It’s been an interesting couple years for Jason McKee, head coach of the Vancouver Giants.
He came in two years ago essentially knowing no one in the organization, he said.
The 2016-17 season was not one to write home about, with the Giants not making the playoffs.
“Obviously, we’re way ahead of last year,” McKee said.
Though there are still some tough games to come, the team sits third in the B.C. division and remains in contention for a playoff spot.
“Our team has come a long way in a calendar year,” McKee said.
One of McKee’s mantras this year has been consistency – he has tried to drill it into his team, and get them to play hard and take scoring chances each and every night they’re on the ice.
Some standout players have emerged from this season. Obvious stars include Ty Ronning, who has set a team record and is now well past 50 goals in a single season.
Whether they’re at the level of Ronning, or in their rookie years, McKee said the team has come a long way both in terms of hockey skill and as players and people.
“It’s been great for our staff to watch these kids grow up in front of us,” he said.
Everyone on the team is still learning, still practising, still picking up new skills.
A major goal, as the clock counts down to the playoffs, is minimizing mistakes, McKee said.
But the other teams haven’t been resting on their laurels, either, and they’re bringing their best games, as well.
“It only gets tougher as we go here. The points, the games become much more magnified,” said McKee.