This year’s Mission Icebreakers are pretty much an entirely new team, said head coach Wayne Stripp.
With only six returning players, there has been a significant influx of new talent, heavy on Mission players.
In addition to the new roster, the local Pacific International Junior Hockey League team has been rolling out a new style of play.
“We’re more aggressive and can compete harder on any given night,” said Stripp, who is helming the Icebreakers this year after the departure of Craig Sherbaty.
There are a number of standouts in this year’s players’ list from whom Stripp is expecting big results. Marcel Fuchs played midget AAA last year, and his speed is a welcome addition to the Icebreakers.
Stripp said the coaching staff are looking to develop him through the season and believe by Christmas he will be a force with which to be reckoned.
On defence, Travis Park will give more strength to the back end, along with Dakota Klassen, who Stripp describes as a “very physical defenceman.
“These guys will give us lots of stability behind the blue line,” he noted.
Stripp said the Icebreakers haven’t had a winning season yet, and he expects them to be above .500 this year.
“Our goal is to win,” he stated.
The junior B team dropped all three exhibition games earlier this month, losing to Aldergrove and Ridge Meadows twice, with scores of 4-2, 4-2 and 4-1, respectively.
They were taken apart in Richmond by the Sockeyes last Thursday 6-0 and edged out 3-1 by North Vancouver on Saturday.
The Icebreakers play tonight (Sept. 29) at home at the Leisure Centre against Delta. Puck drops at 7:45 p.m.
For more information visit www.missionicebreakers.net.
Hockey game benefits
RCMP are hoping that a successful fundraising hockey game will become an annual event.
The Mission Icebreakers junior hockey club faced off against the RCMP at the Mission Leisure Centre on Aug. 27. The goal was to have a friendly game of hockey for a good cause, and in memory of Myron Berg.
Berg was a fastball coach in Mission who died in December last year as a result of a car crash on Lougheed Highway just east Mission.
Due to the success, the Icebreakers and the RCMP said they anticipate another game next year. The event was organized by Scott Kieler of the Mission Icebreakers, and James Klassen, Hope’s Staff Sergeant Suki Manj, Cst. Darren Rennie, and Cst. Matt Deschenes.
RCMP members from Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope, Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, North Vancouver, an Auxilliary member from Hope, a member from the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Unit, and a spouse of a UFVRD member all participated.
More than 350 people attended, and the proceeds raised from the game are going to Camp Luther in Mission, a summer camp for children.
The score of the game was not important, said Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth. And even though the Icebreakers may have had the upper hand, it was a great community event. The Icebreakers really enjoyed themselves and the members who played against them had a lot of fun too.
It was a clean and friendly game with no rough play, however the coach of the Icebreakers, Wayne Stripp, told the RCMP team after the second period not to be afraid to give his players a little “push.”