After making a trip to the 2015 Cyclone Taylor Cup in Mission, the Kimberley Dynamiters are hoping to bring British Columbia’s annual Junior B championship back to the East Kootenay.
According to Kathy Merkel, co-treasurer of the Kimberley Dynamiters, the club has submitted a bid to BC Hockey to host the 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup.
“Next year is the KIJHL’s 50th anniversary and I know we can put on an amazing show,” Merkel said Monday.
“Hockey in Kimberley is huge. To have the opportunity to host an event such as this is huge.”
The Dynamiters submitted their bid application to BC Hockey on April 1. From April 1 to 12, all bids submitted to BC Hockey are reviewed before undergoing a question period.
A final decision by BC Hockey’s Cyclone Taylor Cup Selection Committee is expected to come April 29. It is believed multiple bids to host the 2017 Cyclone Taylor Cup have been submitted from teams around the KIJHL.
Merkel, along with Dynamiters vice-presidents James Leroux and Glen Johnston have been working on the bid to this point.
The Dynamiters previously hosted the 2008 Cyclone Taylor Cup, and by all accounts, it was a smashing success.
“It was great for the team, great for the community and the league,” Merkel said. “It was pretty darn amazing.”
Merkel said the 2008 event had approximately 150 volunteers pitch in time and effort. Should the Dynamiters be successful in their bid to host the 2017 tournament, she believes anywhere from 150 to 200 volunteers will be required to make the event all it can be.
“With us putting this bid in, people are already stepping forward,” Merkel said. “Put our names down, put our names down.
“The hockey history here is huge and Kimberley is well known for having volunteers step forward for hockey events. Everybody opens their doors to welcome folks to Kimberley.
“It doesn’t matter what Kimberley is hosting. It’s always a success.”
With the Kimberley Civic Centre set to undergo lighting upgrades this offseason and having previously had new boards installed since the 2008 tournament, the historic building remains an exciting place to watch junior hockey. Proof of that was seen as recently as Game 5 of the Kootenay Conference championship, in which nearly 1,200 spectators packed into the old barn to watch the Nitros knock off the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and advance to the 2016 KIJHL final.
Host duties for the Cyclone Taylor Cup rotate between each of B.C.’s three Junior B leagues from year to year.
According to BC Hockey, a broad list of factors is reviewed when examining host bids for the Cyclone Taylor Cup, including but not limited to: presented budget, volunteer pool, media, ticketing and sponsorship.
The 2016 Cyclone Taylor Cup is set to be hosted by the Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) this coming weekend (April 7 to 10). The 100 Mile House Wranglers earned the right to represent the KIJHL, while the Mission City Outlaws will represent the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Joining the VIJHL champion and host Cougars will be the league’s runner-up and defending Cyclone Taylor Cup champion Campbell River Storm.
The Cyclone Taylor Cup serves as a qualifier for the Keystone Cup — western Canada’s regional Junior B championship.
The 2016 Keystone Cup is set to be hosted April 14 to 17 by the Extreme Hockey Regina Capitals of the Prairie Junior Hockey League, bringing together Junior B champions from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.