The Backyard Hockey League, Auckland’s premiere beer league, is back for season 5.
Since all the rosters got a major reset for the 2017-18 season, Puck Yeah invited BHL President Cam Green to provide our readers with the lowdown on all the squads for ‘The Show: Season V’.
First up in this six-part series, Les Phoques. Yes – that’s how you pronounce it. The SFW team name is ‘The Seals’.
The Seals are filled with plenty of depth on the backend with several players capable of playing up front or on the point. Veteran leadership is also very apparent in Les Phoques’ lineup this season with several players possessing plenty of experiences at all levels of hockey here in New Zealand and overseas.
If skipper Aaron Somerville can get his troops working together, the Seals will make some noise again in March after coming up short in 2017.
Aaron Somerville – Chris Van Poppel – Rob Moon
Braedyn Durbin* – Scott Henry – Damien Peters
Ryan Chadwick – Matt Harvey – Stephen Pause*
AJ Spiller – Jono Pol
Matty Roxborough – Glen Terlesk
Alex Bouwman – Leon Tabb
Alex Bouwman, Leon Tabb
The Frontyard Hockey League is the official farm system for the BHL. Les Phoques’ affiliate is Les Coqs (yup, you’re right again with the pronunciation). View their roster here.
Note: Players marked with an asterisk are BHL rookies and can be sent down to the FHL without having to clear waivers.
After building a roster over the previous four seasons that finally saw the Seals reach the final, they are now face with the league wide reset of the rosters and have to rebuild. Can they repeat the feat?
ONE TO WATCH: AJ Spiller (Canada)
The 5th overall pick in this year’s draft. Great hockey IQ and an even better guy. Responsible, deceptive speed, can play in any situation and blessed with soft hands. Arguably the top defender in 2017 NZIHL season, he helped in leading the West Auckland Admirals to their first Birgel Cup Finals appearance since 2010.
ON THE FARM:
Les Coqs were 11-1 in 2017 but fell a goal short of the perfect season by losing to The Sauce (Top Cheese’s FHL affiliate) in the longest game in BHL history. With several returning players and Gaston Bruneau backstopping the club, the Roosters look poised to reach the final in consecutive seasons.