Victoria Grizzlies ended their regular season division champions, coming out five points ahead of the Powell River Kings.
Grizzlies’ players led all major division nominations for BCHL’s end of season individual players awards, including MVP and best goaltender. BCHL coaches vote for winners in each category.
Captain Alex Newhook, 18, ended his season with 102 points and is expected to be a first-round pick in the NHL.
Being considered a strong team comes with huge expectations. Coach and general manager Craig Didmon says while the season proved they’re a great team, winning in the playoffs would validate that.
“Playoffs are a new season and new beginning. We need to be at our best to be successful,” he said. The success, he added, will come with hard work, attention to detail and “good habits.”
Didmon stressed his agile and fiercely offensive team will have to see how their opponents play and adapt to those systems.
“We have to try to pick apart the other team, the way they want to defend us,” he says.
The first two playoff games are Friday and Saturday against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in The Q Centre.
Team president Lance Black says he hopes to sell out the 2,000 seats for the team that’s “packed with superstars.”
“You don’t get to see this very often.”