The Comox Valley Glacier Kings are taking it one step at a time as they prepare for their final 11 regular season Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League games and look forward to post-season play.
This week, they took a big step toward solidifying their blue line corps by welcoming Karver Everson back to the fold. The 17-year-old Comox native was with the Jr. B Glacier Kings last season and was drafted by the Dawson Creek Rage of the Jr. A North American Hockey League last spring.
He had two goals and two assists with 44 PiM through 28 games with the Rage this season. Glacier Kings’ coach Jim MacLean said Everson decided to return home in order to concentrate on school. “Lengthy road trips and the schedule they had detracted from his ability to concentrate on his studies,” MacLean said.
The coach added the Yetis are still looking to add to their roster before the Jan. 10 deadline, but said the team does not need anybody at this time as he is happy with the current lineup. He is hoping to have Everson in the lineup tonight when the North Island Division-leading Glacier Kings hit the road for a game against the Peninsula Panthers.
“It’s a big game for us,” MacLean said. “We’re trying to position ourself as best as we can for the playoffs.” For the first time, this year’s regular season winner gets a first round bye (and cash bonus in lieu of a series) in the playoffs while 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th and 4th vs. 5th. The Icemen currently boast the best record in the league, but MacLean notes the Victoria Cougars are right behind them and have three games in hand.
“They’ve beaten us in all five games this year and we have one game left against them,” MacLean said, indicating it would be tough for his squad to hope to hold onto to first place overall. “All we can do is win every game and see where the chips fall.” The first two playoff rounds are best-of-five and the championship series is best-of-seven.
Should the Yetis finish second they would probably draw Campbell River Storm in the first round, and MacLean said that long-standing rivalry would make for an entertaining series. The regular season ends Feb. 19, and MacLean said the playoffs are the best time of the year. “Everything becomes more magnified in terms of what you’re doing. Obviously we want to continue to improve and go into the playoffs on a high.”
Next weekend will be a busy one for the Glacier Kings. On Jan. 14 they host the Oceanside Generals and on Jan. 15 they visit the Kerry Park Islanders. On Jan. 16 all VIJHL eyes will be focussed on the Comox Valley as the All-Star and Prospects games will be played at Sports Centre Arena No. 1.
There is also a skills competition between those two afternoon games and a banquet in the morning. More information and tickets are available at 250-334-4709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.