Skip to content

Stamps looking to bring home 2019 Coy Cup

“It’s been a long time,” Navrot said, who has coached the Stampeders for multiple seasons in the past.

The Williams Lake Stampeders are looking to pull out all the stops in their quest to bring home this year’s Coy Cup Senior Men’s AA Hockey Championship.

After two days and two games already at the four-team tournament, the Stamps have amassed a one-win, one-loss record, and were sitting in a good spot to position themselves for a slot in the semifinal slated for Friday, March 29 at the tournament.

Stampeders coach Al Navrot, who travelled with the team to this year’s tournament in Fort St. John after the team’s regular season coach Dave Lauzon was unable to attend, said so far he’s having a lot of fun, and is blown away with the skill level of the team.

“It’s been a long time,” Navrot said, who has coached the Stampeders for multiple seasons in the past.

“We’ve got a good team up here. Each day I can feel it: the power and the strength in this team. They’re good with adversity and they work their way through it, and there’s a lot of depth there.

“The tournament’s short-term competition is always unpredictable, especially in a working man’s league, so you never know what’s going to happen and you’ve got to be ready every game.”

Williams Lake opened its tournament Tuesday with an 8-2 loss against last year’s Coy Cup winners in the lakecity, the Dawson Creek Canucks, before bouncing back Wednesday with a 7-4 victory over fellow Central Interior Hockey League team, the Prince Rupert Rampage.

READ MORE: Stampeders headed to 2019 Coy Cup

Williams Lake’s Chase Dubois, who just recently wrapped up his season with the BC Hockey League’s junior A West Kelowna Warriors, and Cory Loring, who played with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s junior B Summerland Steam, joined the Stamps’ roster for the tournament, along with Cole Zimmerman of 100 Mile House, a former 100 Mile Wrangler.

“The young guys really give us some depth,” Navrot said. “You’ve got to have at least three solid lines and five solid defencemen to compete, and our defence played really well yesterday. There’s lots of leadership on this club, and I’m kind of blessed to walk into something like that.”

In the victory over Prince Rupert, Dubois notched a hat trick, including an empty net goal, while Loring lit the lamp twice in the winning effort. Kaleb Boyle and Justin Bond, also both former junior B players, also found the twine in the victory for the Stamps, while goaltender Willie Sellars held down the fort on the other end.

“Chase, he’s a special player,” Navrot said of watching the team’s young guns on the ice. “He’s got moves and he’s fast, and he handles the puck. Him and Zach (Sternberg) on the power play, they fit really well together.”

The Stampeders are slated to take on the host Fort St. John Flyers Thursday night and, depending on how the rest of the teams finish, will play Friday in the semifinal or in the championship Saturday.

“I think we’ve got a really good shot. That first game versus Dawson Creek we were burned,” Navrot said. “We got off the bus at 5 a.m., the guys were tired, there’s three new guys they hadn’t played with before, a new coach, and they’re tired and burned out but they showed me strength and what they’re capable of mentally and emotionally.

“I’m feeling pretty confident in the boys.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Greg Sabatino

About the Author: Greg Sabatino

Greg Sabatino graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 2008.
Read more