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Friday, 23 May 2014

KIJHL OFF-SEASON ROUNDUP

The 2013-2014 Canadian Junior Hockey season finished up with the National Junior A Championship (RBC Cup) in Vernon last weekend. The Yorkton Terriers scored 2 goals in 8 seconds late in the 3rd to erase a 3-1 deficit, before winning in OT on a goal by Derek Falloon to knock out the Carleton Place Canadians and take the title of National Champion.

The Summerland Steam are pleased to send Congratulations the way of former Steam Forward Riley Hunt, who signed with the Terriers at the roster deadline on January 10, and played an integral part in their 'cardiac kid' type run to the RBC Cup National Championship. 



In the KIJHL, the 2013/14 season has been over for some time now, after the Beaver Valley Nitehawks were crowned the the 'Kings' of Canadian Junior 'B' hockey with a Keystone Cup victory.

Now that the dust has settled, news is beginning to surface as teams get preparations underway for the 2014-2015 KIJHL Season. There have been several coaching changes as well as a few interesting storylines to this offseason, and here are just a few of them: 


SUMMERLAND STEAM

The Steam are proud to announce the commitment of former forward Sam Nigg to the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack for the 2014/15 season. 

The Steam are also proud to announce their commitment to 1997 born defenceman Cole Williams for the 2014/15 season. Williams played last season with the Kelowna Midget Tier 1 Rockets, and collected 2 goals, 12 assists and was a +18 in 44 GP in 2013-2014. 


KELOWNA CHIEFS

The Kelowna Chiefs announced earlier this month that they've made commitments to 4 players after their Spring Prospects Camp. 3 of these players come from the immediate area in Jeran Knorr ('97), Tyler Barrett ('96), and Kyle Laird ('96). The other, Josh Kobelka ('96) comes from the Midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. 

The Chiefs also announced that Coach Ken Andrusiak would not be returning behind the bench for 2014/15, instead handing the coaching reigns over to Jason Tansem. Tansem spent last season as an assistant to Andrusiak and will now take over the day to day coaching operations for the Chiefs. Andrusiak will stay with the Chiefs in some capacity, reportedly as a video coach and scout. 

Finally, the Kelowna Chiefs announced that Anthony Ruggiero would be their new captain for 2014/15, taking over from graduating captain and Kelowna native, Jordan Salahor. 


 OSOYOOS COYOTES

The Osoyoos Coyotes have extended the contract of Head Coach & General Manager Ken Law for 2 more seasons. Law, the only man to helm the Coyotes since their return to the KIJHL in 2010-2011, has led his team to the playoffs in all 4 of his seasons with the team.


 100 MILE HOUSE WRANGLERS

The 100 Mile House Wranglers announced earlier this offseason that Head Coach & GM Doug Rogers would not return and the day to day coaching operations would be turned over to new HC/GM Dale Hladun. Hladun comes to the Wranglers after spending a season with the Fernie Ghostriders. He has a proven track record of putting a winner on the ice, as he did so in Princeton with the Posse for many years before enjoying success this past season in Fernie. The Wranglers get a quality hockey man with great knowledge of how the KIJHL operates, and will certainly bring a great product forth with the Wranglers in 2014-2015.

 FERNIE GHOSTRIDERS

In the wake of parting ways with Head Coach & GM Dale Hladun, the Ghostriders have announced that Craig Mohr will take over as the new Head Coach & General Manager. The first order of business for the new man in charge was naming his captain for 2014/15, and he's selected '94 born Forward Dylan Robertson as the next Captain of the Riders. Robertson amassed 13 Goals and 32 Points in 45 Games Played in 2013-2014. 

 GRAND FORKS BORDER BRUINS

The Grand Forks Border Bruins have selected Brad Snyder as their new Head Coach and GM for 2014/15. Snyder comes from the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association where he won 6 Gold Medals. Snyder, a former coach of the Flin Flon Bombers in the MJHL, brings experience in the area of recruiting, and will surely look to bolster a lineup that could contend in a VERY tough Neil Murdoch Division in 2014-2015.


 NELSON LEAFS

The Nelson Leafs have announced just this week that their Head Coach & GM search is over and they have their man. That man is former KIJHL Coach of the Year Matt Hughes. Hughes, a Kamloops native who played 126 Games in the BCHL for the Penticton Panthers ('97-'00), comes to the Leafs after spending time coaching in the BCHL (Salmon Arm Silverbacks), NAHL (Dawson Creek Rage), and AJHL (Grande Prairie Storm) over the past 7 seasons. Hughes will take over for the departed Frank Maida, who had a very successful tenure in Nelson.