BANFF – The takeaway message from the showcase weekend for the Banff Hockey Academy (BHA) Bears’ male prep team is “learn from it and forget it.”
It was just one of those kind of stretches for the Bears, who went 0-3 during its six-team Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) showcase on Nov. 1-3 at Banff Fenlands arena.
BHA was beaten 7-1 against Pursuit of Excellence on Friday (Nov. 1) to kick off the showcase and then was blanked 12-0 in Saturday’s game against Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA). The Bears lost again to the British Columbia squad in Sunday’s match up, 8-1, to wrap up the tournie.
BHA head coach Evan Vosser said the team is “a little fragile” due to early struggles, dropping to 0-11 on the season after the tough weekend.
“We haven’t had the success that we’ve wanted up until this point,” Vosser said. “We work hard, work hard and can’t find a goal and then a bad bounce ends up in the back of the net and it kind of breaks that spirit, sort of thing.”
Vosser said playing three games in three days wasn’t an issue for the team, but getting the boys mentally prepared will be on the coach’s prioirty list moving forward.
“The physical aspect of the game is always there, but the mental aspect can kind of set us apart and [give us] that strength and confidence in knowing that when the game gets hectic and things are happening fast that we still know what we’re doing and we’re doing them properly,” he said.
Trying to gain an advantage on the power play became a sore spot for the BHA boys, who went two for 28 during the three-game showcase. With a man down, BHA’s penalty killers went 18 for 26.
“I just thought we had lots of power plays today [Nov. 3] and all weekend and just couldn’t capitalize on it,” said BHA forward Albert Kim. “We’ve been mixing things up a lot, but haven’t found the right formula yet [but] you can see some chances happening, so I think a couple more practices and we’ll get more goals happening.”
After some injuries, the team's core is back together and Kim, who had an assist during the showcase, said they’ll work on finding the right line chemistry moving forward.
“I think in our league, especially as we get older, everyone is … just as good as everyone,” he said. “We’re good as any team, but we just need to get those lucky bounces and bear down and we can beat any team in the league.”
Lucas Moeckl, BHA’s captain, added the team’s goal is to move up the ranks of the CSSHL.
“I want to be in the middle of the league, I want to be a team that can beat other teams and just bear down on things and we need to work on that,” he said.