The BCHL has confirmed the five cities that will host pods when the league’s shortened season begins in April.
Word got out earlier this week that Coquitlam will be the host of a three-team pod, joined by the Powell River Kings and Surrey Eagles. But games won’t be played at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, the usual home of the Express. Rather, games will be played at the Scotia Barn in Burnaby.
Chilliwack will host the Merritt Centennials and Prince George Spruce Kings in another pod.
The bulk of the Island division (minus Powell River) will settle down at the Weyerhauser Arena in Port Alberni, with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hosting the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers and Victoria Grizzlies in the BCHL’s only four-team pod.
The Interior has been split into two pods.
Penticton will host the Trail Smoke Eaters and the expansion Cranbrook Bucks at the South Okanagan Events Centre while the Vernon Vipers host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and West Kelowna Warriors at Kal Tire Place.
Two teams are absent. Unable to cross the border, the United States based Wenatchee Wild pulled out in late November.
The Langley Rivermen have also opted out, and several of that team’s players have been loaned to other squads in the BCHL.