Victoria Cougars veteran John Kretzschmar is returning for his final year of Vancouver Island junior hockey and he has one thing on his mind — winning the Cyclone Taylor Cup.
“I want to get a championship ring on my finger,” said Kretzschmar.
The Cougars will host the 2016 cup tournament — British Columbia’s Junior B provincial championship.
Kretzschmar and teammates returned to the ice last Friday to start training camp at the Archie Browning Sports Centre for the 2015-16 season that opens at home on Sept. 10 against the Kerry Park Islanders.
Kretzschmar, in his third year with the team, said he is looking forward to a good year, with lots of new young players. His personal goal is to lead by example.
As hosts of the Cyclone Taylor Cup, the team has a by in the tournament, but they want to win their way in. Their first goal is to end this season with a Vancouver Island Division championship.
Last season the Cougars lost the VIJHL Championship to their up-Island rivals, the Campbell River Storm.
Kretzschmar, who hails from Campbell River, is looking forward to facing off against the Storm again, even though he admits he gets a lot of good humoured ribbing from the Campbell River crowd whenever he plays in the town.
Training camp runs until Sept. 6, including a pre-season game this Sunday against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time is 3 p.m. at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.