Ryan Huska’s part in back-to-back Memorial Cup championships by the Kamloops Blazers has earned the Kelowna Rockets’ head coach a place in the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Huska, 38, along with other members of the 1994 and 1995 Blazers’ teams, were officially inducted into the hall over the weekend at a ceremony in Penticton.
“As a group, this is a great honour for us,” said Huska. “The recognition that was given to us is really nice, and it just validates what a great group we had. We can very proud of what we accomplished.”
Huska was inducted along with the likes of Darcy Tucker, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Hnat Domenichelli, Nolan Baumgartner and Jason Strudwick who were all key members of the Blazers’ championship teams.
Kamloops won consecutive CHL titles in the mid-90s under head coach Don Hay and general manager Bob Brown.
With the passage of time, Huska said the importance attached to what the Blazers achieved just grows stronger.
“The older you get, the more special it becomes,” Huska added. “To get to a Memorial Cup is tough enough as it is, but to have won two in a row and three in four years is an amazing accomplishment. It makes you realize what a special group we really had during those years.”
A native of Cranbrook, Huska has won four Memorial Cup titles in his career—three as a player with the Blazers (’92, ’94, ’95), and another as an assistant coach with the Rockets in 2004.
Huska scored 71 goals and 162 points over four seasons with the Blazers, while adding 18 goals and 38 points in the playoffs.
As head coach of the Rockets for six seasons, Huska has led the team to a WHL title and a Memorial Cup berth in 2009, as well as a club-record 52 victories during the 2012-13 season.