Two products of the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association started play in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) last weekend.
Sechelt's Kyle Horsman is in his third season in the BCHL playing 40 games with the Trail Smoke Eaters in 2011/12, where he picked up seven points.
Last year the forward had 18 points including eight goals in 48 games with the Cowichan Capitals and is now in his second year with the squad.
Before playing the opening two games of the season at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack last weekend, Horsman was named team captain.
Cowichan opened with a 4-3 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings Saturday where Horsman scored the tying goal in the third period. The Capitals dropped a 6-2 decision to Trail on Sunday. Horsman did not register a point.
Cowichan head coach and general manager Bob Beatty said Horsman brings a lot of intangibles to the table.
“His work ethic day in and day out, on and off the ice, is tremendous,” said Beatty. “He is a very mature young man at age 19. He has shown a lot of leadership and brings a lot of qualities of a captain that we like. He not that vocal, but he leads by example.”
Beatty said called the weekend effort by his team inconsistent.
“It's early, but you always want to get off to a good start and we kind of stumbled a bit in certain areas,” he said. “Kyle scored a real nice goal on Saturday night and we know we're going to get a consistent effort from him every night. We have some good pieces in place and if we can get the kind of effort from all the guys that Kyle brings, we're going to have a good season.”
Goalie Blake Pearson from Sechelt is in his rookie campaign with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 decision to Penticton on Saturday and a 9-4 decision to the Coquitlam Express on Sunday. Pearson relieved starting goalie Brad Rebagliati in Sunday's game, stopping 28 of 32 shots.
“I think he's a very sound goaltender, a great kid and works hard,” said Bulldogs' head coach and general manager Kevin Willison. “Blake had a solid training camp and earned himself a spot on the team and deserves to be here. He was thrown into the fire a bit on Sunday. Letting in a goal on his first show — I know he would want that one back, but he settled down and made the next save and handled himself very well.
“I don't think Sunday's game was an indication of what to expect all season from our goaltenders. I think we left our goalies high and dry a bit and we paid the price.”
Despite losing the two opening games, Willison said he saw a lot of positives from the team.
“At this level the guys have to realize that you have to work hard, show lots of mental toughness and be prepared every time you take to the ice. As soon as you let your guard down, you're in trouble,” he said. “The guys were a little nervous I think. It's a big stage at the Showcase, lots of scouts, but we're now into the season and I expect we'll be a solid team this year.”