Tomorrow the KIJHL Final begins, the Quest for the Teck Cup.
The President’s Trophy-winning Princeton Posse against the Kimberley Dynamiters. For the Posse, it’s the first time they will play for the Teck Cup in their 20-year history. The Dynamiters however, it’s their fifth appearance in seven years. They last played for the Teck Cup in 2018-19, losing to Revelstoke, who they defeated the year before. Kimberley has won three league championships in their history.
Cash Regan of the Dynamiters said they can’t wait to get the series going. Playing for the league championship in his final junior season is something “surreal” for him.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it a little bit,” he said. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
Meanwhile Posse captain Jake McCulley is playing in his fifth and final season, but he said this season’s playoff drive is really his first. In 2019-20 he played four games and in last year’s playoffs he was in two games.
“I have been having the mentality to take it in day-by-day,” he said. “Just enjoy every moment because it’s going to be the last time I ever get here. It’s a great group of guys to be doing that with.”
|Last 10 Games||8-2-0-0||7-3-0-0|
|Last Game||4-3 W @ Beaver Valley (2023-03-22)||2-1 W @ Revelstoke (2023-03-26)|
|Power Plays||12/66 (18.18%)||11/62 (17.74%)|
|Power Plays (Home)||2/31 (6.45%)||10/32 (31.25%)|
|Power Plays (Away)||10/35 (28.57%)||1/30 (3.33%)|
|Penalty Killing||8/69 (88.41%)||10/54 (81.48%)|
|Penalty Killing (Home)||5/33 (84.85%)||5/29 (82.76%)|
|Penalty Killing (Away)||3/36 (91.67%)||5/25 (80%)|
|The Princeton Posse were a confident group facing the defending KIJHL champion Revelstoke Grizzlies.
“We knew it was going to be a war. I think everyone of us believed that we could come out on top if we just went to war everyday,” said McCulley. “That’s kind of what we did and it feels pretty good to be rewarded for that.”
McCulley credits the preparation by Head Coach Mark Readman for their success through game plans and lots of video.
“He leaves lots of room for guys to be creative, to create their own chances which I feel like we have been doing really well,” he said.
McCulley feels that everyone on the team is rolling as they build off each other. Now they are getting the opportunity of playing for the Teck Cup, which was their goal when they arrived for camp in September. It’s something he said that is very special for the group.
When asked about what he thinks the series will be like, McCulley said, “it will be a fast, very skilled series.”
McCulley has been happy with his play, which is executing a defensive role and locking down when needed. He has also been leaned on for the penalty-kill, which has been effective 81.48 per cent of the time. He also focused on keeping morale up.
|Cash Regan is once again producing offensively for the Kimberley Dynamiters. He is third on the team with 15 points in 15 games and said that Head Coach-GM Derek Stuart expects a lot out of him and their top players.
“I knew that I was going to have to continue my point production not only for myself, but also for my teammates as well as keeping everything positive as a leader in the room,” he said. “I have to use my speed and offensive abilities as much as possible.”
Since Game 4 of the Fernie series, Regan has played with Christian Mealey and Campbell McLean and the trio has just clicked. Mealey and McLean each have 17 points to lead the team.
What the Dynamiters did effectively against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks that they want to continue against the Posse is playing a heavy game, being aggressive and wearing the opposition down.
“Our lineup depth gives us some leeway in terms of who is playing. We can roll lines if we want to or just our top six if we need to get a goal,” he said. “Our depth is really something that has given us a serious advantage this year. Wearing teams down and relentlessly getting after teams has been huge for us.”