Peninsula Panthers head coach Brad Tippett says the accomplishments of the spring are motivating the team to push even harder this season. (Gordon Lee Photography)

Peninsula Panthers take experienced lineup into new season

Cats host Saanich Braves Sept. 6 to open regular season

With the taste of near victory still lingering, the Peninsula Panthers are hungry to hit the ice and gear up for another high-energy season.

The Panthers’ Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) championship run came to an end at the hands of the Campbell River Storm during the deciding Game 7 last year. The Cats were down by one with just six minutes left in the game before falling 3-0 in the first-round series.

READ ALSO: Panthers knocked out of playoffs by powerful Storm

But head coach Brad Tippet says getting to game seven was an accomplishment of its own, and left his team hungry for another shot at winning the league.

“I think that’s still fresh in their memory. They’ve had a little taste of success,” he said.

The team also now has five 20-year-old players, additions that put the team at the same age levels as most other teams in the league.

“We’re really happy with how our team came together in the end. We fought for a couple years to get all the intangibles in place to where we wanted to be,” said Tippett. “I think the added experience we got in the spring has made everybody a step faster and 10 pounds heavier with some added confidence.”

In fact, with training two weeks underway and an exhibition game win under their belt, Tippett thinks the Panthers are already four or five weeks ahead of where they were this time last year.

“Coming in with a majority of guys in place already, we don’t have to do as much teaching. It’s more about honing right now,” he said. “The guys have come in and done a good job over the summer staying in shape. They were hungry to get on the ice early.”

READ ALSO: Panthers claw their way to 3-1 series lead over Storm

As for this season’s goals? Well the league championship is always at the top, but Tippett has some internal goals for the team.

“I’ve done a lot of work this summer doing some stats and analysis and there’s some specific things within the game that we’re going to try to put into place,” he said. And I think some of the other goals we want to keep internal. It will be the focus of just those guys in the room.”

The Panthers open the regular season Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m. against the Saanich Braves at the Panorama Recreation Centre. They hit the road to Mill Bay the following day to take on the Kerry Park Islanders.

To purchase tickets, visit the Panthers’ ticket booth at the Panorama Recreation Centre, call 250-652-1804 or email zubersky@shaw.ca.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Return of the undead: Victoria Zombie Walk hits the streets

Hundreds of zombies expected for annual event Oct. 26 in Centennial Square

Popular corn maze at North Saanich’s Pendray Farms out of operation

No Halloween-themed activities taking place this year at local farm

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

Victoria retirement community celebrates 403 years of life

Four women over 100 celebrate at The Wellesley

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read