Joseph Schultz tries to jam a puck past Rocket’s goaltender Xander Stone during a Central Zone Rockets win over the Rivermen earlier this season in Whitehorse. The Rockets finished third at B.C. provincials and the Rivermen were seventh. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)

Yukon Rivermen end inaugural season at B.C. bantam tier one provincial championships

‘I think they left Nanaimo feeling pretty good about themselves’

The Yukon Rivermen travelled to Nanaimo, B.C., for the Bantam Tier One B.C. Provincial Championships hosted by the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association.

The tournament got off to a rocky start for the Rivermen in the opener as the tournament winners, Seafair, won 13-2 in a game that saw Rivermen goaltender Dawson Smith injured and forced from the lineup early on.

Head coach Martin Lawrie said it was tough for the team.

“We ended up losing Dawson, our starting goalie, in that game and put Mason [Driscoll], our backup, into a really tough situation to jump in and play the second and third periods,” said Lawrie. “Outside of that, we played a strong game against a strong team.”

With little time to regroup, the Rivermen were back on the ice the next day for a matchup with league rival Prince George.

Although the final score of 7-1 looked one-sided, Lawrie said it flattered the opponents.

“They got some late goals on us which kind of spread that score out,” said Lawrie. “But I mean, it was a good, hard hockey game.”

The highlight for the Rivermen was the third and final game against the Victoria Racquet Club.

Given the opportunity to play spoiler — Victoria needed a win to advance — the Rivermen emerged with a 2-2 tie.

“[Victoria] came out hard, and the boys played really hard in that one,” said Lawrie. “I think we were one post away from finishing fifth, actually. We could have won that one.”

Looking back at the season, Lawrie said the team improved over the year.

“I think the players have definitely grown,” said Lawrie. “We’ve got guys [who] that first tournament we hit in Edmonton in September were kind of spectators in the game. [They] turned into players, producers and important pieces, realizing they can compete at this level. It’s definitely encouraging.”

The bantam zone league the Rivermen play in also proved, in Lawrie’s estimation, to be the best in the province.

“With the Central Zone finishing third and Prince George third at provincials — and Thompson was actually the top-ranked team in our league — I think the league we’re in is definitely the strongest bantam league the province has,” said Lawrie. “All that stuff is really positive and exciting.”

Most importantly, Lawrie said the team finished the season happy with what they accomplished.

“I think they left Nanaimo feeling pretty good about themselves,” said Lawrie.

Although the season is officially over, the start of the selection process for next season’s roster is right around the corner.

The Rivermen will hold their spring camp on May 11, and per B.C. Hockey rules, will name at least 10 players to their roster, with the roster set to be finalized at a second camp in August.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty and Emily Nishikawa are ready for the World Cup season

“It is still very exciting and the same kind of feelings you get every year”

Yukon government declares climate emergency

The call was made after a successful amendment by the NDP

Municipal leaders zero in on communication when it comes to the next MP

Yukon communities want more communication with feds

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

New policy would govern how city facilities are booked

The new policy sets out priorities for the use of city recreation spaces

New city policy would keep most roundtable talks with Whitehorse council open

New policy comes after council backed away from a policy that would have closed the meetings

Elite Martial Arts Academy grapplers prepare for return to Alaska State No-Gi Submission Grappling Championships

“We’ve been ramping up practices and getting it more intense because it’s just a whole new level”

Whitehorse city news, briefly

Some of the decisions discussed at the council meeting Oct. 7

YG to spend $2.2M on diesel generators in light of cancelled thermal plant

Now that plans for a new thermal plant have been nixed, the… Continue reading

Bike biathlon timing a bullseye

The event wrapped up just hours before Whitehorse received more than 15 centimetres of snow

COMMENTARY: After a good start, there’s more work to do on Yukon’s wetland policy

We are now lagging behind the initially proposed schedule by about four months

Yukon Schools Mountain Bike Races wrap with Mount McIntyre finale

The third and final Yukon Schools Mountain Bike Race of the fall… Continue reading

Commentary: Change is on our doorstep

Donald Reid Wild species and places offer so much to Yukoners. They… Continue reading

Most Read