The KIJHL Notebook: Teck Cup Final


Today’s KIJHL Notebook previews the Teck Cup Final between the Revelstoke Grizzlies and Fernie Ghostriders that begins today at the Revelstoke Forum.

It’s the first time these two teams battle for the Teck Cup and the Ghostriders are looking for their third championship win, first since the 2007/08 season. The Grizzlies are looking for their fifth championship, last winning it in the 2021-22 season.

The lone regular season game between the two resulted in a 3-2 overtime win for the Ghostriders at the Revelstoke Forum on Jan. 20.


Fresh off being named the KIJHL Coach of the Year, Grizzlies bench boss Jiři Novák knows they are facing a “really good team that are well coached.”

“It will be a pretty tight series and fans will be a big factor,” says Novák. “It will be cool to play in front of full houses.”

In nine playoff home games, the Ghostriders have averaged 818 fans, while the Grizzlies have averaged 741 in seven games. Novák added it’s a matchup of teams that focus on tight defensive play and try to capitalize on the rush or what the opponent gives.

“It will be a hard fought battle as both teams have gone through some adversity. Small details will be a huge factor and I don’t expect that it will be high scoring,” says Novak. “I think the goalies will play a key role and special teams will be a huge factor.”

Novák is very familiar with Ghostriders goalie Nick Kunyk, as they were both on Team KIJHL for the BCHC Prospects game. Novák says Kunyk has improved a lot during the season.

“He’s almost a different goalie than how he was at the beginning, more confident,” says Novak. “He’s a pretty good goalie.”

Novák has his own in Jozef Kuchaslo, a two-time KIJHL Top Goaltender, who is tied with Beaver Valley Nitehawks goalie Connor Stojan with 10 wins and has a 2.30 GAA and .929 SP.

Ethan Coventry leads all players with 13 goals in 15 games, and leads the team with 17 points.

The Grizzlies have the best special teams entering the final. Their power-play is executing at 25.9 per cent – going 15-for-58, while the penalty-kill is at 91.3 per cent – 63-for-69.

While praising Kunyk, Novak says like the other goalies they have faced, it’s about finding ways to beat him. 


Cole Fournier of the Ghostriders says the group feels “really good” about their play heading into the series. 

“I know we’re coming in with a lot of confidence,” says Fournier, 20. “I think our offence and defence are firing on all cylinders and we have to keep that going.”

Kunyk is having a great post-season with eight wins and has the best save percentage at .949 and goals against average at 1.50.

“Kunyk’s been absolutely unbelievable,” says Fournier. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a goalie who’s more dialed in than he is. He’s an intense guy when it comes to game time and there’s nobody who wants to win as much as him.”

Fournier added having Kunyk as the last line of defence puts the players at ease, especially if they make a mistake, knowing he can bail them out. Kunyk is meticulous about his game.

“It’s very rare he lets a squeak or something like that in,” adds Fournier.

Coming into the Teck Cup Final, Fournier likes the pace the Ghostriders are playing with.

“Our team has the most success when we’re first to pucks all over the ice,” he says. “We’re tenacious – I don’t think there’s a team in the league that can skate with us

“I think we’ve proven that through all playoffs and the year at times. When we’re on, I don’t think anybody can handle us,” he continued.

Fournier’s brother Coden, who joined the team from the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys in December, leads the team with 14 points in 17 games. Defenceman Kaden Slobodian leads their blueliners with nine points in 17 games.

On special teams, the Ghostriders power-play ranks sixth at 16.7 per cent – going 12-for-72, giving up three shorthanded goals. Their penalty-kill is fourth best at 88.9 per cent – 48-for-54.