VICTORIA, B.C. — Yes, it is hockey season — and more than 40 hockey players are eager to earn a coveted roster spot with the Victoria Grizzlies.
The BCHL team hits the ice on Saturday at Juan de Fuca Arena, with Head Coach/GM Craig Didmon watching closely over the hopefuls.
After players check in on Friday evening, the off-ice testing and training takes place starting at 9:30am on Saturday morning.
Ice sessions start at 2:30pm and run until 11pm, involving Team Bozak and Team Benn (main camp), and Team O’Byrne and Team Barrie (Young Guns). The first scrimmage will be at 7:45pm.
The full schedule is below.
“The first day is almost like Christmas eve for us, because we’ve been waiting and planning for this day for a long time,” said Didmon, who saw nine of his players from last year’s team earn scholarships. “We are expecting to see great competition for spots, and it’s going to be exciting to see our future prospects and start peering into the future.”
On-ice sessions start at 9:30am on Sunday at JDF, running all day until Team Barrie faces Team O’Byrne at 4pm, and Team Benn matches up with Team Bozak at 6pm.
The first releases won’t be made until after Monday afternoon’s scrimmage (2:30pm, JDF). Off-ice and practices continue all week until Friday, and the first exhibition game is Saturday, August 29, in Duncan against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Home exhibition games are set for Sunday, August 30 (2pm, JDF, vs. Cowichan Valley) and Tuesday, Sept. 1 (7pm, JDF, vs. Nanaimo Clippers).
The Grizzlies won’t play a regular season home game at the Q Centre until Oct. 1. The team opens on the road on Sept. 11 against the Cowichan Valley Capitals, then plays road games in Nanaimo (Sept. 18) and Alberni Valley (Sept. 19) before going to Chilliwack for the annual scouting Showcase event, facing Chilliwack and Prince George (Sept. 26-27).