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Coquitlam’s Dream Season Continues at Provincials

By Marshall Mackinder on March 19, 2017

The Coquitlam Midget AAA Chiefs captured the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association Banner and are on their way to Prince George to compete for their third Provincial Banner. (Rob Merritt/Media Relations)

If the current run the Coquitlam Midget AAA Chiefs are on is a dream, they’d prefer not to wake up. After going undefeated in the regular season and only losing once in the final four, the Chiefs find themselves in Provincial Championships looking to capture their third Provincial banner and complete an unforgettable season putting the season accomplishments into elite status.

The Chiefs are ranked 37th overall in Western Canada and 15th in British Columbia. That ranking equals them with Major Midget teams, notable hockey academies and Midget Prep clubs. 

Head Coach Mischa Polzin attributes his team's success to his players buying into the program.

"This season has been great so far but it really stems from the fact that the players bought into the program and this group likes one another and hold each other accountable," Polzin said. "Not one person is above the other, not one single 'superstar' but rather a collective group of hard working players that want success and are unified," Polzin added.

The run to the Provincials began in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association A1 playoffs, where the Chiefs went 5-1 while not allowing more than two goals in any of their games. They kicked it off with a 3-0 shutout over Burnaby Winter Club in round one. The shutout was followed by tight 4-1 and 3-1 wins over Surrey before finishing with a 4-1 win over Cloverdale. The Chiefs then suffered a rare 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Thunderbirds before capturing the PCAHA Tier 1 title with a 5-1 win over Chilliwack. Chilliwack is also heading to Prince George as the second PCAHA representative.

Polzin is in his second season behind the bench and is also Director of Hockey at Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association. Polzin was the Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach of the 2000 age group rep program for the Vancouver Minor Hockey Association for five years prior to joining CMHA. He has led the Midget squad to the very first undefeated season for the Chiefs which is a dramatic turnaround from when Polzin first took over the club. In his first season, the Chiefs had only three wins.

"I expect the Provincials to be challenging and one has to have the mind set to compete without fail. Leave everything on the ice, every shift, every period, every game," Polzin added, "There will be no next week, it is about pushing ones body past their comfort levels. Pain, anxiety is all controlled by the mind. The team with the higher will power has the best chance of success."

The team is made up of returning players and newcomers. Captain Jack Murray, Assistant Captains- Tomi Zlomislic, Riley Merritt, Liam Jackson and goalie Santino Murdocco make up the leadership group. The remainder of the team striving for the Provincial title include Cole Leonty, Mark Cherkasov, Shea Robertson, Diego Pasula, Quinton Hill, Reece Dickinson, Nico Fazio, Gabe LeBlanc, Nathan Haaskma, Jacob Luder, Cedrick Renaud, Jameson Crawford, Liam MacDonell and Evan James.

Joining Coquitlam and Chilliwack at the Provincial Tournament are the North East Trackers, Prince George and Kelowna (Thompson Zone). The action gets underway at Kin Arena in Prince George March 20th and the Provincial Champion will be crowned on March 23.

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By Marshall Mackinder| March 19, 2017
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  B.C. Minor Hockey

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