Residents of 100 Mile House could possibly celebrate with the local Junior B Hockey Team in 2020 after the 100 Mile House Wranglers have officially submitted a bid to host the coveted Cyclone Taylor Cup.
“I do hope the entire community gets behind it. It’s a wonderful showcase for the South Cariboo and I think it’s important that we host the provincial events as much as possible and show off who we are, where we are and what we have to offer,” said Tom Bachynski, president of the 100 Mile House Wranglers franchise.
Bachynski said he believes the club has a good chance due to the franchise being one of the leading organizations in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), making the playoffs five seasons in a row.
In the 2015-16 season, the Wranglers captured a treble in winning the KIJHL Championship, Cyclone Taylor Cup and the Keystone Cup (the Junior B cup for Western Canada (including Northwestern Ontario).
“With winning it all a few years ago it just seems like a natural progression…The opportunity only comes around once in a fairly short while,” said Bachynski. “So we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase the town and host the B.C. championship.”
The president of the club went on to say that the franchise needed to take a deep look into themselves and make sure they had the depth and capacity to host the tournament, which includes three teams in addition to the host.
With four teams involved, there needs to be enough accommodation for travelling players, staff and fans.
After making sure there is enough beds and facilities to accommodate what Bachynski expects would be around 600 to 700 people, the hosting team needs to do a financial analysis to make sure the club can afford it or at least break even.
All that information is gathered and then sent to the BC Hockey Hosting Selection Committee.
Three other teams have bid for hosting duties. All three are in the KIJHL; Columbia Valley Rockies, the Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders.
The last time a team from the KIJHL hosted the tournament was the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in 2017.
Bachynski said the other three teams will have strong bids and are great organizations but he was hoping the 100 Mile House would come up on top.
“I can say the hockey community is 110 per cent behind it…I hope the community embraces it whole heartily and the district and the regional district all come behind it because it’s not something the Wrangles can put on by themselves,” he said.
With Nov. 23 being the deadline for the submission to bid, the Selection Committee has until Nov. 29 toreview the bids. On Nov. 30, the selection committee sends follow up questions to the interested parties.
BC Hockey will let the teams know of the approved host at an unspecified date in December.
The cup in question combines the winners of the three Junior B leagues – KIJHL, Pacific Junior Hockey League (PIJHL) and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) – in British Columbia and a host team to see who is the best team in the province.
Named after Hockey Hall of Famer Fred “Cyclone” Taylor, an essential part of the Vancouver Millionaires only Stanley Cup in 1915, has been played since 1967.
The 100 Mile House Wranglers have only competed for it once. In 2016, the team qualified after winning the KIJHL Championship and made it to the final, where they played against the Victoria Cougars of the VIJHL and the host of that year’s edition. The Wranglers won 5-4.
The 2018 host was the Richmond Sockeyes of the PJHL, with the KIJHL’s Kimberley Dynamiters and Campbell River Storm of the VIJHL and the Delta Ice Hawks of the PJHL participating as their league’s respective champions. The host team was the winner of 2018.
Campbell River will be hosting the 2019 edition from April 11 to 14.