It’s all laughs now, but a month ago the Victoria Grizzlies’ dressing room wasn’t a place for happy banter.
The Grizzlies (9-8) are on the road this weekend for another three-games-in-three-nights against conference opponents: tonight (Nov. 4) versus the Surrey Eagles (8-4-2), Saturday at the Langley Rivermen (5-10) and Sunday at the Coquitlam Express (5-6-2).
The Grizzlies may have slowed down a notch, losing to the Naniamo Cilppers 7-3 on Tuesday, but Victoria’s BCHL team is still on a roll with nine wins in the past 12 games.
It’ll take more than a hangup with a rival team to shake the Grizzlies, said coach Len Barrie.
The players are now able to talk about their five-game winless streak to start the season as a blip that’s completely behind them.
“It was tough coming to the rink (to start) but the team keeps coming together,” captain Sean Robertson said.
“We just can’t get too high.”
Robertson is in his fifth and final year of junior A hockey, having started full time as a 16-year-old in 2007-08.
At 0-5 to start the season, Barrie and general manager Vic Gervais admit there were trade offers for Robertson. Neither the coaches or the captain were interested.
“There were options but (Robertson) told me he wanted to stay. He’s one of the reasons we got this turned around,” Barrie said.
“The goaltending wasn’t there to start the year but our guys are competing hard and that’s one of the biggest differences right now.”
Barrie also pointed to Friday’s 3-2 loss in Nanaimo as his team’s best game of the year, leading to a 5-2 win on Saturday over the Express and a 2-0 win over the Rivermen at home on Sunday.
Boston bite another Grizz
Following his tour of NCAA schools last week, Grizzlies forward Wes Myron committed to the Boston University Terriers for next season.
Myron received a full ride scholarship from Boston, one of 13 schools that made him offers.
He’ll join Massachusetts import Mike Moran, who’s also headed there in 2012, and ex-Grizzlies forward Justin Courtnall, now a third-year player and assistant captain with the Terriers.
It was also announced this week that Myron made Team Canada West for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge, Nov. 7 to 13 in Langley.
Myron is a late addition and was not invited to the summer selection camp. He potted two goals in an exhibition game on Monday and an assist on Tuesday.
Backup goalie Garrett Rockafellow made 34 saves for the shutout over the Rivermen, just his second win in eight games this season.
“Everything clicked that game,” he said.
Despite Jamie Tucker owning the starting role, Rockafellow has seen plenty of minutes to start the season, and Barrie is happy with the 18-year-old’s progress so far.
“He’s our guy for next year, we’re expecting him to be the starter and earn a Div.1 scholarship.”