If general manager Matt Kolle’s early assumptions are correct, Saturday night’s game against the Grizzlies will feature divisional class Doug Birks
Kamloops Storm training on Monday, September 27 at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Center ended with bag skating.
Head coach Geoff Grimwood, hired in July, said his club are still on the hunt for his identity, but has promised he will be formed around one quality beforehand – the work ethic.
“Last year’s season was pretty much a missed one, we have almost a collection of freshmen here,” said Grimwood. “For me, we have to be a hockey club that works harder than we showed at the show. I think the guys realize it’s not midget hockey and the level of competition is more difficult.
The 2020-2021 season of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League was put on hold in its debut, with the Storm posting a 2-0 record before the game was pre-empted by the pandemic in November.
General manager Matt Kolle took the reins ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, when Tracy Mero bought 100% of the club, ending the Barry Dewar era.
The return to McArthur Island Sport and Event Center at Memorial Arena is an integral part of Kolle’s blueprint for Storm’s re-emergence, which begins in earnest this weekend with the club’s first home games in front of fans on Olympic ice since permanent passage to the North Shore after the 2019-2020 campaign.
Kamloops, which posted a 3-2 record in preseason action, will host the Osoyoos Coyotes and Revelstoke Grizzlies on Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2, respectively, with game time set at 7 p.m. both evenings. .
“The boys are motivated, the boys are ready to jump in and have fans, so we’re ready to come back,” said Samuel Lewis, an 18-year-old defenseman and one of 16 Kamloopsians on the roster.
Kamloops 18-year-old forward Jameson Rende added, “We’re going to be a fast and capable team that will be with you every shift, every period.
Maximum capacity will be around 450, fans 12 and over must be fully vaccinated and BC Vaccine Cards will be verified.
If Kolle’s early assumptions are correct, Saturday night’s game against the Grizzlies will feature division class Doug Birks.
“If I guessed now I would say it’s us and Revelstoke fighting for the division and maybe 100 Mile, Chase third and fourth and Sicky [Sicamous] downstairs, ”Kolle said, noting that a new video projection screen will debut on Mac Isle on Friday.
“As always, Revelstoke will be a team to watch.”
Forwards should be the pulse of the storm. At the back, a blue green line faces a steep learning curve.
“Guarding is a work in progress,” Kolle said, noting that he expects to lose 16-year-old Kamloops goaltender Johnny Hicks to the Junior A ranks.
Harrison Ewert, a 19-year-old forward from Kamloops, said the team are still freezing but are united in their goal.
“Win a championship,” Ewert said. “This is what we want to do. I know everyone in this room wants to do it. We will work hard every day for this.