The Rockies camp last weekend saw veterans and new recruits lace up for a chance to make it. Photos by Dauna Ditson

Columbia Valley Rockies get rolling

Rockies camp kicks off season

A rink full of potential Columbia Valley Rockies players skated their hardest at the Rockies’ camp last weekend. Both the veteran players and new recruits skated as if their very dreams depended on it, and that’s because they do. With 35 skaters in the arena and more to arrive later competing for 25 coveted slots on the team, every shot counts.

“Nobody’s really safe,” said head coach Wade Dubielewicz. “Everyone has to earn their spots.”

Even after two years on the team, Cooper Krauss – a 20-year-old assistant captain who came to Invermere from Okotoks – has to prove he deserves to continue wearing the jersey.

He’s feeling pretty confident but said he kept skating through the summer “to keep my legs under me and make sure I’m not one of those guys who is getting sent home right away.”

The first time he arrived at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena for tryouts, he said the experience was nerve wracking until he stepped onto the ice. Then everything faded away besides the glide of his skates and the slap of his stick. He expects the same thing to happen again this year.

“I’m excited, excited to get things going,” he said.

Exhibition games will follow the camp, with players getting cut along the way. The regular season games will begin on Friday, September 7th against the Summerland Steam in the Summerland Arena.

Coach Dubielewicz intends to build on the momentum from the Rockies’ exhilarating playoff run that capped off their season last year.

“Our returning players got a taste of what playoff success is like and with some of the roster changes we’ve made and our leadership team coming back, our expectations are through the roof,” he said. “I feel like we finally have the right group of returning players to lead our highly talented younger guys in the right direction. You put those things together and I don’t think there’s anything but success coming our way.”

Coach Dubielewicz raved about the five veteran 20-year-old players – including Mr. Krauss – who are returning this year. He praised the “good hockey players and good leaders” for the positive example they set by making smart choices on and off the ice.

“I’ve never been this positive about a returning group since I’ve been coaching,” he said. “Culture combined with talent: It’s going to make for a special year.”

Coach Dubielewicz said the Rockies’ fans are in for a treat this season.

“They’re going to see a high tempo, physical, fun group to watch,” he said.

The Rockies will be playing an exhibition game against Kimberley in Invermere on Saturday, September 1st. Their first regular season home game will take place on Friday, September 21st against Golden.

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Nordic club glides into new ski season

Special presentation by Olympian Ingrid Liepa

Remembering the sacrifice

An interview with Australian veteran John Wood, who lives in the Columbia Valley

Sheep-saving mission

On the hunt for a bighorn sheep with a tomato trellis stuck to her head; a Pioneer ridealong

Hockey legend to share message of hope

Theo Fleury will share his story as part of National Addictions Awareness Week

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read