Rest In Peace:
What can you say about this amazing team, this great group of guys did something that everyone laughed at, taking the Powell River Kings to seven games and putting a scare into the #2 CJHL ranked team. What a heart breaker last night, to be within 1 goal and have it slip away, reminds me of the '94 Stanley Cup final. The Kings now move on to the coastal conference final to take on the Surrey Eagles, while the Salmon Arm Silverbacks take on the defending Fred Page Cup champions, the Doyle Cup champions and the 6 time and back to back winning RBC cup champion Vernon Vipers.
There was talk during the season that last years team over achieved and that because they did so, in comparison they said this year we under achieved. Well I say to them look at us now, the Grizzlies dispatched the Nanaimo Clippers in five games and took the #2 ranked team in the Country to the limit and nearly squashed their hopes of making it to an RBC cup. The coaching staff of Victor Gervais, Dean Whitney, Brad Cook and Len Barrie did an outstanding job this season with the deals that formed this squad for the season and during the trade deadline.
This season had a lot of up and downs with numerous injury stretches which many believed cost the Grizzlies the #2 spot in the coastal conference. While I came into this season in December of 2010, I saw a team pushed to the breaking point only to bounce back and finish strong and go on a great playoff run. Being my hometown, I take a lot of pride in Victoria and the Grizzlies team boosted that pride a million times over. I thank you guys for the great season and sensational hockey. The Grizzlies played their hearts out all season long, through thick and thin and had a great group to go far in the playoffs. Again I know I sound like a biased Grizzlies fan but the referees stole this series from our guys. As great as the Powell River Kings are, they never would have beat our boys if the referees weren't killing our momentum by giving us penalties when there was clearly no infractions taking place.
As the Grizzlies Nation mourns the 2010-2011 season, they wish all the success to those that are moving on. All the best wishes and success to Mitch Labreche (Simon Fraser University), David Morley (St.Cloud State), Matt Ginn (Holy Cross), Justin Fillion (Michigan Tech), Braxton Bilous (Merrimack), Joel Lowry (Cornell), & Madison Dias (Cornell).
Let us not forget others who will not be rejoining the Grizzlies Nation next year, as we lose the likes of Kyle St-Denis, Greg Simpson, and Kyle Aschim. All of you guys made significant impact on this hockey club during your time in the capital.
I would especially like to thank Madison Dias and Joel Lowry for allowing me to interview them for the Grizzlies Times Colonist Insert this year, it was a privilege to write about two very promising and future NHL stars.
Who knows what the future is going to hold for the Victoria Grizzlies, new players will emerge as heroes, the young guns this year will have some great playoff experience to draw from. I guess we just have to wait and see and get ready for the 2011-2012 season.