It can sometimes take a while for a team to really build an identity.
For Kelowna Jr. Rockets Peewee A2 Coach Kevin Lindsay, a team identity may have been slow in coming to start the season, but now he can quickly rattle off just what kind of team he puts on the ice each game.
“We have a young team, with ten first year players,” said Lindsay. “We’ve got lots of skill and speed but not a lot of size. We’re a really smart hockey team. We’ve got a really solid group of boys and we win by committee. We win as a team and lose as a team. When the boys are playing well we’re a tough team to beat. We don’t have any standouts but we play a solid team game and we don’t have any selfish players.”
Coach Lindsay has focused the team on using their smarts and their speed, and the club has responded. They have picked up two tournament wins this season, one in Kamloops and the other in Penticton, while sitting just one game off the lead in the OMAHA league standings.
Lindsay also knows that with such a young team, there are still many lessons to teach his players before the end of the season.
“We had a bit of a hiccup last weekend,” said Lindsay, referring to a 1W-3L tournament outing in West Kelowna. “The first two games we played tier 1 teams who were bigger and stronger, and that was a bit of an issue.”
Those games should be good test for the core of team, many of whom will have a shot at playing in Tier 1 next season. The Jr. Rockets will play each of their Tier 2 league opponents one more time and will participate in a tournament in Trail before heading into playoffs.