A Chilliwack Chiefs road trip to Penticton would normally be a quick three hour trip up the Coquihalla, but the highway is badly damaged and impassable. (BC Transportation)

A Chilliwack Chiefs road trip to Penticton would normally be a quick three hour trip up the Coquihalla, but the highway is badly damaged and impassable. (BC Transportation)

Chilliwack Chiefs benched by flooding

The Chiefs need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to make weekend games in Penticton and Cranbrook

While it’s not yet confirmed by the BCHL, Chilliwack Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney is almost certain his team won’t be playing this weekend.

His Chiefs were due to visit the Penticton Vees and Cranbrook Bucks, but it would take some super creative thinking to get there.

“We thought about maybe flying,” he said. “We thought about going over the border and back up, but there’d be COVID testing there. Originally it was the Coquihalla and No. 3 shut down, but now it’s Abbotsford too. Now we’re completely locked into Chilliwack.”

Three Chiefs are actually stuck on the other side of the Whatcom flooding.

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Assistant coach Brad Rihela is there and Maloney said Abbotsford products Cole Savage and forward Dawson Good got stuck when they went home to check on family.

Maloney recognizes that hockey talk seems trivial with everything that’s going on, and the Chiefs that are still in Chilliwack have been dispatched to help with flood relief efforts wherever they can.

“That’s our primary goal right now is finding ways to get our kids out there,” he said. “Hockey is the least of our concerns right now. Our hearts go out to everyone who is impacted by what’s going on. The Chilliwack Chiefs are thinking of them. There are people scrambling to get food. They’re sleeping in their cars. Hockey’s a game. We enjoy playing it. I enjoy coaching it and putting on shows for our community, but we’re looking at other ways to help our community right now.”

BCHL spokesperson Jesse Adamsson told The Progress that the league will be making an announcement about the Chiefs situation Thursday.

– The Chilliwack Coliseum will be hosting a Food and Donations Drive Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Non-perishable food and cash will be donated to the Salvation Army, and donated items will also be redirected to the Ann Davis Transition Society and Chilliwack Emergency Social Services.

The list of desired items includes:

– Rain gear

– Coats

– Socks

– Toiletries

– Men’s deodorant

– Diapers/pull-ups of varying sizes

– Baby clothes (0-5T)

– Baby food pouches

– Formula

– Playpens/high chairs/cribs

– Personal hygiene items

– Feminine hygiene items


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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