The Rebels played their first exhibition game on Wednesday, but before they hit the ice we checked in with head coach Jesse Dorrans to find out what the new season holds for the Castlegar Jr. B team.
This is Dorrans third season as head coach, but he’s been with the team for eight years, and he’s excited about the upcoming season.
“I’m looking forward to a good group of returning veteran players, but also a good crop of young rookies coming in,” said Dorrans.
Since the beginning of last season, the team has moved three players onto college hockey, and five onto Jr. A.
“I think at our level we’re definitely doing our job here, moving guys up to the higher levels,” said Darrens.
Last year the Rebels finished sixth out of 20 teams.
Asked about expectations for the new season, Darrens said, “I think the big thing for us is to come out of the gates with a high compete level, and see where it goes from there.”
Last year the team’s strength was in their offence.
“We had a pretty dynamic offensive punch when it came to a lot of our games, where I think this year we’re going to have to maybe rely on a bit more team defense and some more scoring by committee,” he said.
As for weaknesses, last year the team seemed to lack endurance.
“We seemed to run out of gas near the end of the year, so I think our conditioning seemed to catch up with us last year,” he said. “With our rookies, it’s a tough grind—a 52-game season. A lot of those guys aren’t used to being on the ice every day, and it’s such a demanding environment we’ve created there, but again that’s what you need to do to get the results you want.”
The team is still looking for billets, and anyone interested in helping out can contact Darrens through the Rebels’ website.
The first regular season game for the Rebels will be a home game on September 11.