The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. on Sep. 3, marking the beginning of the Grizzlies’ preseason home games.
The game on Saturday will the second of the year for the Grizzlies. The team makes their season debut on the road against the Golden Rockets in Golden on Friday. Both games are part of the brief exhibition period, as all the teams in the league ramp up towards the beginning of the regular season later in September.
Head Coach and General Manager Ryan Parent said he’s pleased with how the team is looking at this stage.
“We’ve got a good returning crew. I think the rookies –our first-year guys– I think they’re all –should be– immediate contributors. So, I think we’re happy with what we see out of camp,” said Parent.
The Grizzlies had a successful 2021/2022 season, finishing at the top of the table in the Doug Birks division with 64 points. The team won 31 of their 42-game season.
The team is also coming off of a productive pre-season camp that included some community work. The Grizzlies helped foster some cubs, running a youth hockey camp that wrapped up recently. Parent said it was a great opportunity to give back.
“I think it’s rewarding for us. It’s nice to see our guys contributing in the community, in whatever way they can,” said Parent.
Parent wants the team to be active in the community as much as they are on the ice.
“If you look around town, we want our guys to be involved, whatever it is in the community, and not just be hockey players,” said Parent.
The Grizzlies seek out opportunities to give back because they benefit from the Revelstoke community so much. One of the biggest ways that the community helps the team is by billeting its players, which Parent is appreciative of. He said the impact of billeting on a player is profound before reflecting on his own experiences as a billeted player.
“I still keep in touch with them,” said Parent, of the families he billeted with.
He said that that kind of relationship between hockey players and billet families is “commonplace.”
Billeting, Parent said, is a “time-honoured tradition in Canada,” and one he’d like to continue in the town.
“The team is always looking for good billet homes,” said Parent before adding that billet families get an $800 per month stipend, season tickets, and discounts around town.
With junior teams come the challenge of an ever-changing roster as players age out of the league and move on. Parent will be evaluating the players as the exhibition games go on, looking for leaders—including the team’s future captain.
Parent says the goal of the season is simple.
“The goal in Revelstoke every year is to be one of those teams that has a chance to go to the dance,” said Parent.
Revelstoke will host the Cyclone Taylor Cup in April 2023. The Grizzlies aim to take part in that tournament.
There will be two pre-season exhibition games per weekend over the next few weeks as the team prepares for the regular season to start on Sep. 23 against 100 Mile House Wranglers. That game will be at the Revelstoke Forum.
READ MORE: Grizzlies’ forward steps up to BCHL