As the 2014-15 NRL season comes to a close, the BC Thunder find themselves in unfamiliar territory sitting with a 6-11-1 record, and currently outside of qualification for the National Ringette League Championships in April.
The Thunder have four games remaining, all against the Calgary RATH who currently sit 6 points ahead of them in the Western Conference standings. Although the odds are stacked against them, the BC Thunder still have a chance to qualify for the 2015 NRL Championships.
This is the third season that the BC Thunder have been in the NRL, and the eighth time a team as entered league from BC (BC Reign, Fraser Valley Avalanche and LMRL Thunder, who became the BC Thunder). Despite having many returning players, and NRL veterans, on the squad, this season has in many ways been like an expansion season.
“Overall, this season has been a success, regardless of what happens in the next two weeks,” said GM & Head Coach Chris Wakefield. He continued “We had a lot we wanted to accomplish, both on and off the ice, and I feel we have done that in many areas. Our record may not be as strong as we want it to be, but we had a chance to win at least 8 games that ended in losses. We are developing and competitive, which has been our plan all along.”
Regardless of the outcome in their last games, the Thunder plan to train throughout March and early April, preparing for next season and also working with the LMRL U19AA team as they prepare for the Canadian Ringette Championships. Both teams have a had a very good working relationship this season, something that continued from the positive experience of two years ago, when the BC Thunder worked with the LMRL U16AA team, who was led by current LMRL U19AA coach Harold Bakke. “Harold’s teams are great to work with. They have a similar approach to the game, and a commitment and determination that is very much like what we do within our club,” said Wakefield. “In BC, ringette is a small community, and it is great when two teams/programs can work together towards a common goal.”
The BC Thunder conclude the NRL regular season March 1 in Calgary. Information on a summer program from May-August 2015, for players from U12-U19, will be released shortly. For any information on the BC Thunder, please visit our facebook page or follow us on twitter @bcthundernrl, or email the club at BCThunder@nationalringetteleague.ca.