Williams Lake’s Francis Johnson (left) chases after a puck as Prince George’s Drew Rose gets back on defence during a Williams Lake Stampeders tryout Tuesday at the Cariboo Memorial Complex. The Stamps open their season this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cariboo Memorial Complex against the Lac La Hache Tomahawks.

Williams Lake’s Francis Johnson (left) chases after a puck as Prince George’s Drew Rose gets back on defence during a Williams Lake Stampeders tryout Tuesday at the Cariboo Memorial Complex. The Stamps open their season this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cariboo Memorial Complex against the Lac La Hache Tomahawks.

Stampeders ready to ride for season

The Williams Lake Stampeders will begin their quest for another Coy Cup senior men’s provincial hockey championship this Saturday, Oct. 1 when they open their 2011/12 Central Interior Hockey League regular season against the expansion Lac La Hache Tomahawks.

The Williams Lake Stampeders will begin their quest for another Coy Cup senior men’s provincial hockey championship this Saturday, Oct. 1 when they open their 2011/12 Central Interior Hockey League regular season against the expansion Lac La Hache Tomahawks.

The Stampeders have been practicing throughout September in preparation for the season making final cuts and determining this year’s roster.

Both Stampeders general manger Don Hanson and assistant general manager Kelly Kohlen said they like what they’ve seen on the ice, thus far.

“We have a team I think can go all the way,” Kohlen said, and noted several new additions to this year’s team should help.

While last year’s core players remain intact, Hanson and Kohlen said several new faces, not unfamiliar to Williams Lake hockey fans, will suit up this year.

Williams Lake forward Tyrel Lucas, who played for the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes and Calgary Hitmen from 2002-2005, is one new addition.

Tyler Fuller, formerly of the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials and the Williams Lake Timberwolves, will also be joining the club, helping strengthen the team’s blueline.

Bill McGinnis, Fuller’s Timberwolf teammate who later went on to play NCAA division one hockey at New England College, is another addition to the forward core.

Tyson Hall, who grew up in Williams Lake and last played for the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings in 2008/09, will also join the club.

“That’s a big help, having them,” Kohlen said.

“Those guys are all very good hockey players,” Hanson added.

“The crux of our lineup will be six or seven defencemen, our two goalies and the rest forward for a total of about 22 players.”

Taking on the Stamps’ goaltending duties this year is last year’s CIHL most valuable player Justin Foote and Duncan Peeman.

Kohlen, the Stamps coach for the past three seasons, has moved on to take the assistant general manager position, while former Stampeder player Cliff Philpot has taken on this year’s coaching duties. Back as this year’s assistant coach is Brooke Paquette.

This year’s CIHL schedule has been changed to an 18-game season (from 16) with the addition of the Lac La Hache Tomahawks and the Quesnel Kangaroos. The league has also been restructured into three divisions from last year’s two divisions.

In the East Division are the Smithers Steelheads, the Houston Luckies and the Hazelton Wolverines. In the West Division are the Prince Rupert Rampage, the Terrace River Kings and the Kitimat Ice Demons. Finally, in the South Division, the remaining four teams — the Omineca Ice, the Quesnel Kangaroos, the Stampeders and the Tomahawks — will round out the pack.

Teams will also no longer play home ice double-headers against the same team on both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, except once during the season, which should help increase fan attendance across the league, Hanson said.

“I think that’s great from the crowd’s perspective,” Hanson said. “Seeing different teams both days should be better.”

Following this weekend Williams Lake hits the road for a game against the Smithers Steelheads on Oct. 8 before playing the Hazelton Wolverines on Oct. 9.

The Stampeders are last year’s defending CIHL league champions, and the 2009 Coy Cup Provincial Champions, and both Hanson and Kohlen said everyone’s excited about the upcoming season.

Williams Lake could also host of this year’s Coy Cup as the Stampeders have submitted a bid; however, a decision has yet to be reached by the CIHL.

This Saturday’s action starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Cariboo Memorial Complex. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and kids under eight are free.

Just Posted

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

Crews work to repair Horsefly Road east of Williams Lake . (Ministry of Transportation video)
MoTI activates district operations centre, response to flood damaged roads in Cariboo region

Engineers, experts being pulled from across the province to help

RCMP officers on scene Friday, May 14 off Bond Lake Road on the outskirts of Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Update: Williams Lake RCMP arrest one suspect after firearms incident near Bond Lake Road

Given the severity, suspect is being held in custody for a court appearance

An official naming ceremony for the Nekw7usem Bridge connecting the RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island will take place Monday, May 17 at noon. (Patrick Davies file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City, WLFN hosting naming ceremony for Nekw7usem Bridge in Williams Lake

The pedestrian bridge connects the RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island

Patricia Froberg (from left), Pat Mitchell and Dorothy Ouellette enjoy lunch prepared by members of the Old Age Pensioners Organization for St. Patrick’s Day Wednesday afternoon. Today, May 14, the Old Age Pensioners Organization Branch 93 and the Seniors Activity Centre are hosting an Old Fashioned Drive In lunch with car hop service at the SAC parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Old Fashioned Drive In Lunch on menu at seniors centre today, May 14

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., swing on by the SAC parking lot for an Old Fashioned Drive In lunch

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

Most Read