Penticton Lakers roster needs filling, but coach sees greater talent

Penticton Lakers of the KIJHL challenged with short bench to start the season.

Robert Dirk’s main concern as the Penticton Lakers open the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season is his roster.

With only eight forwards committed, the Lakers coach-GM needs four more. Dirk is in the process of finding the right pieces.

“I’m not just going to add a kid for the sake of adding a kid, right?” said Dirk.

The Lakers other problem with opening night, which is Friday at 7 p.m. against the Osoyoos Coyotes, is they have four players

suspended.

The Lakers roster shows Carter Jensen has two games left to sit, while Paulsen Lautard has one game, Jayce Polman-Tuin two games and Michael Pond two games. Dirk will also be sitting out the opener due to a one-game suspension from last season.

“It’s going to be interesting to see who I have in the lineup and how we’re going to do,” said Dirk.

The Lakers have players deciding if they want to come back or have been cut from junior A teams and are sitting at home. Dirk is confident in adding four veterans to what he feels will be a strong hockey club.

“Very good hockey club actually, better than last year,” said Dirk, adding that the Lakers will be bigger and more talented.

The Lakers have two returnees in defenceman JR Krolik, their captain, and Cam Rout.

Ice chips: Lakers ticket prices have been dropped — $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, kids 10 and under are free. The Lakers next home game is Sept. 19 when they host the Princeton Posse at 7 p.m.