A loss for the community

I have to say I am really disappointed to hear that Burns Lake will be without a Central Interior Hockey League team this year.

I have to say I am really disappointed to hear that Burns Lake will be without a Central Interior Hockey League team this year.

As a new Canadian I have quickly grown to love watching hockey and I have covered pretty much all of the Burns Lake Braves home games for the Lakes District News since their resurrection.

The loss of the Burns Lake Braves is not only a loss for the many Burns Lake fans, but a loss for the town too.

Hockey night in Burns Lake was always something I looked forward too and I was able to stand right up at the glass alongside a regular crowd of faithful Braves supporters

Frequently, supporters of other teams arrived to cheer on their team at the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena too.

While I was at some of these games, I spoke to people from as far afield as Williams Lake.  They had travelled here to support their team – the Stampeders.

These supporters and many others like them stayed overnight in Burns Lake, ate at local restaurants, shopped at local businesses and had the chance to see all that Burns Lake has to offer.

There are many spin off advantages.

Braves goalie Wes Hart said the reason behind the decision not to have a Burns Lake team this year is because they are down by a dozen players.  This is a lot of players for any team to lose for sure.

I can’t help but wonder why the Burns Lake Braves don’t at least try to recoup some of those lost players by holding tryouts for the up and coming season.

Now I don’t know for sure, but I think if the team was to do this they may be able to fill the 12 spots …. it would at least be worth a try if the remaining players wanted to keep the team going.

Who knows, maybe there are new faces in Burns Lake that are excellent hockey players, or locals that are great hockey players and haven’t thought about trying out before.

There are new faces moving to our community all the time.

Maybe there are more reasons behind the decision not to ice a team this year …. I don’t know, but the only way to see if there are more players out there who want to play would be to ask.

In saying this, I do understand that playing on the team requires a huge commitment due to team practices and traveling for away games. The players also have to finance much of the team’s travel and hockey gear themselves, not to mention any time off from work that may be required for practices and away games in other communities.

The Braves had a great run last season coming third in the Western Division. I can tell you Braves fans sure appreciate a win, especially when it comes from a game against Houston. One Braves fan told me there is a special satisfaction to be gained when the Houston Luckies lose to the Braves.

The arena is certainly packed full for the games against the Luckies, these games were always exciting.

In fact, you only had to look at the stands packed with people cheering for the Braves during all the home games to see how many fans they have.

I can’t help but selfishly say that I, along with many local fans, will feel a deep sense of sadness as hockey season nears and Burns Lake is without the Burns Lake Braves to cheer on.