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

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Record turnout at Fort Langley Remembrance Day service

Estimated crowd of 6,500 packed the site

VIDEO: Attendance up at third annual Remembrance Day ceremony at Murrayville Cenotaph

Hundreds of families, air cadets, and scout troops, gathered for poems, songs, and silence

Langley veterans and families grateful for the gift

Recipients touched to receive Remembrance day tribute banners, more sought

ON COOKING: Banana bread with a bit of pizzazz

Ever thought of adding cranberries and pistachio nuts to your traditional loaf?

Immigrants from Holland reunite nearly 70 years ago later at Langley Lodge

Femmy Vandenberg and Grace Bos are now in their 90s

Langley City Remembrance Day services attract big crowds

Douglas Park was filled with families and others to honour the fallen and serving military

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Lest we forget: Remembrance Day ceremonies around the Lower Mainland

This Remembrance Day marks 101 since the end of World War I

Most Read