Once the Penticton Vees defeated the Nanaimo Clippers 8-2 to sweep the B.C. Hockey League championship and claim the Fred Page Cup, it was the second time Matt Miller hoisted the trophy above his head.
“It was really exciting,” said Miller, who was an assistant coach with the Revelstoke Grizzlies in 2019-20 and did some stats and video work with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League organization this season. “We had a good year all year.”
The Vees captured the BCHL regular season championship with 43 wins in 54 games. After losing the opening game of their series against the Trail Smoke Eaters, the Vees won 16 straight games to capture the Fred Page Cup.
“That’s never been done before. It was a really special feeling,” said Miller, the Vees Video Coach. “It’s always a good feeling to win a championship and seeing the guys who get to win it for the first time, the excitement in their eyes is a special feeling.”
Miller’s role was critical to the Vees championship success as he does a lot of the pre scouting on their opposition. He watches video to see team tendencies. During games, he’s creating video clips of things happening, such as a forecheck, watching in the coaches office on their video system. The clips are shown after a period or after a game. On the road, he sits where the video is set up in a room and does the same thing. After games the coaches break down the full game and watch it as a staff.
“It is a bit of work. When you win a championship like this, it makes it all worth it,” he said.
During his time with the Grizzlies, Miller learned how to work hard as he was given more responsibility, which included more pre scouting and watching other teams. He learned a lot while working with Lukáš Lomicky, who is an assistant coach with the Prince George Spruce Kings. He joined the Grizzlies having known General Manager Ryan Parent from before.
“I didn’t really know what to expect going to the KIJHL. Revelstoke is an amazing program, it’s run like a Junior A program, the way Ryan runs it,” said Miller, 24, who started his coaching career with the Vees at age 14.
Miller resumed doing work with the Grizzlies near the end of the regular season and into playoffs doing some video and stats work. He says he will likely be involved with the Grizzlies next season since he is able to do the video work from Penticton.
Now that their championship season is over, Miller and the Vees coaching staff turn their attention to building another team with its sights set on defending the Fred Page Cup.
Miller will contribute to that by providing his opinion on players that come to their attention and others they have seen on video or in person.