October 12, 2013 –
The North Shore Winter Club Bantam A1’s fell one game short of a Western Canadian Championship last season. This year the team making an early season statement that they can once again be counted amongst the best.
With a perfect 7-0 record, including a Can-Am Tournament win, the Winterhawks appear to be the team to beat at this weekend’s Chilliwack Bantam AAA tournament. Just ask the players of Juan de Fuca, Prince George or Calgary’ Edge School. Those clubs fell to the Winterhawks 9-1, 11-0 and 3-0 respectively.
While the results have been stellar, coach Jim Dinwoodie is more concerned about the process.
“We have a set of effort based team goals in place for every time we step on the ice,” said Dinwoodie. “Regardless of who we’re playing, it’s about us.”
“I’m seeing guys figure out who they’re going to be, guys who are new to the team, and I think we’ve made some great headway early on,” said Dinwoodie. “It would be easy to say we’re a skilled team, but the better question is are we a hard team to play against?”
Developing a sense of team unity should be relatively easy, with seven members of last year’s PCAHA final four champs returning this season, including the likes of Jordy Bellerive and Justin Almeida. Talent alone, however, will not get the team far. Instead a championship team is built during those after school workout sessions.
“It starts in practice,” said Dinwoodie. “There are certain things that they need to do to be successful. The first message that we send is not thinking about games or about results or tournaments, it’s about how we’re going to perform in practice. A lot of players have not had the expectations on them that they will on this team when it comes to practice, but the tone and tempo you see in games comes from that.”
Whether or not Dinwoodie and the Winterhawks care about the results of the Chilliwack tournament, the team has a very good shot at winning it. They start pool cross-over elimination play on Sunday against either the Calgary Bisons or Langley Eagles.
Chilliwack Tourney Update, Sunday, Oct 13, 1 pm.
Langley pushes NSWC to the brink of elimination, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit to and finish with a 3-3 regular time draw. The teams played a 10 minute overtime, with neither team scoring. The game was eventually decided in a shootout, which required extra shooters. Brett Stapley got the lone shoot-out goal. Jordy Bellerive had a big game for NS, with all three regular time goals.