Training camp opens this week for the Golden Rockets and 4th year head coach Ty Davidson believes that the team is ready to build on its franchise-best 3rd round playoff exit.
“I think every team, regardless of their level, should be going into a season looking to win a championship and that’s what we’re looking to do this year.”
Having never won a playoff series, the Rockets’ 2012-2013 campaign was a resounding success and Davidson noticed a huge increase in fan excitement during their playoff run.
“People that had never been in the arena before, let alone to a Rocket game, were showing (up) at the arena.”
Davidson says that fans can expect to see an exciting team on the ice again this year and points to the defence core as a significant source of strength. Five of the team’s six projected defencemen are returning players, including Coltin Berard who came up large in the team’s playoff run last year with 11 points in 13 games.
Four of the team’s 12 projected forwards will be returning players. Amongst new faces, Davidson highlighted Nicholas Hoobanoff, a winger from Canal Flats. According to Davidson, Hoobanoff probably could have made the team last season as a 15 year old and he has him projected for the second line this year.
“He’s just one of those guys that, the puck just follows him around. He just always seems to have it while he’s on the ice. He’s special.”
When asked why he believed the team’s fortunes were on the upswing, Davidson points to the impact that Team President Curt Thorne has had on the Rockets’ fortunes.
“Curt wants to win in the worst way. He’s the most competitive man I know other than maybe myself. That’s what makes us a good duo.”
The Rockets will play their first exhibition game on Tuesday in Invermere before hosting an exhibition tournament in Golden from Sept. 6 to 8. The 100 Mile House Wranglers come to town on Sept. 13 for the start of the regular season.