Three Terrace minor hockey graduates are making an impact in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League as part of the red-hot Osoyoos Coyotes, the team that’s sitting at the top of their division and that was a close second in the league’s standings as of last Wednesday.
Colton Braid, Ryan Roseboom, and Colin Bell all play on the same line and see a lot of ice time, said coach Ken Law last week.
“I’ve got the three of them playing on the line, it’s our Terrace line, our northern line and they’re outstanding,” he said. “They’re all up at the top end of the scoring and doing a good job for us.”
As of last Wednesday, Roseboom, #6, was fifth in points for the team, Braid, #4, was sitting at eighth and Bell, #TK, was 11th. The team’s vying for the top spot in the 52-game league with Fernie and are in the hunt for this year’s championship.
All three Terrace players – plus two players from Prince Rupert – came out of the Coyotes’ Terrace camp, held for the last two years around April, right before the ice comes off.
Law said he wanted to pick up Roseboom last year, but the left-winger decided to stay and graduate with his friends in Terrace. Coaching staff recognized Bell last year, and “this year at camp he’s just one of those guys that’s so smart with the puck and makes good decisions all the time. He’s as good in the defensive zone as he is in the offensive zone.”
Braid’s getting to be a leader on the team and “he’s a guy that plays a lot of minutes for us,” said Law. “That whole line plays a lot of minutes for us. They’ve played together over the years so they all read each other quite well and they just had a chemistry on the ice right from day one.”
The team is gunning for a championship this year and so far is “playing really well. The guys are all buying in, understanding systems, and we’ve got really good speed and that’s something the Terrace group adds to us too, and the ability to make plays at a high level.”
Roseboom’s already become an affiliate player in Chilliwack Chiefs Junior A team, and Law says two to three guys typically move on at the end of the season to play at a higher level.
A couple of players have had that opportunity already this year, but have opted to stay with the Coyotes because they want to win a championship.
“The guys are all on the same page, everybody’s working towards the same goal. The dressing room is fantastic, the guys are all so tight,” said Law. That’s in part because they spend so much time together off of the ice, out in the community doing volunteer and networking events.
“They all step up and volunteer. We keep them busy – there’s not a lot to do down here, Terrace probably has more to do than we do, we don’t even have a theatre,” he said, laughing.
“It’s basically hockey and gym, and the guys that are in school (eight of the players are in school). We play 52 games and practise every day, it’s a huge commitment for the young guys.”
And you can bet the team will be looking for more young guys from Terrace to pick up next year.
“It’s been a good process for us… It’s kind of our little picking ground, where we like to go, and there are some guys that were close to making it this year that are still playing there,” he said, of the Terrace camp. “So we’re going to try to keep that trapline open and hopefully it keeps paying off every year.”