After two years in a row of losing in round one, Revelstoke Grizzlies head coach Ryan Parent says he wants to take his team to the next level.
“Next year, we’re going to be older. You’re going to see a veteran type squad and we want a chance to win it,” he said a few days after the Grizzlies were eliminated by the Chase Heat. “Next year, I want to get out of round one.”
The Grizzlies were knocked out of the playoffs by the Chase Heat in five games in their round one, best-of-seven series.
Revelstoke won game one 5-4, but lost the next four by scores of 3-1, 2-1, 2-1 and 4-1.
The wins gave Chase a 4-1 series lead and a second round match up against the Kamloops Storm.
The loss sent the Grizzlies players back to Revelstoke for exit interviews and their annual award dinner.
“I thought the guys played pretty good,” said Parent following the series. “We probably had the most rookies in the entire KIJHL. For being such a young team, I thought we were pretty good.”
The difference between the two teams was up front, with Revelstoke only scoring four goals in the final four games — three of which came from Wiatzka, a defenceman.
Parent said the difference between the two teams amounted to Chase being older and more experienced. Revelstoke’s roster featured 14 rookies, one 19 year old and one 20 year old.
Chase had eight rookies, six 19 year olds and three 20 year olds.
“I think we had a very competitive hockey club, even though we were young,” he said. “We’ll make some acquisitions in the off-season to set us up for some real success in the coming year.”
The Grizzlies preparation for next season begin April 7–8 when they host their spring camp. Parent expects many players to return next year and said he’ll be looking for players that can help the team win next year.
“If we’re going to bring in a young player, it’s going to be a guy who can help us win right now,” he said. “This was a tough year for us, we had a very young roster. Going into next year, we want to set the table.”