Whitehorse Daily Star

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TEAM SELECTED – Head coach Martin Lawrie of the Yukon Rivermen has finalized the roster for his Tier 1 bantam boys team. The club opens their season in the new league later this month in Whitehorse.

First games for Yukon Rivermen scheduled for later this month

The roster for the new Yukon Rivermen has been all but finalized, says head coach Martin Lawrie.

By Chuck Tobin on October 3, 2017

The roster for the new Yukon Rivermen has been all but finalized, says head coach Martin Lawrie.

“We are allowed to carry or card 19 players and we have carded 18 at this time,” Lawrie explained in an interview Monday. “We have one spot that we were allowed to leave open that we will be filling in the near future.”

Saturday was the deadline to file team rosters.

The team of 13- and 14-year-old bantam boys hockey players will represent the territory in a new Tier 1 or triple AAA league.

Their first three games will be at home on Oct. 28, 29 against the Thompson Blazers from the Kamloops, B.C., area.

Of the 18 players the Rivermen have carded, all but one are from Whitehorse, the only other player coming from Ft. St. John.

Lawrie said they’ll be playing in a seven-team league comprised of six other communities in B.C.

The intent of the new zone league created by BC Hockey is to provide players with the opportunity to compete at a high level while still living at home, he said.

Lawrie said there is absolutely no question if there was no Rivermen this year, a number of players on the roster would have been shopping for teams or schools to play with down south.

The list of players and the year they were born is as follows:

Goalies – Dawson Smith (03), Mason Driscoll (03);

Defencemen – Connor Cooper (03), Se McMenanmin (03), Owen Palfreyman (03), Alesandre Jirousek (03), Connor Cozens (03), Ty Beacon (04);

Forwards – Ashton Underhill (03), Landon Marsh (03), Cole Cowan (03), Joey Schultz (03), Orion Cruikshank (03), Sawyer Adams (04), Joshua Schenk (04), Errol Ekholm (03), Hugo Burgess (03), Ryder Twardochleb (04).

Coaches – Lawrie, assistant coaches Jake Jirousek and Petrice Burnet.

Lawrie said the boys will be practising six times a week, skating every morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on week days, with one other ice time on Monday evening.

In terms of fundraising, the club will be pursuing all the regular avenues used by minor hockey teams, he pointed out.

Lawrie said this will be the first time since the days of the Claim Jumpers in the late 1990s and early 2000s that there will be a Yukon representative hockey club involved in a regular league with teams from the Outside.

The challenge for the Yukon, he pointed out, has always been to have teams face the expense of coming North. BC Hockey has mandated every team in the new league to travel North for a three-game series with the Rivermen, he pointed out.

Lawrie said in their three trips south, they’ll play two games against one team and two against another. With each of the six other teams travelling North for a three-games series, each team will see each other five times during the season.

Having the new Tier 1 league is a huge plus for young players with ambitions to carry on with hockey at a higher level, he said.

Lawrie said they’ll be getting regular exposure to scouts, and not just occasionally when travelling to weekend tournaments and such.

And he’s quite confident they’ll be able to compete.

He said they played four games at the pre-season John Ferguson Memorial Tournament in Edmonton last month and showed well.

In their first game the Rivermen played Edmonton’s Canadian Athletic Club, ranked 11th in Western Canada, and were tied at 2-2 with five minutes to go in the second when the Canadians scored two quick ones. They added a couple of more early in the third and the game ended 8-2.

Lawrie said he’s happy with how his club performed in their first game against a team of that calibre.

They lost the other three games, but each went down the wire, he said.

Lawrie said bantam players who’ve already been identified by teams in the Major Jr. A Western Hockey League were well represented on the clubs playing in Edmonton.

“There were a lot of scouts at each game,” he said. “I had a number of different team reps come to chat with me about a number of players on the team. So they have already got a little recognition.”

Comments (2)

Up 5 Down 3

Ya No on Oct 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Martin Lawrie you are a good coach but being associated... you do not need that ....let's hope all the kids are treated equally....not just showcasing a few on the TEAM!

Up 5 Down 1

Garrioch's Reliable Source on Oct 4, 2017 at 10:11 am

A great team name !

When and where can I buy team merchandise ?

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