Columbia Valley Rockies head coach-general manager Wade Dubielewicz says his teams series victory over the Fernie Ghostriders wasn’t a sweep (4-3, 3-1, 4-3 and 3-0) because of its closeness.
“We upped our compete level to a playoff-type intensity, which can wear on the opposing team” says Dubielewicz, impressed by how his group executed the game plan created by the coaching staff.
Connor Davison is among the players that stood out because of his solid two-way play. Hunter Rambow was another as he found a fifth gear and Bretton Park has been outstanding.
“I think he stole Game 2 for us down in Fernie which obviously made a big difference,” says Dubielewicz, of his goalie.
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All this after the Rockies headed into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Teck Cup championship on a six-game skid. Dubielewicz is very happy with how his team has come together.
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Following their skid, the Rockies had a week to regroup before facing the Fernie.
“I got a young resilient team that really every individual likes each other,” says Dubielewicz. “We’ve got a really good culture. It just seemed to flip and we rolled into the first round feeling pretty good.”
The losing skid wasn’t the only thing to hit the Rockies. They also dealt with players quitting during the season. To solidify his goaltending, he made a late season addition adding Riley McLean of Kamloops. McLean played 14 games for the Spokane Braves this season, winning six, but was eventually released. McLean is insurance should anything happen with Riley Wallace, who has dealt with injury problems.
Now the Rockies take on the President’s Cup winners, the Kimberley Dynamiters, beginning Monday at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
“They’re a good team. And they are deep,” says Dubielewicz of the roster that won 40 games and dispatched the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in five games. “We’re going to have to play a high intensity, match their work ethic and systematically be really good. At the end of it, you need goaltending. We’re putting a team plan together right now to give us our best chance.
“I’m confident the kids will apply it,” continues Dubielewicz. “It will be a heck of a series.”