After stumbling out of the gates this Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) season, the Hazelton Wolverines roared back to life with two wins at home this past weekend.
First up, in the team’s season home opener Saturday night (Oct. 30), the Wolverines dispatched the Quesnel Kangaroos 8-5 thrilling the home crowd at the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre.
Sunday afternoon, in a matchup with the Williams Lake Stampeders, the home team once again prevailed in a tight 4-3 victory.
Aside from hockey, the weekend was a fun, Halloween-themed event following no season in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic.
While it took Hazelton a couple of games to get their skates under them losing 4-2 to the Nechako North Stars and 5-2 to the Prince Rupert Rampage, Stephanie Morrison, a member of the executive, said the team looks really solid.
The Wolverines benefited from the Smithers Steelheads folding before the season and picked up six players from Smithers.
“After only four games, it’s great to see the chemistry of these talented players come together,” Morrison said.
Hazelton is also excited to have Joel Patsey back in town. Patsey was an elite prospect who went away in 2014 to play triple-A hockey with the Cariboo Cougars U18 team before graduating to the Kootenay Internation Junior Hockey League, BC Junior Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, and, most recently, the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference for Concordia University of Edmonton.
This year is the Wolverines’ second season back in the CIHL after folding in 2012. In 2019-2020, the team got off to a dismal start losing its first five games.
Over the rest of that comeback season though, they only lost one other game finishing with an 8-6-1 record in a tie for third place overall.
Next up for Hazelton is the defending champion Terrace River Kings Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in Terrace. The River Kings are currently 3-0 having beaten Kitimat, Williams Lake and Quesnel in their opening three games.