The 2013 season has seen mixed results for the Braves Ice Hockey Club. Our checking division teams in Premier A and Premier Reserve finished 1st and 2nd respectively at the end of the home and away season while our C1 and C2 teams were at the other end of the ladder finishing 6th and 5th. Unfortunately grand final victories eluded both checking teams who lost in the first 2 grand finals. Off the ice the club seems to have cured our problems with non-paying players, courtesy of our new treasurer Wendy Hinson, who along with Ross held bad debts to a rarity.
Overall the club is in good shape, we have good numbers now in Premier A and Premier Reserve courtesy of being able to select a number of former Braves players in the draft. Our non-checking C1 team is however struggling and needs and injection of talent. There is a rumor that some of the C1 players of old won’t be playing summer and may be returning to the club, which would be fantastic.
Financially the club hold strong, servicing all debts as they fall due and keeping some money in reserve.
Premier A this season saw two new coaches take the helm; Jack Wolgemuth and Jon Olthuis. As well as being Braves coaches, the two boys filled in their spare time playing for the Mustangs. The team had a fairly solid season and a lot to be optimistic about. A couple of players moving up from Prem Reserve as well as a few old Braves returning booted numbers, which was fortunate as we again lost a few mid-season to the annual overseas inline tournaments.
The team maintained relative consistence with a few lapses along the way. Finishing the season on top, the team won the 1st semi to go straight through; unfortunately the Tigers had their revenge for last year and took the grand final series 2-0. The boys threw away the first game and the tried much harder in the second, alas to no avail. Many thanks to the coaches and team manager Ron Bergamin.
Premier B were strong all year, again with some great recruiting in the draft, coach Peter Gravelle had the team firing. Fraser Ohlson was out for a lot of the season while his angle recovered from surgery and Mark Howell was called up to take the net for the B’s. Mark was fantastic and helped keep the boys on top or 2nd for most of the season. Fraser Ohlson returned with 7 games left and quickly picked up where he left off from last season.
The team fought its way into yet another grand final and despite a gallant effort went down 2-0 to the Demons, each time by a single goal. The last grand final went into a record 4th overtime, showing just how close the two teams were. Great effort by Peter, Ross and the team.
Prem C-1 had another season to forget, despite picking up a number of players in the draft, the team struggled for consistency. New coach Kane McQueen tried a number of combinations to get the squad firing. The season was quite frustrating despite showing glimmers of good play, could not last the distance with many goals coming against us in the last period. The team also struggled with numbers for most of the year, with a number of games fielding the bare minimum of players. A withdrawal by the Marauders from summer hockey could see a number of players making a return to winter next season. This would be a sensational result for the C1 team, who need a few seasoned heads in their ranks. A great effort none the less and plenty to be optimistic about for next season.
Prem C-2 had a slow start to the season losing a number of close games. The team’s form picked up as the season progressed and became a possible contender for the finals. Despite having wins or a draw against all other teams, a lack of consistency in the last few games caused the team to miss out on finals by a single point. Overall a good season, one that coach Rick Dwyer was proud of. A lot of new players in the team and a lot of reason to believe that next season will see them mature into better hockey players.
Once again we should have first pick in the non-checking draft next year. But unfortunately last pick in the checking draft.
Summer hockey last season saw 1 team of Braves entered; the team under Ricks’ leadership made the grand final but alas could not win the title. This year we welcome Jessica Kirwan to the Braves as our new Summer Teams Coordinator. We will have 3 teams entered under the Braves banner in this years’ summer comp, which is good news as it brings new members and new blood into the club.
Special thanks go to our coaches and team managers, Ron Bergamin, Ross McKendrick, Maureen Black and Ebony Dwyer. Coaches Jack Wolgemuth, Jon Olthuis, Peter Gravelle, Kane McQueen and Rick Dwyer. Special thanks to Ross McKendrick who stepped up to manage the Prem C2 team after Maureen resigned. And of course our hard working committee, Rick Dwyer, Ross McKendrick, Wendy Hinson, Steve Wright, Trenton Dalvean and Robin Forsyth.
Bring on summer and bring on 2014.
Braves Ice Hockey Club