I watched Grant play in last year's KIJHL playoffs for Nelson and immediately thought he would be a strong Junior A prospect for this season. I thought he was a model of consistency for most of this season while the whole team battled to find their identity. In the new year he's taken his game to the next level. Rollheiser is a big, positional goaltender who makes the job look easy. That doesn't mean he's not making spectacular saves, but they just don't look that way because he's so poised and reads the play so well. In my opinion he's got the mental make-up of a top goalie. As much as I would've wanted to see him play again next year, I'm really happy for him. This is a wonderful achievement.
Rollheiser says he has been told he'll compete for the starting job next season. Seems he fell in love with the city and the school on his fly down. There have been a ton of schools after Grant lately. Schools and NHL scouts as well. This is a special player. All the best to him, and lets hope his final games as a Smokie are successful.
- Click Here for Part 1 of the Rollhesier interview on Overtime
- Click Here for Part 2 of the Rollhesier interview on Overtime
Wednesday night is the Smokies Awards Banquet and you have to think that this could be the second straight year that a goaltender takes home the MVP award. Kevin Limbert to me would be the other favourite for that particular award. Either way it's a nice celebration of the team.
...The Smokies announced today that Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke will be at the head table for the Smokies fundraising dinner this summer. It's part of the great golf tournament weekend sponsored by the Terra Nova. They're teaming up with the local ALS charity this year to share the fundraising efforts. Watch the Smokies website for ticket information. Do you think I should mention to Mr. Burke that I'm an Oilers fan? Nah.
...Kevin Limbert finishes the regular season as the team leader in points while Brett Corcoran is the team leader in goals. Scott Warner leads the D in scoring and Brad Davis takes home the most penalty minutes. Trail wrapped up the season with four straight wins and five wins in their last six games. They're playing their best hockey at the exact right time. That 6-1 home win over Salmon Arm was sure a nice way to wrap up the regular season against a potential playoff opponent....Prince George beat Quesnel 4-2 in their second last game to come within one point of Trail. The final game on Wednesday night will decide the playoff match up. A PG win means Trail takes on Salmon Arm in the first round. A scheduling conflict in Salmon Arm would give the Smoke Eaters a home game to open that series. It would start Friday in Trail and then go to Salmon Arm for two games. Back to Trail for a fourth and then to Salmon Arm again for the fifth game. If Quesnel wins, the Smokies stay in 5th place and travel to Vernon for a Friday start against the Vipers.
...What a game on Monday night in the KIJHL! I was working at the station while the game was going on, but by the time the first overtime winner for Beaver Valley was called back I decided I had to get down to the game. Thanks to Guy Bertrand of the Trail Times and my friend Sarah for keeping us updated. I did some updates the rest of the way while watching the drama unfold. Just a classic playoff performance by Taylor Quinn of the Nitehawks. Castlegar got swept but in many ways deserved a better fate. The Nitehwaks were the better team in the series, but I think it's clear after this season that the KIJHL playoff format should move to a Conference set up similar to that in the BCHL. Having Castlegar and BV playing in the first round would be like Penticton and Westside playing in the first round. Quinn scored four goals including the eventual winner in an instant classic. There was great fan support for both teams. Really emotional finish especially when you consider that the Junior B careers of guys like Rockney, Steele and Dielwart are over. I'll have interviews with Cody Steele and Brent Heaven on Wednesday night's Overtime show on Mountain FM. Now Nelson and Beaver Valley will battle in a re-match of last year's division finals.
- Click here for an audio summary of the Game 3 marathon from Overtime.