The Penticton Silver Bullets are going to the 2023 Coy Cup Championships in Quesnel later this month.
Penticton’s senior men’s AA hockey team booked its ticket to the season’s finals last weekend, following a two-game sweep of the Rossland Warriors.
The Coy Cup is awarded annually to the province’s best independent hockey team, as sanctioned by BC Hockey.
Penticton, the 1992 Coy Cup Champions, is advancing to the finals in its first year of action since disbanding in 1994.
This year’s Coy Cup will be awarded after a four-team tournament from March 28 to April 1, featuring the Silver Bullets, Dawson Creek Canucks, Terrace River Kings and Quesnel Kangaroos.
“This is the final mountain we’re going to have to climb,” said Matthew Fraser, the Silver Bullets’ captain.
“We’ve climbed a lot so far this year, but this is going to be the toughest and if we do it, the most rewarding. This is a special experience we’re all about to live through.”
The newly-formed Silver Bullets will have to compete with not only the host squad, Quesnel, but also the top two teams in B.C.’s independent hockey scene from a year ago, the Canucks and River Kings.
The Canucks defeated the River Kings in the Coy Cup’s final game in 2022, to capture the prestigious trophy.
Penticton used 5-4 and 7-4 road wins against Rossland to reach the championships on March 10 and 11.
Connor Potter served as the Silver Bullets’ only goaltender on last weekend’s travelling roster and was credited with both wins.
Former NHL forward Colton Gillies found the back of the net for the Silver Bullets in the series’ second game on Saturday.
Gillies played for the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets, from 2008 to 2013.
“We’re lucky to have him,” Fraser said. “He’s been great and he’s such a great leader.”
Penticton hits the ice in Quesnel on March 28, for its first game of the Coy Cup Championships.
Scheduling for the finals has to be determined.
“It’s kind of surreal but it’s going to be fun and we can’t wait,” Fraser stated.
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