Sept 10, 2013
Winning provincials and going to the Western Finals last spring has put this year’s NSWC Bantam A1 team in everyone’s crosshairs.
Head Coach Jim Dinwoodie, who along with assistant coaches Mitch Pinsky and Graham Acres, lead the Winterhawks to the promised land last year, acknowledges that this year’s team is going to be in a different position than last year’s.
Although the 2012-2013 team proved early they were a special group, with an eye-popping 6 goal come from behind victory against Langley at the Chilliwack Thanksgiving tournament and eventual tournament win, there was always a sense through the season that maybe John Batchelor’s BWC Bruins were still the favorites and that they would eventually prevail.
And the Burnaby squad almost did, defeating NSWC in the provincial championship round-robin, and then losing only in the final moments of the championship game.
“So this year will be all about managing expectations,” says Dinwoodie. “Everyone will be coming after us.”
When asked how he thinks last year’s squad compares to this year’s group, Dinwoodie points out that last year’s squad a very special chemistry; and that it’s much too early to know whether this year’s team will develop the kind of cohesion, drive and gritty character that defined last year’s team.
“We won’t know that until we play some games,” says Dinwoodie.
One thing that will be different this year, is the addition of Kevin Pedersen to the coaching staff. Pederson who is a Western Hockey League scout and who has coached at the major midget level, will help with the skills development process and will also take on a new role in the moment to moment bench management.
Dinwoodie feels this will give him an opportunity to step back and focus more on the game and making adjustments as required.
The team will be in action this coming weekend at a Can-Am Icebreaker tournament, co-hosted with BWC, where final team selections will be decided.
Dinwoodie says he expects announcements be made at NSWC next Tuesday.
Roster at moment:
|4||Eathan de Jong||99|