The Kelowna Chiefs have become the team-to-beat in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
At 17 games into the regular season, the Chiefs sit on the top of the league with 15 wins, one tie, and one overtime loss, which gives them 32 points. They are six points up on the next closest team, the Kimberly Dynamiters, who won the championships last year.
Though the team is only two months into the season, head coach Ken Law says the team tries to avoid thinking about their record. “We try and keep level headed. Try and play our game and make sure we’re prepared. Our main focus is to go out every night and compete.”
Law says that the team puts in the effort every day, whether it’s practising at game speed or staying serious during gym and crossfit sessions.
“Everyone is playing for each other, and all 24 players contribute.”
The Chiefs have flown under the radar in the Kelowna area with their impressive start to the season. Coach Law says though the team has had some impressive offence, its the goaltending by rookies Braeden Mitchell and Shane Zilka that has given the team the chances to win.
They look to continue their hot streak Friday night against the Fernie Ghostriders at the Rutland Arena.
With four months still remaining in the regular season, the Chiefs will need to stay near the top of the leaderboard for a shot at the Cyclone Taylor Cup championship, which coach Law says is the main goal.
The KIJHL is a junior “B” hockey league, that competes with two other hockey leagues in the B.C. area which all compete for the same Cyclone Taylor Cup Championship.
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