6 points in 4 games. In goal, the team started out with Ron Campbell, but has now given the starting job to another league vet, Bill Lundholm. He is off to a terrific start for the Mercenaries, with a Goals Against of 2.51 which is good for second best in the entire league, and an .879 Save Percentage, which has him sitting third. After a somewhat slow start to the season, partially due to a tough schedule, the Mercenaries are really coming together and showing some confidence, beating the other teams in the "B" div by some fairly lopsided scores. This is undoubtedly a division favourite!
Season High Point: The team showed up with its first full lineup in a game vs the Stingrays that turned into an 8-2 win. They haven't looked back since.

Season Low Point: The team received its first Ndub spanking in an 11-4 loss at the hands of the Barons.

BURNABY RAGE

Current Record: 3-3-0, 32 GF, 22 GA, +10

Select Stat: This year the Rage have both given up a 3 goal lead to lose a game, and overcome a 3 goal deficit to win a game.

Floyd Jewell

Mitch Miller
First Half Summary: After looking impressive in their first game of the season, a 6-0 win over the Chiefs, the Rage hid a scheduling speedbump, facing the Barons, Warhawks, and Ghostriders in consecutive games. Though the Rage played well in each of those contests, the team would lose them all. The team has since rebounded nicely with a pair of solid wins now that they are back to facing their division rivals for a decent stretch. Rookie Paul Heer (not to be confused with the former Sharks and Warhawks player of the same name), has been lighting it up. He leads the club with 14 points in 6 games, including a Rage best 10 assists. He has found some nice chemistry with linemate Gary Dhillon who is also managing a two point-per-game pace. Tied with him at 10 points is Floyd Jewell. Floyd has found his scoring touch once again and currently has a team best 7 goals. The team has made some smart pick-ups this season, including last year's "B" MVP Amolak Gill. Amolak is one of a number of big bodied power forwards at this team's disposal. The other big coup the team made in the offseason was the signing of the talented and extremely hard shooting Mitch Miller. He provides an offensive dimension to the back end that the team hasn't had since the days of Jeff Massullo. The Rage also have Dave Snyder to help quarterback the powerplay. The other dmen on the team (Bob Haddon, Jeff Lim, Terry Wong, Phil Tocco) are known more for their defense first mentality, which have helped the Rage give up the fewest goals in the "B" div. Of course, a lot of that credit needs to also go to the great goaltending tandem the team has employed this year. Cliff Stayner and Andy Vandenberg have split the games this season and both performed well. Andy's numbers aren't quite as impressive, but two of his three starts have come against "A" div competition. Cliff has rebounded beautifully after his release from the Warhawks last year, and currently leads all NWBHL goaltenders with a sparkling 2.00 GAA and .909 Save Percentage. With solid defense, great goaltending and good scoring depth, this is another smart pick for a league title.
Season High Point: The Rage rally from a three goal deficit to beat the Stingrays in a key standings game.

Season Low Point: The Rage play one of their most solid games in a while, yet give up a pair of late shorties to lose in OT to the Barons.

SOUTH FRASER STINGRAYS

Current Record: 2-4-0, 27 GF, 37 GA, -10

Select Stat: The Stingrays have used 29 different players so far this season, more than any other team.

Andy Hundhal

Harjot Bratch
First Half Summary: It's been an odd first half for the Stingrays. Originally missing the league's entry deadline, the Rays got in as part of a merger with the Brighouse Knights when their own entry bid fell apart. A week later the merger was dead when the Knights players threw in the towel, leaving the Stingrays behind the eight ball. A player signing spree ensued as well as a change of team management, with Bob Dhaliwal taking over the GM duties from Sukh Sandhu. At different times this team has dealt with too few players, too many players, and too high caliber of players for the div (the latter issue leading to the ouster of Zach Kelm, who has now caught on with the Barons). The team continues to diligently work on things to try and bring some stability back to the franchise. Through all the problems, the team has performed fairly well, with a couple of wins and a couple of tight losses that perhaps should have been wins. Andy Hundhal has been granted "B" access this season and has also seen heavy minutes with the team being short staffed often. It's been a good combination for him as he second in overall scoring behind only Dave Fisher, but tops in the "B" div. His numbers are an impressive 4-5-10-15. He is an easy MVP favourite, and there is quite the drop-off with the next highest scorer on the team registering only 5 points. That player is the Rays' other top tier talent, Kevin Flather. He has 5 goals in just 2 games, playing as a defenseman, no less. He has an amazing shot and can rush the ball up the floor with people hanging off him. His very part-time status over the last few seasons has kept him under the radar, but the more he plays, the more focus he will draw. Sandeep Khabra has been an important part of the team this year. He has 3 goals and a pair assists in five games, and has been one of the few players that always shows up for the team when the lineup is uncertain. Sukh Sandhu has continued his solid play from last season, keeping up the point-per-game pace. Harjot Bratch, owner of the league's best hair, has also been a solid acquisition for the team, anchoring their defense. Beyond that, it's a mix and match lineup most nights with several different players rolling through the system. The goaltending has been fairly solid, with both Bob Dhaliwal and Lakhbir Gill seeing time between the pipes. Their overall numbers may be on the low end, but they face a lot of shots and most nights they've given the team a chance to win. 
Season High Point: A big 6-3 upset of a strong Warhawks team after the Stingrays narrowly avoided the forfeit.

Season Low Point: The team blew back-to-back leads in a single weekend, first against the Barons and then the Rage.

FRASER VALLEY CHIEFS

Current Record: 1-6-0, 21 GF, 39 GA, -18

Select Stat: Chase Butler has more than double the points of the next highest scorer on the Chiefs. 

Chase Butler

Pasquale Sbrocchi
First Half Summary: Though the Chiefs have only won one of their first seven games in the Northwest League, they've still managed to look better than most of the pundits were expecting at the start of the season. They have managed to play a bunch of good teams tightly, falling to the Barons, Stingrays and Mercenaries, by two or less goals, earlier in the year. Their last two outings have seen the team have a bit of an offensive drop-off, losing 7-2 and 7-1 to a pair of good teams. The Chiefs did manage to beat the Spartans for their win and looked impressive doing it, with an emphatic 6-2 victory. Like their expansion cousins, the Mercenaries, this is a very young team, but where the Mercs had some previous league experience, this is the first competitive venture for many Chiefs players. The only players on the club with any previous Ndub experience are Chase Butler and Brad Joseph, who played predominantly with the Vancouver Cougars team prior to it becoming the Pacific Jaguars. Chase has had a tremendous first half of the season, with numbers of 6-6-8-14. That total has him among the league leaders, but with the next highest scorer on the team at a mere 6 points, it really drives home just how valuable Chase has been to the team this season. Brad has been somewhat inconsistent this year, notching a hat-trick in one of the games to pick up a first star, but not standing out in his other games this year. The team does have a promising scorer in Johnny Podolski, but some scheduling conflicts have limited him to just 3 games played. Derek Bjornson has been a solid contributor this season with 6 points in 7 games. Jason Makowski has also managed a point-a-game clip so far. The Chiefs have a capable goaltender in the form of Pasquale Sbrocchi. Like all new goaltenders to the Arenex, it may take some time to get used to the angles, as well as the fact that shots can come from anywhere in that building. This Chiefs team will find its way, but it takes time to make a winner out of a brand new group of inexperienced players.
Season High Point: The team's first victory in franchise history, a 6-2 win over the Spartans, was an easy choice for the high point.

Season Low Point: A 7-1 trouncing at the hands of the Mercenaries last game was a tough dose of reality. 

SURREY SPARTANS

Current Record: 0-7-0, 16 GF, 66 GA, -50

Select Stat: The Spartans are averaging 9.43 goals against. That's more than 3 goals per game more than the next closest team.

John Kump

Jason Atwal
First Half Summary: It's been a challenging first half for the Spartans this year, to say the least. The team isn't actually that far removed from a championship, as it was just the Spring 2013 season that saw them win the big prize, but almost all of the signings that put that team over the top have moved on to other teams. The team has yet to find the win column this year but it should also be noted that 4 of their 7 contests so far have been against the Barons, Ghostriders, and Warhawks. The Spartans will have a more relaxed second half schedule, and thanks to the format this year, will only have to beat out one team in the standings to make the playoffs. Needless to say, the June 1st game against the Chiefs is an absolute must win. John Kump has been one of the few bright spots for the team this season. He has scored 5 goals and added a pair of helpers in 4 games played. He has a fantastic wrist/snap shot that is hard and accurate. Big Paul Bennett has been the other regular goal scorer for the Spartans, finding the back of the net four times. Dennis Lewendon has been better than a point-per-game, but hasn't been in the lineup often enough. The team has some young additions to an otherwise aging core, in Robert Jacklin, Cory Klompenhauer, Jeff Ramsden, and Mitch L'Heureux. This group that started with the Spartans last season has some good wheels and work ethic, but are a bit suspect in their coverage and tend to get running around. The ageless Joe Campagna debuted in the team's last game and picked up three assists. His positive attitude will be a big help and that kind of production is a surprising bonus. The goaltending has been a bit of a carousel in the first half of the year, with four different netminders getting a start so far. The team's number one, Jason Atwal has been battling injuries the last few seasons and continues to be hampered by it. Sean Kobierski, Corey Albino, and Jason Atwal have also seen games, with the latter two both coming off lengthy inactive streaks to do so. None of the goalies have pretty numbers, but they've been facing quality scoring chances with far too much frequency.
Season High Point: Dale Sinclair's 100th career point? Being in a 1 goal game at the half a couple of times? Not many high points as of yet.

Season Low Point: There are a few to chose from, but the 10-0 mercy at the hands of the Mercenaries was a pretty low moment.







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