Photo courtesy of Syltography.

Dynamiter Pilon’s play, experience leads to U Vic commitment

Kimberley Dynamiters goalie Blake Pilon will head into the 2020-21 season as the UVic Vikes No. 2 or 3 goalie.

However, as head coach and general manager Harry Schamhart puts it, there is opportunity for Pilon to go for the top job. In fact, it’s expected.

“His job is to outperform the other goalies. We get a starting goalie that will win games,” says Schamhart of Pilon, who played 36 games with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Calgary Canucks and this season played a game with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials as an affiliate.

Knowing how difficult it is to find quality goaltenders to play in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League, Schamhart is more than happy to add someone like Pilon.

“He has played junior A and played for one of the premier teams in the province,” says Schamhart, who has been with the Vikes since 2006. “In rebuilding our program, we were looking for players with experience moving forward.”

The 20-year-old from Calgary won 17 of his 21 games. He earned two shutouts to go with a .921 save percentage. Pilon says this season was likely his best statistically and part of that has to do with his consistency. His skill set reminds Schamhart of Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) alum Daniel Paul, who joined the Vikes from the Osoyoos Coyotes.

“They are athletic, have skill and have a compete level,” says Schamhart. “That’s what I like.”

Getting this commitment means the world to Pilon, who has always wanted to play university hockey.

“UVic has a great program out there and it is an amazing place to go to school. I’m really excited at the opportunity,” says the well-spoken Pilon. “I can’t wait to continue to play hockey.”

Pilon and Schamhart connected nearly two months ago and it wasn’t a hard decision for the Dynamiter to choose. Along with seeing the great work Schamhart is doing to turn the program around, UVic is where Pilon always wanted to go.

“The fact that I can play hockey alongside getting an education was a perfect opportunity for me,” says Pilon, who plans to become a mathematics major.

Pilon’s lone season in the KIJHL with the Dynamiters was really good.

“I became a lot more controlled and I feel I’m a very technical goalie,” he says. “That is one of my strong suits. This year I really focused on staying calm in my net and making sure I let everything I have been taught dictate how I play and controlled myself.”

Pilon gave a lot of credit to the team in front of him adding they had a very good defensive core.

“It was pretty easy to play well when your team is helping you out all the time,” he says. “That was a big factor this year. They helped out a ton to make things easy for me.”

Pilon also learned from local Adam Anderson, who was great in educating him about the community.

Pilon was very impressed with the play in the KIJHL.

“It ended up outdoing my expectations of being a lot better of a league than some people assumed it would be for junior B. I’ve enjoyed playing in it. It’s run really well. The fans on every team are incredible. Cool to experience the small town atmospheres.”

Pilon thanked the city of Kimberley for everything, but says his decision to come to the KIJHL really paid off for him. It helped him net an opportunity with the Vikes.

-30-

Photo courtesy of Syltography.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Weed Warrior: an invasive weed, new to the East Kootenay

Wild Parsnip is a plant that most of us don’t want to have a Close Encounter of any Kind with

Selkirk graduation in Kimberley will look very different this year

We have all had to change things in the face of the… Continue reading

Council to write letter of support for Kimberley Dynamiters

KIJHL teams all seeking financial support from the provincial government in wake of COVID-19

City Hall reopens Monday, June 1 with new safety measures in place

After carefully plotting out how and when to re-open its facilities while… Continue reading

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read