Victoria Grizzlies goaltender Alec Dillon makes a save during the 2013-14 playoffs at The Q Centre. Dillon

Victoria Grizzlies goaltender Alec Dillon makes a save during the 2013-14 playoffs at The Q Centre. Dillon

BCHL Grizzlies move forward after a tough end to playoffs

Goaltender Dillion focuses back on school, friends, as he awaits 2014 NHL entry draft

The end result wasn’t what they wanted, but the Victoria Grizzlies are looking toward next season with optimism.

Having watched his team absorb three tough B.C. Hockey League semifinal round robin losses, the last of which was a 4-3 triple-overtime decision April 3 to Coquitlam, Grizzlies’ head coach Craig Didmon reflected on the takeaway from the playoff run.

“I mean, it was a tough series,” he said of the semis, which saw the smaller, but nimble Grizzlies lose 5-4 but outplay a big, tough Vernon team and drop two games to the high-scoring Express.

“You look at it a few days later and realize it was a tough run for the boys. Maybe a different type of series might have done better for us, but we outshot the opponent every game. And we continued to play our game. I think we started to get a little bit of fatigue because of the gruelling first two rounds.”

Looking at next year, he said the Grizzlies have a “great group, a really good core coming back,” led by the likes of Mark McLellan and Jessie Schwartz.

The team loses the Fitzgeralds (Gerry, Leo and Myles), defencemen Jaden Schmeisser and Chris Albertini and forward Travis Stephens to graduation, but younger players developed well, Didmon said.

“This is a group that’s learned a lot this year. I think we’ve got a good well-rounded squad looking at coming back next year.”

Goalies Alec Dillon, 17, and Nick Renyard, 19, are eligible to return, but their careers may take a different direction next season (see below). Dillon voiced disappointment about this season, but said good things came out of the Grizzlies’ experience.

“We thought we had the team that could have gone farther,” he said. “From where we were as (a club) two years ago, when they traded away the whole team and there was talk of folding, we’ve come a long way. This season has helped out the organization a lot – it makes players want to come here and play.”

Young goalie was watched through BCHL season

Alec Dillon felt a muted glare of the spotlight this season as he went about his business with the Victoria Grizzlies.

The 6-foot-5, 170-pound goaltender was often in the crosshairs for National Hockey League scouts parked on the edges of BCHL rinks, and as such, he finds himself rated 13th among North American goalies by Central Scouting.

“I never really worried about it throughout the whole season.” At the same time, he said, “I’m excited to see if I (get drafted) and I’m honoured to be ranked.”

He’s taking a bit of time off to “hang out with my friends,” concentrate on Grade 12 at Belmont secondary and go through “the whole prom and grad thing.”

Dillon is committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and plans to attend in 2015. For now, the plan is to finish out his junior career as a Grizzlie, but he’ll wait until the June NHL entry draft draft to make that decision.

Fellow Grizzlies netminder Nick Renyard has had some interest expressed in him by Canadian post-secondary teams.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

Victoria police retrieved a number of stolen items May 15 after arresting a man and woman squatting in an empty building. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police look to return stolen items following arrest of squatters

Golf clubs, power tools, jackets, cell phones and a MacBook Pro were retrieved

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)
Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

A building in the 300-block of Mary Street sustained significant damage Saturday night after a suspicious fire was started. Police arrested an arson suspect Sunday. (Courtesy of Victoria Fire Department)
UPDATE: Vic West shelter resident to be evicted following suspicious fire

Building in 300-block of Mary Street sustained significant damage Saturday night

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance after sustaining life-threatening injuries. (Collin C photo)
Motorcyclist airlifted with life-threatening injuries after Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Most Read