Welcome to Quick Shift, which provides a preview of each of the 20 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams, with insight from their respective general manager/head coach. Next up is the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Bill Ohlhausen division. The Coyotes finished second in the division with a 27-13-3-1 record and lost in the first round of the KIJHL Teck Cup playoffs to North Okanagan. Head Coach Ken Law answered questions about his team.
Did you have a good off-season of recruiting?
We are extremely happy with the guys we have and look forward to filling the spots left with late releases from teams.
We’ve got a goaltender who is going to be really good for us, Hunter Arntsen, who played for the Swift Current U18AA Broncos. He is 6-2, and very poised in the net. He doesn’t panic at all and shows very little emotion. He’s going to be hard to rattle.
Note: Arntsen went 11-5-2 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.21 goals against average and earned three shutouts.
What do you like about the group of players returning who will play a big part on your team?
We only have a small group of returning players, but luckily they are the right guys to help with the younger group we have assembled.
Jarrod Gale, 20, is entering his third year (30 points in 66 regular season games) and he is just tenacious on the puck. At 5-9, 160 pounds, he doesn’t mind playing in the dirty areas and will be the first to pucks in corners, and comes out with them. As one of our assistant captains, he has taken that role to heart stepping up on the bench and in the dressing room as well as in the community.
Our captain Levi Brewer (20 points in 81 games) is a guy that leads by example and wears his heart on his sleeve. Guys follow him because of it.
From your second-year players, who has impressed you?
There are a few that have shown up in pretty good shape and we are excited as they will add some real depth. Marko Pavlovic (entering his third KIJHL season), is 6-7, 215 pounds and we got him from Nelson last year at mid-season. He’s a massive figure and plays with grit and he’s got such a long reach, he’s hard to defend against.
Who are players you will be leaning on for offence?
We have Scott Dyck and Jarrod Gale, and his brother Jordan playing defence and he’s going to be a guy that chips in some points from the back-end.
Dyck has got a real good release and a knack for finding the quiet areas. The puck is off his stick instantly. Dyck was second in the Okanagan Mainline Hockey Association U18AA Tier 1 League with 33 points in 19 games and led the league with 18 goals.
Gale is a mobile defenceman who understands the game and has a wicked shot from the top. He produced 27 points in 30 games for the Bow Valley Timberwolves U18AA team.
What were some key areas of success achieved last season that the organization wants to build on?
We will need to stay healthy and well conditioned in order to compete for a complete year and still be able to dress a health group when it counts the most, the late season push.