Westside Warriors captain Alex Grieve made the B.C. Hockey League all star team, signed an NCAA scholarship deal and finished in the top 10 in league scoring this season.
But the likable 20-year-old from Calgary says none of that is as important as the Westside Warriors success in the BCHL playoffs this year.
Grieve, a third year player with Westside who is playing his final games as a junior this spring, says it’s time for the Warriors to make a run in the playoffs.
“One of the reasons I came to Westside was to win a championship,” said Grieve earlier this week, prior to game five in the first round BCHL playoff series with Trail. “Our organization definitely needs a championship. It’s time to step out of the shadows of Vernon and Penticton. It’s definitely what our organization needs right now.”
Grieve joined the Warriors out of midget hockey in Calgary, forgoing offers to stay in Alberta and play junior A. As a rookie he had 24 points before putting up 50 last year and 78 this season, improving each year as he took on more of an offensive role.
When head coach Darren Yopyk held exit meetings last season, every player mentioned Grieve’s name as a possible captain, pointing to his popularity with the players.
“The biggest thing for Alex is he always puts the team and team goals and aspirations ahead of his own,” said Yopyk.
Another sign of a good captain is knowing your teammates. Last year the Warriors staged a fun contest where players were asked about their teammates and their families. Grieve won it hands down.
“He gets to know all of the guys and he puts the team ahead of himself,” said Yopyk.
Getting named Warriors captain this season was just the second time ever Grieve has been a captain. He said he learned a lot during the season.
I learned a lot about being a leader,” he said. “I learned a lot about myself and how to work with coaches and work with the younger guys and in the community. I’ve always loved going to school visits and reading to kids and this year I didn’t the cancer fundraiser which was a lot of fun. It felt really good to give back to the community.”
Now Grieve is focused on trying to give something else to the community he has called home for three years. He says the biggest thing for the team now is having success in the playoffs. In each of his first two seasons, the Warriors have won a first round playoff series before being ousted in the second round.
He says the community deserves to have a championship team for the support it provides the Warriors.
“Coming to Westside has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” he said. “I’ve met so many great people and been part of a great organization. I’m really happy with the decision I made to come here. Now we want to go and get that championship for the city.”
The Warriors first round playoff series with Trail will be wrapped up by Saturday night at the latest. You can find results at www.bchl.bc.ca.