Through just five games, the NEBC Trackers appear to be well on the path to contend for a second-straight B.C Midget AA provincial title.
In reality, it’s way too early to have a good handle on the team, but with a 4-0-1 record to start the NAHL season, the Trackers have done about as well as they good while working in a lot of new players and a new leadership group.
The Trackers played just one game last weekend, a 4-1 win over the Fort McMurray Oil Barons that saw the Trackers outshoot their opponents 58 to 22. Head Coach Gerard Dicaire was quite pleased with the game, as he should be, as it came on the heels of his team blowing a 5-3 loss at home to the Grande Prairie Storm the previous weekend, resulting in a 5-5 tie.
“That was a tough game for us, so this week we concentrated on being defensively focused for all 60 minutes and I thought we did that for the most part. We’re a quick-skating team and when we are skating fast and supporting each other, we’re a really good team,” Dicaire said.
The Trackers’ schedule this year starts with lots of single-game weekends at home, before turning to lots of three-game road-trips later in the season. The Trackers had the opposite schedule a year ago, and Dicaire said it’s been hard for his team to stay focused when they only play one game a week.
“We’re used to playing every night over the weekend and you can work on specific things and really see progress. But for kids of this age, I’ve been really pleased with their mental toughness and ability to stay focused while we’re not skating as much,” said Dicaire.
The coach said his team’s strength early on is its depth. Whereas the 2018-19 team was high scoring, Dicaire is looking for this year’s team to focus more on taking care of its own zone. Still, the team is doing just fine on the offensive side, outscoring teams 22-10 through five games.
Defenseman and newly named captain Duncan Ross leads the team with seven points, including four goals, filling the void left by former captain and offensive-defenseman Connor Kindrat, who moved on to the Huskies this season. The assistant captains are Kurtis Lee, Chase London, and Shayden Hiebert.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.