The Victoria Grizzlies and Trail Smokeaters gave a sparse crowd at The Q Centre a thrilling double overtime finish back on Nov. 23. The West Shore team has earned our support

Grizzlies deserve West Shore’s support

The Victoria Grizzlies may be struggling at the gate, but not on the ice.

Our West Shore Junior A hockey team, the Victoria Grizzlies, may be struggling at the gate but not on the ice.  A couple of weeks ago I attended the game where the Grizzlies hosted the Penticton Vees, one of the top-ranked teams in the country. I was treated not only to a very competitive game, but also one of skill that I thought could only be found at the higher levels of junior hockey. What a pleasant surprise to find it in my own back yard, just a mile down the street. As a West Shore resident for the past 35 years and a hockey fan for over 50 years, I have attended many a hockey game – professional, junior and otherwise – and have come to realize the important role these teams play in our community. Not only do they provide entertainment at our doorstep, they contribute to our local economy, provide a venue for players to pursue their dreams of one day playing professional (a number of former Grizzlies now play in the NHL) and more importantly, provide a platform for junior players to obtain scholarships to colleges and universities. Our West Shore Parks and Recreation centre is a world-class facility, providing an incredible mix of sporting opportunities for area residents, and the Victoria Grizzlies hockey club is a key component in that mix. This club has made an unwavering commitment to our community. Now it’s time to “pay it forward.” I urge the citizens and businesses of the West Shore to “up the ante” in our support for our Grizzlies. Let’s get out to their games and show the players and owners our appreciation for what they bring to our community. Let’s cheer them on to another championship. They deserve it.  You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone … Ian Phillips Langford