Langley Rivermen’s Colin Bernard is the Mainland Division nominee for top defenceman.

Rivermen’s Bernard a nominee for top d-man

Langley’s Colin Bernard has been a steadying presence on Rivermen blue-line

All season, Colin Bernard has been counted on as a veteran presence along the Langley Rivermen blue-line.

“He has been huge for us, especially with a young ‘D’ core,” said Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

“He has been a good guy for them to look up to.”

The Rivermen acquired Bernard’s playing rights from the Chilliwack Chiefs at the start of this BCHL season.

And the move has paid dividends.

Earlier this week (Feb. 21), the 20-year-old from Stamford, CT. was announced as the junior A hockey league’s Mainland Division nominee for top defenceman.

He is up against the Nanaimo Clippers’ Max Crozier (Island Division) and the Wenatchee Wild’s Cooper Zech (Interior Division). The three finalists were selected by voting among the league’s head coaches.

“It is just an honour, obviously there are so many good defencemen not only in this division, but in this league,” Bernard said.

“To have my name considered up there along with some of the top guys in this league, it is just a great honour.”

Bernard was sixth on the team in scoring with three goals and 28 points, but did so in just 39 games. His 0.72 points per game were third on the team and seventh in the league among blue-liners.

“He is a big reason our power play has been clicking,” Henderson said. “And he can be effective in all situations.

“He is a guy that when the game is on the line, you want him on the ice. Those are qualities you look for in a hockey player.”

Bernard followed his father onto the blue-line. His father had been a forward, but his college coach facilitated the switch to defence.

“(My dad) said once he made the switch, it was some of the best hockey he played so he developed me into a defenceman right of the bat and ever since, it has been my home,” Bernard said.

The five-foot-10, 175-pounder — who joins the Sacred Hearts University team in the fall — will continue to be counted upon as a steadying presence with the BCHL playoffs just around the corner.

Only eight members of the team have post-season experience at the junior A level, a first-round loss last season, and only two of the defencemen are back from that team, which lost in six games.

So while his teammates have a combined 45 playoff games, and only a dozen from the blue- line, Bernard suited up in 23 games as Chilliwack went on a lengthy post-season run.

“I know it is something new to a lot of the guys on the team but it is just a whole new ball game, you are going to get the best from the 20 guys on the opposing side for however long the series may be,” he said.

“Having a possible seven games in nine nights, it becomes a mental thing, it is survival of the fittest, whatever you can do to win.

“You are not going to win with just a few guys, it is going to take the effort of 20 guys every single night if you want to see success.”



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLLangley Rivermen

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley Lodge

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Car failing to yield at new stop sign causes three-car crash and flaming aftermath

A Monday afternoon multiple-car collision saw no serious injuries reported to police

Cost of COVID-19 ‘biggest unknown’ for Langley School District budget

District’s 2020/2021 annual budget bylaw sent to a third reading during board meeting

Cat rescued from 100-foot tree near Fort Langley

Curtis had scrambled to the top and had been stuck there for days

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Most Read