Welcome to Rocky Talk, a new column filled with info all about the Columbia Valley Rockies. Our very own Junior B team is celebrating its 35th year as a member of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) this season. It’s quite an achievement — and it has only happened because of the tremendous support from the community.
The 2013-2014 season officially kicks off for the Rockies on Friday (yes, Friday the 13th) when the team travels to Creston to face off against the Thunder Cats. It should be a great match-up as the teams split a pair of exhibition games during pre-season action. As you all know, exhibition games can be quite deceiving depending on what each coach is looking for out of a particular game.
Rockies Hockey Fun Day takes place at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena on Saturday, September 14th starting with a tailgate party at 2 p.m., followed by a Rockies Alumni game at 4 p.m. and the season home opener at 7:30 p.m. The Rockies invite you to come down and mix and mingle with the returning players both before their afternoon game as well as in the mezzanine after the league game. The opposition for the Rockies is a team enjoying their very first year in the league, the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
So who’s back from last year? You can look for veterans Ryan Henderson, Josh Haley, Mitch Rosko, Kirk Lissel, Brad Palumbo, Damon Raven, Jerome Thorne, Dustin Boone and Briar McNaney — there’s no promise they will be on the ice during the home opener, but all were in action during exhibition play with the exception of Palumbo, who thinks he will be ready to play by Saturday.
Some new names to watch for include Doan Smith, Spencer Barlow, Graham Watkins, Logan Kerner and Zach Schlitt. These are some players that stood out in my mind during the three exhibition games I was able to watch, not after speaking with the coaching staff.
One ticket will get you into both games on Saturday, or pick up your season pass and enjoy all the regular season home games. The KIJHL is one of, if not the best, Junior B hockey leagues in the country. You are sure to be entertained and will be helping to support youth in our community. I am very proud to be associated with the Rockies organization and look forward to seeing you at the Eddie!
Marilyn Berry writes about the Columbia Valley Rockies every second week in The Echo, and can be reached at email@example.com .