Golden Rockets
Coast2Coast Showcase Recap: Calgary Showcase deep with speed, grit
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The Golden Rockets spent nearly 36 hours through 3 days at the East Calgary Twin Arenas this past weekend and believe they have come away with some diamonds in the rough.

As the Rockets staff, led by Head Coach and GM Jeremy Blumes, congregated in the Red Boardroom of the arena throughout the weekend, the consistent thread being thrown around was that in comparison to the previous year's camp this camp was far more packed in terms of the overall quality and depth of participants. Considering that the playoff-bound Rockets carried 20 rookies on their main roster by the end of the 2018-19 season, many of them from this very same location and camp the prior year, that is a huge testament to the caliber of players that converged in Southeast Calgary for this event.

It was clear from puck drop that camp participants were going to be strong skaters and more than a few were willing to crash and bang. Throughout the weekend, and especially on Sunday, we saw a number of huge hits along the boards and in open ice. The overall team defense among the new faces was about as expected as could be in a Spring camp setting, but within all of the speed and grit was a level of offensive skill and smarts leading to some highlight-reel goals that left goalies looking skyward. There were a number of younger players who played far above expectations as well, adding some intrigue to the behind-the-scenes discussions and giving Jeremy and the staff quite a bit of food for thought with regards to the Rockets roster makeup come September.

"There was a significant number of skilled, intelligent, hard working players competing all weekend, along with a promising group of 02’s and 03’s," remarks Blumes, now heading into his second year at the helm of the Rockets franchise. "The hockey operations group came away thoroughly impressed with the group of young men at the showcase."

The participation of many returning Rockets players also added to the overall competitiveness of the weekend, with camp attendees getting a taste of the caliber of play expected of them through the exploits of such names as Dominic Turner (who tallied a ridiculous 6 goals and 10 points through Friday and Saturday), Alex Johnson, and Jaden Callan, who is headed to Melfort in September. To absolutely no one's surprise, the vets were generally among the best players on the ice and Rockets fans should be extremely encouraged by the sheer progression shown among some of their favorite players.

That's not to say there weren't any surprises. There were plenty of those. Surprises such as Terry from FUBAR making an appearance in full gear, who had a few shifts on team White but accomplished much in those shifts including a fight ("Forest Lawn's scouts missed the mark," jokes the head coach of his camp's oldest and most debauched participant). Surprises such as 2002-born skaters Carson Gorst, Max Kathol, Nicolas Cej, and Cranbrook-native Jordan Lario, who all strutted their stuff in a big way against older, more established players. Surprises such as fellow '02s Domenic Donato of Revelstoke and Ryan Giffen of Calgary, who fared well between the pipes. Surprises such as Michael Klacmera, some of his Bow Valley teammates, and other players who went from unknown properties to main camp invites in the span of a weekend.

"There was a handful of Midget 1 kids who impressed with their skill level and tenacity," states Jeremy. "And they earned themselves main camp invites with their efforts."

Overall, Rockets fans can expect to see a number of new faces coming from both Coast2Coast Showcases in Golden for main camp which opens August 23rd, and if this past weekend in Calgary was any indication the town of Golden will be looking forward to the most competitive main camp in team history.

Additionally, the Golden Rockets are extremely pleased to announce the commitment of forward Gunnar Keith from the Central Alberta Selects of the SCAHL.

Gunnar, who hails from Byemoor, Alberta, tallied 15 points (including 9 goals) in 29 games played in the 2018-19 season. Over his 2-year career with the Selects, Keith has appeared in 62 games, putting up 13 goals and 28 points over that time span. He was an assistant captain with his squad this past season, and also appeared in 9 playoff games during his time with the club. Gunnar's play at the Calgary Showcase lined him up perfectly for a commitment post-weekend, with his speedy north-south game.

"Character is always our number one criteria when selecting players. Every time I call to speak with Gunnar he is outside fulfilling his duties on the family ranch. Last season he drove 90 minutes to practice to play at the highest level possible," extols Blumes of his newest Rocket. "His previous coaches rave about his humble and hard working nature."

"In short, Gunnar fits the Rockets mould. The Plywood Palace faithful are going to love the way Keith plays the game. He was the most physical forward from the opening face-off to the final buzzer of camp. He skates very well for a big man, and I believe there is untapped offensive potential in his game that will translate very well to junior."

Gunnar will have a busy off-season of completing grade 12, ranching, along with training for next season. Gunnar is attending the Melfort Mustangs main camp in August, along with former Rocket Callan who has committed to the Mustangs the SJHL  - Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League club. If Keith requires a year of Junior B, the Rockets are thrilled that Golden, B.C. is his chosen destination.

The next step for the Golden Rockets will be their last stop on the Coast2Coast Showcase tour in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, from the 31st of May to the 2nd of June.

Any interested attendees for the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan showcase can register for the event through the GoldenRockets.com website at https://tinyurl.com/c2csask

 

#RocketsHockey #GoldenBC #GoldenRules #KIJHL #Plywoodpalace #Development #OpportunityKnocks #JuniorHockey #hockeygram #hockeyfamily

 


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HEADLINES
Rockets acquire Birk from Victoria
Rockets partner with Golden's Gym for 2019-2020 season
Rockets Rewind: Rockets Advance 4 up to Jr. A
Rockets add Chuck Wight to Coaching Staff for 2019-20 season
Rockets finalize main camp details, open registration process
Coast2Coast Showcase Recap: Calgary Showcase deep with speed, grit
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