The Smithers Steelheads did not advance to the second round of the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) playoffs last night.
In a hard-fought wildcard game Feb. 7 in Kitimat the Steelheads came up a bit short scoring four goals to the Ice Demons’ six.
While it may not have been the end to the season anybody hoped for, the Smithers Steelheads Association board was really proud of the boys.
In a statement Saturday morning, the board said the biggest win of all is that the team is back and looking ahead to a stronger showing next year.
“Our small little community thrives on events like this and the mentorship that follows with our younger athletes in our town is something we hope all the boys are proud of,” the board said.
“We definitely want to thank our players for coming out this season old and new, coming to play for an association that folded years back we know wasn’t easy for some of them, but we’re so glad they did.”
The board also expressed gratitude for the fans and sponsors.
“Your support this season will mean more to us than any other season to come,” the statement said. “Thank you for believing in the Smithers Steelheads Association. We are so unbelievably grateful to you guys for standing by us and always cheering as we build our platform we will have more for our fans in the years to come doing community events, hosting family days and we have a few secrets up our sleeve too.
“And finally to our sponsors, thank you so much for believing in us, your sponsorship this season is what made it possible to have all the financial portion of things stable. We can’t thank you enough for all of support.
While CIHL competition may be over for the year, the team’s presence will continue in the community over the spring at summer. Fans and potential volunteers can keep up with all the latest news on the Smither Steelhead Hockey Volunteer & Update Facebook page
Kitimat goes on to play the first place Terrace River Kings starting tonight in Kitimat. Game 2 is scheduled for Feb. 15 in Terrace and, if necessary will finish Feb. 16.
Also tonight, the second place Prince Rupert Rampage are in Hazelton for Game 1 of their series to be continued in Rupert next weekend.
In the East the Williams Lake Stampeders are in Quesnel to kick off their three-game division series with the Kangaroos.
West Division finals are scheduled for Feb. 21 -23 with the league championship to be decided Feb 29 continuing March 7 and 8, if necessary.