Sockeyes season starts swimmingly

By Hannah Scott

Published 2:15 PST, Fri November 18, 2022

Last Updated: 1:35 PST, Mon December 5, 2022

The Richmond Sockeyes have started the 2022-23 season with an impressive 16-5-1-1 record. Coach Bayne Koen credits a combination of work ethic, consistency, and a no-quit attitude to helping them battle back in some games.

“I think we’ve had some adversity, like every team does, and guys have really bought into what the coaches are telling them,” says Koen. “(It’s) definitely a positive step when your leadership group or maybe a young guy has something to say and motivates themselves inside the room.”

At publication time, the Sockeyes were second in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Tom Shaw Conference, two points behind the Delta Ice Hawks (18-3-0-0) with two more games played.

Koen says the players continuing from last year entered training camp with a good mindset and a sense of unfinished business. Combined with the excitement of the younger players, it’s made for a successful dynamic so far.

“We were heavily recruiting this summer and spring to try to get the players that we think are going to be impact players in our lineup,” says Koen. “We’ve got a mix of really good young players and continuation of our older guys.”

Leadership from more experienced players is an important element of the team, Koen adds. And while some older players don’t serve as a captain or alternate captain, they’re still important to the positive team culture the Sockeyes are trying to build.

“It’s something that we discuss quite a bit in the off-season, where our leadership group guys will be and making sure those guys are coming back,” he says. “You always have a vision at the beginning.”

One of the team’s goals for the season is consistency and keeping up the work ethic.

“Last year we had some weeks where we just kind of drifted into low performance, whether that was through injury or just being tired,” he says.

Along with the physical challenge of the game, the right frame of mind is also important. 

“Life isn’t easy, nor is hockey, so we’ve just got to put our work boots on,” says Koen. “(We) try to avoid negative distractions, stay out of the penalty box as much as possible, try to do good things in that time frame—we might be behind by a couple of goals and have to battle back.”

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