After the COVID-19 pandemic put an immediate halt to the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) championship match between the North Vancouver Wolf Pack and Aldergrove Kodiaks, the bears have “unfinished business,” said head coach Chris Price about the Kodiaks’ upcoming season.
That’s because a season’s worth of work was what they call “washed,” meaning no tie was declared, and no banner was shared between the teams.
Price said having a taste of near-victory has provided a source of motivation for the 13 returning players on the Kodiaks this upcoming season.
“It’s motivating the group to get that title,” he said about the roster of “strong returning players.”
The PJHL recently announced its plan to see games return by the end of September.
“It’s optimistic,” Price said about the decision, which he hopes will become a reality.Fingers crossed.”
On Tuesday the team wrapped up weekly practices at Langley Sportsplex – which is typical for the Junior B team in summer – and now awaits the return of ice at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre, expected in the first week of September.
From there, practices will ramp up to four times a week.
NEWS: PJHL concludes AGM, announces projected Sept. 29 start date for the 2020-21 regular season.
— PJHL (@Pacific_Junior) July 28, 2020
‘Extended training camp’ in sight
One downfall of the pandemic was the inability of coaching staff to host a hockey camp to hone in on prospective players.
“We missed time on the ice where the young guys try out,” explained Price.
“Some could have been from an Aldergrove Midget A team or the Major Midget division.”
Fortunately, the coach’s background in strength conditioning provided him insight on Lower Mainland players with the right level of skill and attitude.
“I’ve signed athletes I’ve gotten to know as people, not just as players,” added Price, who has signed on several new players for the Kodiaks.
The coach is now planning what he called an “extended training camp” in September.