Sam Schofield has never been the biggest guy on the ice but by the way he’s played throughout his hockey career, you’d never know that.
The 19-year-old centre is once again playing junior hockey as he’s back with the Cowichan Capitals of the BC Hockey League for a second season. Schofield and his teammates, which includes fellow Yellowknifer Ethan Anstey thanks to a trade last month between the Capitals and Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, open up the 2021-22 season against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at home on Saturday evening.
Schofield, who was named an assistant captain for this season just this past Wednesday, Oct. 6, said he’s looking forward to a much more spread-out season as opposed to the shortened and more demanding schedule teams had to endure last season.
“We played 20 games in 35 days,” he said. “Guys were getting pretty banged up and we were tired when it was all over. It’s going to be good to have a proper season.”
The Capitals played in a pod set-up last season in Alberni Valley with the other teams in the league’s Island Division. In those 20 games last season, Schofield had three goals and four assists for seven points.
This season, Schofield said the team is happy to be back home playing in front of their fans — at least 50 per cent of them on any given home game night.
“The capacity in our arena is 50 per cent of what it can hold,” he said. “we have no idea how big the crowd will be on Saturday but the guys are really pumped for it and it’s going to be a special night.”
In terms of team goals for this season, Schofield said there isn’t anything set in stone but the one thing he’d like to see happen is for the team to win the Island Division regular season title.
“That’s a big goal for the guys,” he said. “Win the division and then get into the playoffs and have a long run.”
Getting to play this season with one of his childhood friends is pretty cool also, he added.
“It’s crazy how it all came about,” he said. “We joked about it over the summer and then it happened. We started played together in atom back home with the Weatherby Warriors and now we’re back together again in junior. It’s crazy.”
Like most other players in the BCHL, Schofield has his eyes set on using hockey as a springboard to get into post-secondary matriculation of some sort.
He hasn’t had any phone calls yet but the season is still young, he said.
“I’m looking at the U.S. and playing college hockey there,” he said. “I’m hoping to have a good season and get some scouts noticing.”