2014 Bryan Couling Athletic Team of the Year Award Recipient
Okanagan Rockets, Major Midget Hockey Club
Warning: No actual giants or beanstalks were injured in this story....
But nevertheless, Hockey Canada dubbed the Okanagan Rockets as the “Giant Killers of Midget Hockey” after they knocked out the five time BC team before heading to Red Deer to wipe out the back to back National Champion Alberta team.
In 70 games during the 2013-14 season, they never lost back to back games.
After winning the Pacific Regional Championship, they made the club’s first ever appearance at the National Championship where they won the bronze medal, finishing third out of 142 Major Midget programs in the country.
In addition to the team success, there were plenty of individual triumphs for team members as well. Tyson Jost, a 15 year old, set a BC Major Midget record with 44 goals during the season, breaking the record of 40 held by Edmonton Oiliers 1st overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Jost and fellow teammates also represented Canada at the 2014 World U-17 Championship.
The Okanagan Rockets graduated 17 of their 20 player roster to either Junior A or Western Hockey league – something relatively unheard of.