The Tumbler Ridge Wolves Novice Hockey Club has proven they are the best in the Peace Region. We , the residents of Tumbler Ridge, can take pride in the fact that although we have probably the smallest Minor Hockey Association in the region, we are turning out the area?s top hockey players -No Doubt!
After placing third in their Taylor Tournament in the middle of January, the Wolves travelled to Fort St. John at the end of the month for the largest tournament of their lives- and mine. Twelve of the best Novice teams in the Peace Region descended upon the Energetic City for a weekend of great hockey. With their rookie goalie sensation Jared Wylie pumping out a shutout in his first game and finishing with the tournament?s best goals- against average, the Wolves proved they were the team to beat.
After going undefeated in regular play, the Wolves sealed a spot in the Championship final.
But alas it was not to be, and the Wolves lost a 5-3 decision. Even though the score showed a loss and there were a few sad faces, Coaches Chris Emberley and Brian Wylie assured the team that their day would come and that they were still the better team. But playing with only eight skaters and a goalie can sometimes be a downfall and the kids were just too tired- plain and simple. So back to the drawing board the Wolves went, yearning for the next chance to prove their greatness.
This next chance would come at their Home Tournament. And not just any tournament- but the Spirit of 2010 Olympic sponsored tournament. The Vancouver Olympic Committee had sponsored a puck for every participant , a large banner, a beautiful trophy,and a cheque to cover our advertising costs. With the team that beat us in Fort St. John attending, the emotions and excitement were running high.
Saturday, February 14 the Wolves faced a team they hadn?t faced before- the Fort Nelson Huskies. It wasn?t pretty, but the Wolves came away with a 6-3 win. Goals came from Josh ?The Bull? Lucas and Jay ?Killer? Kelly who each scored a hat-trick, with Nicholas ?The Machine? MacKay adding two assists and Matthew ?Rocketman? Schribar and Jared ?Wicked? Wylie adding a helper each. Our other rookie, star goalie Aaron ?Wildman? Wylie gave a stellar performance between the pipes.
Later that afternoon, the Wolves faced another unknown team. This team was the Fort St. John Jerry Rude Esso club who proved to be stronger than we thought . Although the boys came away with a 6-4 win , the coaches felt that the Wolves had still not played to their full potential. But a win is a win and we were happy with the points. Josh ?The Bull? Lucas fired another Hat-Trick, while Jay? Killer? Kelly added two and Andrew ?Sausage? Leach crashed the net for his first of the tournament. Assists came from Andrew Leach and ?Killer? Kelly while Bret ?The Jet? McPherson knotted a couple of helpers. Aaron Wylie gave another standup performance allowing only four goals on some really great chances by Fort St. John.
Sunday, February 15 will be a day that will live in our hearts forever! At 9:30 the Wolves faced their buddies from Chetwynd. At last the guys played like a true hockey club and came away with a convincing 13-1 win and both coaches and parents could see things were going to get better. Jay ?Killer? Kelly fired three goals and three assists, Josh ?The Bull? Lucas had a natural Hat-Trick and one assist, Jared ?Wicked? Wylie fired two , Andrew ?Sausage? Leach poked home a single and added a helper, while Nicholas ?The Machine? MacKay scored one and added a couple of helpers. Matthew ?Rocketman? Schribar added an assist while Jake ?The Snake? Popovich got his first two assists of his career. A team record was set that day as Bret ?The Jet? McPherson scored three goals and five assists for a total of eight points!
Because of our undefeated status- the boys were granted a spot in the final. Our opponents would be Fort St. John Pacific Northern Gas…the same team we lost to in the previous tournament. It would take only seven seconds for the Wolves to prove who the best team was and the pain for F.S.J. only continued, as the Wolves pounded the back of their opponents net over and over again. They trounced their rivals 10-3. Even someone who had never seen a hockey game before could tell our rivals weren?t even close to the superior skill of our team. Justice was served and now there was No Doubt who the true champions of the Peace Region were! Jay, Josh, and Bret all scored their Hat-Tricks while Andrew again crashed the net to add a single. Assists wre given to McPherson, N. MacKay(2), Kelly, Schribar, Leach, Lucas, and Chris ?Magic? MacKay. The score sheet would prove that this was truly a total team effort. As one fan had reportedly commented ?there were that many sirens and lights going off , I thought the Taliban had struck again!?
A big thanks go out to all our parents and volunteers. Also to our superior Rec-Center staff who have yet to come across a problem they couldn?t solve. Thanks to the referees who under the leadership of Jason Collison gave a flawless performance, Roger Lucas (our timekeeper), and our girls and guys in the pressbooth- Michelle, Kristie, Brittany, Crystal (the next Canadian Idol), Shana (I spelled it wrong didn?t I?), Jake?s sister (name?), Bret, Josh, and of course Peter.
A huge personal thanks goes out to everyone who supported me through the years I have coached. I have gained many new friends both young and old. I am so proud to have been lucky enough to meet and coach the kids. Personally I think our kids are the best! My payment is the sincere look of joy and happiness and sadness and defeat that can only come from the faces of a bunch of young kids that have grown to trust and accept what you are teaching them and have a desire to be the best that they can be for fun and for love of the game of hockey. My heart will always be with you guys. Your determination, strength, desire and willingness to learn and achieve is a quality that will take you right through life with success galore. Good Luck in the future!!
The Tumbler Ridge Wolves Hockey Club are Jay ?Killer? Kelly (C), Bret ?The Jet? McPherson(A), Josh ?The Bull? Lucas (A), Andrew ?Sausage? Leach, Nicholas ?The Machine? MacKay, Christopher ?Magic? MacKay, Aaron ?Wildman? Wylie, Jared ?Wicked? Wylie, Jake ?The Snake? Popovich,and Matthew ?Rocketman? Schribar. We would like to thank all our Moms and Dads for all your help and support! Don?t worry, even though we don?t always look up- we know you?re in the stands cheering! Thanks!