With five Terrace boys on the roster, the Osoyoos Coyotes are blazing through their Junior B playoffs and shooting for the Keystone Cup in April.
The team finished second in the regular season of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). It won its first playoff series four games to none, and were leading the second playoff series against Summerland 3-0 last Friday.
The winning team advances into the conference (or division) final, and after that will battle for the KIJHL league title in the first week of April.
Forming a strong contingent on the Osoyoos Coyotes are Terrace players Ryan Roseboom, Colin Bell, Hunter Johnson, Connor Onstein and Sam Reinbolt.
Several of the boys were honoured with key awards at the team award ceremonies recently.
Colin Bell, who’s been with the Coyotes for two years, was named the overall Most Valuable Player in the KIJHL.
Bell was also top-scorer for the Coyotes in the regular season, with 25 goals, 46 assists for 71 points.
Coyotes coach Ken Law said that Bell is a real team leader, a sharp player but humble and not greedy with the puck.
“He’s very good with the puck, great vision,” said Law.
And along with making smart plays and accurate shots, Law indicated that Bell is a humble team player, with nearly double the amount of assists to goals.
He’s “very heads up, and makes nice plays, unselfish plays for nice assists,” he said.
Playing with Bell on the Coyotes’ first line is Ryan Roseboom, who played in Junior A for almost two years (with Merritt Centennials and Chilliwack Chiefs) and just returned to the team in December.
Roseboom was named MVP for the team and has been a top player since coming back, Law said.
Since joining the team in December, Roseboom has chalked up 56 points – 31 goals and 25 assists.
“He’s a big, very mobile, energized guy,” explained Law.
“He’s pretty hard to move from the front of the net… he scores a lot of goals just from presence in front of the net and being able to bang home rebounds,” said Law.
But the Terrace boys don’t only bolster the skill of the Coyotes on the ice, they also have a depth of character that stands out.
“All our Terrace boys have been the same, anybody we’ve had from up north have all been character guys,” Law said.
The team’s two Terrace rookies, Connor Onstein and Sam Reinbolt, both received the Rotary Club of Osoyoos award for team leadership and community involvement this season.
“They’re always the first ones to volunteer,” said Law, explaining how the boys read and play sports with young students in schools and play floor hockey to provide entertainment for seniors.
Onstein and Reinbolt are on a lineup with Terrace’s fifth player, Hunter Johnson, who is seventh top scorer on the Osoyoos team, with 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points.
Since they’ve all played together, they know each other and what to expect, and it bolsters the strength of the line, said Law.
Law says Junior A teams have been showing serious interest in Reinbolt, as well as asking about Onstein.
The other players also have good chance at advancement, Law said, noting that Roseboom plans pursue an education next year.
“We have had nothing put positive experiences with the players we’ve had from the north,” said Law, adding that the Coyotes plan to run a camp in Prince George in the spring to make it easier for northern players to tryout.
“We are always interested in Terrace players,” he said.
Below are the Terrace boys. Left to right, are Connor Onstein, Ryan Roseboom, Sam Reinbolt, Colin Bell, and Hunter Johnson.