After winning the KIJHL championship five years ago, winning it a second time on Monday reminded Kimberley Dynamiters Head Coach-GM Derek Stuart of “how great it feels.”
“For me to watch the kids celebrate, and watch their reaction, that’s one of the reasons I do what I do,” said Stuart, on Wednesday morning prior to leaving for Revelstoke for the Cyclone Taylor Cup. “That was one of the happiest moments of the season for me.”
They had a great celebration, but Stuart said they were also exhausted after their series with the Princeton Posse.
“It was a seven-game war,” he said.
Not only is the feeling of winning the Teck Cup great, its impact will be noticed down the road. Stuart has seen how it helps with recruiting and having a very successful program consistently does a lot in helping in that area.
“The majority of players that are coming into this league would rather be on a winner,” he said. “They would rather be on a team that has a chance to win every year. I think it’s probably the biggest recruiting tool that you can have, the chance to win a championship year after year.”
|This is Stuart’s second Cyclone Taylor Cup and the Dynamiters bench boss is bringing a different mentality. After being happy with winning the league in 2017-18, this year is about winning the CTC.
A key aspect about the CTC that Stuart understands is that it’s different from playing for the league championship.
The message he gives his players is that it goes quick, but it’s a fun time.
Stuart likes that his players are focused and don’t let anything get to them.
Another key part for the Dynamiters in their play of late is their ability of late to execute the roles they have accepted.
|The host Revelstoke Grizzlies used their time off to heal and reset mentally, which Head Coach-GM Ryan Parent said has been good for his group.
After winning bronze at the CTC in Delta last year, Parent said what they learned that they keep in mind is that it’s a mentality with the tournament.
When it came to building a team this year, it was about having the right players and people.
It’s also about having players who thrive under the pressure in a short tournament.
As for the level of excitement for the CTC, Parent says Revelstoke is excited.