By Joanne McQuarrie

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“Offence was our trademark,” said Emery Olauson, Columbia Valley Rockies head coach and general manager, of the team’s play in the 2022/23 season. 

The Rockies finished regular season play with 31 wins, nine losses, two overtime losses and two shootout losses. 

They went into the playoffs in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) as division champions, but ended up losing the first round 4-2  to the Fernie Ghostriders.

Fernie, Olauson said, “…played us well and they played us hard.” He noted though, that the Rockies “outshot them in five of the six games”.

This year’s team “was really young”, Olauson said, and explained “the two assistant coaches and our scouting staff did a great job recruiting players, filing our camp with high quality players. We wound up with the youngest team in the division.” 

The team’s success, Olauson said, “is testament to coaching, veteran leadership and the culture in the dressing room”.

Right off the bat, he said, “There was a really good culture in our dressing room; (players) felt comfortable, welcomed.”

This is Olauson’s first year as head coach and general manager and he signed a three year contract. Overall, he said, this season was a successful start for him “and a good first step in a great organization. There should be a lot of continuity and momentum built into this year, to carry into next year.