Matt Caden scores the third goal for the Grizzlies in Game 3 of the championship series against the Kimberley Dynamiters last season. The Grizzlies would go on to win in Game 5. (Jocelyn doll/Revelstoke Review)

Matt Caden scores the third goal for the Grizzlies in Game 3 of the championship series against the Kimberley Dynamiters last season. The Grizzlies would go on to win in Game 5. (Jocelyn doll/Revelstoke Review)

Grizzlies program a pinnacle in the KIJHL

Monday to Thursday it’s a grind but playing in front of a full barn is fun-Ryan Parent, GM

When talking about the Revelstoke Grizzlies program, Ryan Parent uses the word progressive and evolving.

That is what the Grizzlies have done under Parent’s watch. They have evolved and become progressive in how they deal with players, the workload in their program and the type of coaching they have.

“We’re one of the pinnacle programs in the KI,” says Parent, whose team won the Cyclone Taylor Cup (B.C. provincial) championship last season. “I think it’s a place that players want to be for sure. Our philosophy and our view on the league is it’s a very good league. Players that aren’t able to play in Revelstoke, we steer them to other programs in the KI first. We think it is a great development option. We think there is a lot of great programs in our league that are out there.”

READ MORE: Junior B hockey starts again later this month, how are the Doug Birk teams looking?

The Grizzlies have done well in developing players. Last season’s squad has four advancing to the BCHL and Alberta Junior Hockey League.

An offseason move to keep the program evolving sees Lukas Lomicky replace Parent as head coach after two seasons as the associate head coach. Parent, the governor/president general manager of the Grizzlies, firmly believes it is good to have a new voice behind the bench, saying “it’s going to be really refreshing for our players and for me to make a small adjustment to what we’re doing.”

Lomicky brings tremendous experience having been an assistant coach for the Czech Republic’s under-17 program two years ago in Dawson Creek. Parent says those are the best players in the world for their age. Having access to what those coaches are doing at the Junior B level is awesome.

“It’s an opportunity that players at our level don’t often get. He has been with the program a couple of years,” says Parent, adding that Lomicky will join the Czech national team in Medicine Hat and Swift Current for the 2019 World U17 Hockey Challenge.

Lomicky was a video and skills coach with Sparta Prague in the Czech Extraliga. He holds a masters degree in coaching from Charles University in Prague. Parent says he is a great resource for the players.

READ MORE: Five Grizzlies moving up to play Junior A hockey next season

He is joined Matt Miller, who comes from the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors. Miller will quarterback the technology side of coaching, which Parent says is a big step for the franchise. A big step for their players – a good learning tool.

“He’s an up and coming bright young coach,” says Parent, of Miller, who has also been involved with the Penticton Vees. “A big resource for the staff and players.”

When it comes to program structure, Parent described it like an academy, which he is familiar with having coached at Kelowna’s Pursuit of Excellence.

“It really bodes well for our players. We tell guys, it’s not maybe for everybody. The type of work that we put in, the long days that we put in. It’s challenging. What we tell players is the rewards can be big.”

Parent says the workload the Grizzlies coaching staff put players through is greater than the Junior A level.

“Our players are not at the next level yet, they need to have the opportunity and tools to get there,” he says.

Parent has been part of the West Kelowna Warriors and Salmon Arm Silverbacks, holding the position of assistant coach. In Alberta, he was the coach and general manager of the Lloydminster Bobcats. He has also coached in Europe. The workload helps players advance to higher levels, though if a player is not a Junior A player yet, he has got to put in more work.

“We can’t control exactly what happens with players in the offseason. How they train in the offseason is still on them,” he explains. “What we can control, and we do have access to control, is what we do in season. The volume and intensity of work, it’s the standard right now at our level.

“We want our players to have fun,” he continued. “If you talk to any player that plays in Revelstoke, Monday to Thursday is tough. It’s a grind. On the weekends, playing in front of a capacity barn, is a lot of fun. The rewards are there. It’s a great place to play hockey.”

While they may not win every year, they want to be a team that has a chance to.

READ MORE: What’s next for players leaving the Grizzlies

On Sept.21 the Grizzlies begin pursuit of defending their Kootenay International Junior Hockey League championship when they host the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Not starting on opening weekend has bought the defending Cyclone Taylor Cup champs time to clean things up and to dial in. The goal is to be among the top teams in the KIJHL, but the main goal is making the playoffs.

This season’s group went undefeated in exhibition action. The Grizzlies intend to play with speed and grit. This season’s Grizzlies are reloaded.

“We’re reloading the gun,” says Parent. “We have a large quantity of players moving up to Junior A. That’s a good thing. That’s a good problem to have. Kids know they can advance.”

READ MORE: Grizzlies provincial champions



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

KIJHLRevelstoke Grizzlies

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
COVID slows in Revelstoke to 2 new cases

Data is from Jan. 17 to 23

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Beard Growing Contests were popular in Revelstoke as far back as the first Golden Spike Days Celebration in July of 1944. In this staged publicity photo, local barber Clarence Sheedy is seen with contestants Toby Belinski, two unknown men, Elio Pradolini, possibly Nelson Huckle, and Al McAskill. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 348)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 28

A look at local history as recorded by the newspaper

A moose and her calf attempting to cross the Jordan River June 22, 2020, as seen from the Jordan River trail. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Letter: One year later Jordan River area still at risk

A Revelstoke company is one year in to their two year temporary permit for exploration in the area

Kevin Dorrius, general manager at Community Futures Revelstoke, presents Revelstoke local Jane McNab with the Volunteer of the Year Award for Revelstoke. (Submitted)
Community Futures planning September conference

Final decisions will be made in July depending on the state of the pandemic and vaccinations

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

Most Read