It may have been their first Coy Cup championship win, but it sure didn’t look like it.
The Senior Canucks won three out of their four games of the BC Senior AA provincial tournament with a dominant edge, with their only blip — if you can call it that — being a 2-2 tie against Williams Lake.
“We knew what we are capable of, but very rarely do you get all those guys the same night in the NPHL season with work schedules and whatnot,” says head coach Chris Stevens. “When guys took the week off for it, we knew we were going to have a good team, we just have to play good hockey, and that’s exactly what we did.
“We played our best hockey.”
Kole Norris led the way in game one with a goal and an assist against the Kelowna Sparta to take game one 7-4. The next night, the Senior C’s tied the other game one game winner Williams Lake Stampeders, but rebounded the next night with a dominant 8-0 showing against the Terrace River Kings.
The Canucks outshot opponents 97-63 in the three round robin games.
With the victory against Terrace, DC got a bye to the finals, and the Sparta knocked off the Stampeders in the semifinals, so the Canucks saw a rematch of the first night for the finale.
The Canucks were more than prepared and took the final 10-4, with Junior Canuck Wesley Shipton earning game MVP honours for his two goal performance. Evan Weaver got the tournament MVP award.
A big part of the Canucks’ success was their special teams play.
“Our penalty kill was big, and then it seemed like every time we got a power play, we were putting the puck in the back of the net. Usually, in senior hockey, special teams will win you the majority of your games,” says Stevens.
With their first title under the belt, the trip couldn’t be looked at as anything other than a success.
“Great host, Williams Lake, they were on top of the ball and had a very good set-up. The hockey was high calibre — all the teams there gave us a challenge, and there were some good games,” says Stevens.
“There were people waiting for us when we got back to the rink [in Dawson Creek], it was just pretty cool to see how many people were rooting for us when we were down there and how many people I’ve talked to who have said how proud they were.”
Now, they’ll be looking for Coy Cup trophy number two in 2019.