Huskies to skate on home ice in quest for B.C. senior AA hockey trophy
The waiting game for the Whitehorse Huskies is over.
During a team meeting last night, the players discovered that they would get to fight for the B.C. senior men’s AA Coy Cup on home ice this season.
General manager Dan Johnson broke the news to an excited room. The message was simple: “This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to play for all the marbles and do it on home ice and for a home crowd,” said coach Michael Tuton of Johnson’s missive.
In their second season back on the ice, the Whitehorse Huskies are ready to make it happen.
“The vibe around the team has been a lot different than in year’s past,” said Tuton.
“They guys are ready to go. They want to play. They just want to get out on the ice and do whatever it takes.”
The Huskies made it to the Coy Cup last year, but were eliminated by the Fort St. John Flyers.
The preparation for the Coy Cup bid started in the summer.
“Dan started the bid back in July. It took a couple months getting everything together,” said Echo Ross, the Huskies new marketing and communications director. “We put a lot of hours and a lot of work into the bid and in the end it was worth it.”
The resulting document was 30 pages in length and won over B.C. Hockey.
“Whitehorse is a passionate hockey community and the support of the Huskies fan base is impressive,” said BC Hockey chief executive officer Barry Petrachenko in a press release. “We are confident Whitehorse will host an exceptional event and look forward to bringing this event to the Yukon.”
The Huskies beat out the Fort St. John Flyers, among other teams to host next year’s competition.
Hosting the Cup means the Huskies won’t have to travel Outside for any games this season.
“Everything is going to happen at home for the Huskies,” said Tuton.
Johnson said it is expensive for the team to travel. But when visiting teams come up during the regular season, all the expenses are arranged by the Huskies. Vehicles and hotel rooms have been donated by local businesses.
“We’ve had assistance at every turn,” said Johnson.
Hosting the Cup also means that the Huskies are guaranteed a spot in the final four.
“We can maintain our focus on the roster,” said Tuton.
The team’s mindset, he said, is to win the Cup and to do it this season in front of a home crowd.
In the 90s, the Huskies played two seasons of senior male AA hockey and won the Allan CUp, the senior male national championship in 1993. The team folded soon after and had a short comeback in 2009, but disappeared again due to costs. It was revived in 2014.
The Huskies open their season with a home series against the Bonnyville Sr. Pontiacs on Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. at Takhini Arena. Game 2 follows at 5 p.m. on the 16th.
Returning captain Evan Campbell will once again captain the team during the series, but a planned shoulder surgery will keep him off the ice for the remainder of the season.
The team is made up of local players, though Johnson said two players will be brought in by the club, including former Yukoner Reid Campbell.
“The place is littered with ex-junior and NCAA players,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of local talent here right now that’s ready to host that Coy Cup.”
The 2017 Coy Cup will be held at Takhini Arena March 21-25, 2017.