The new Grizzlies coach said hockey is like a religion in Canada.
“People just talk about hockey all the time,” said Lukas Lomicky.
Lomicky is originally from Czech Republic and has lived in Canada for almost three years. Lomicky said he chose Revelstoke because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
“It was also the best place in the league.”
As of Nov. 27, the Revelstoke Grizzlies have the most points/wins in the Doug Birks Division within the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference. So far, the team has only lost three games.
Lomicky took over from Ryan Parent, the teams owner, as the new head coach of the Grizzlies at the start of this season. It’s a full time job.
|Due to Grizzlies’ busy training schedule, Lomicky said he might see his players more than their own families. “You have a big impact on these kids,” he said. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
Lomicky said he lives and breathes hockey. Even during days off, which are few, he goes to neighbouring towns to watch the sport.
“I can watch it 24/7,” he said with a laugh.
Lomicky also helps coach the U-17 Czech hockey team, which won bronze this year in Medicine Hat. They even beat Canada in overtime: 3-2.
Regardless, he said coaching the Grizzlies is his first priority.
It’s been more than more than five years since Lomicky has played hockey. When he was 21, he hurt his back and didn’t see himself playing professionally. Instead, he studied physical education and took a one year off from the sport. However, he missed hockey. So, he started coaching kids. And loved it.
“I’m all in now,” he said.
“It makes me happy seeing kids get better.”
There are multiple new players on the Grizzlies’ team this year, including 13 forwards. Lomicky said the new players are coming along and learning how to be Grizzlies.
“We’re on the right track. We’re getting there. Day by day.”
Last year, the Grizzlies were provincial champions at the Cyclone Taylor Cup in Campbell River.
“I think there is a chance to do what we did last year,” said Lomicky.
The team just needs to keep training.
“When you put the work it, the results will come.”
The Grizzlies have a rigorous training schedule, including a gym workout each morning, practices on most days, boxing and yoga, and then games on the weekend.
The team even watches video of prior practices or games, so they can see what works and what doesn’t.
“And we try to fix it.”
There is also team building activities, such as poker night and bowling.
“It’s busy,” Lomicky said.
While Lomicky said there is a good chance the Grizzlies may win the provincial cup again, when it comes to who will take home the Stanely cup, it’s difficult.
“I like Chicago, they’re playing exciting hockey,” he said.