January 24/13 – The Bantam T3 Jr. Rockets will hope to use their momentum from a tournament win earlier in January to propel them into the playoffs.
They led the Chilliwack tournament essentially from start to finish, trailing only in the Final – a temporary 1-0 deficit – before rallying to a 3-1 victory over Surrey A3.
The team is led by captain Brendan Speiser, who received accolades from his coach for his strong play this season.
“Brendan really brings a lot of leadership, both on and off the ice,” said Coach Kevin Hunt. “He’s a second year bantam, so he’ll be moving on to midget next year, but he’s having a great season for us.”
Some of the ’99 born players who are returning for bantam next year have a unique opportunity in front of them, with Kelowna hosting the Western Canadian Bantam Championships in 2013.
“We have three players who have a chance to play for the A1 team next year,” said Hunt. “Off season training is such a big factor, even at the bantam age, and the Championships should be a huge motivator for them to make the team. It’s going to be a great team because Kelowna has such a strong group of ’99’s.”
The T3 Jr. Rockets picked up a 12-2 win on the weekend over Salmon Arm, but the upcoming playoffs should prove to be a much higher hurdle.
“The boys are incredibly well prepared mentally, very focused and we’re ready for playoffs,” said Hunt.
They wrap up the regular season next week with a game in Vernon.