NORTH SAANICH — The Peninsula Panthers have found their man!
Head Coach Brad Tippett took until last Thursday afternoon to name Ty Hermsen as his Captain for this year’s edition of the Peninsula Panthers Junior Hockey Club but the wait was worth every minute. Hermsen is the pulse of the Panthers, the player who is the stick that stirs the drink. He is a three-year veteran on the team and the lone 20-year-old on the roster.
“We went into the season blessed with a number of solid leaders,” said Tippett as he explained his choice to lead the Club both on and off the ice. “It was our intention to let some time pass to allow someone to step forward and grab the reigns. Over the last month it was clear that Ty had emerged as that person. He has tremendous respect from all the players and staff. He always lets his play speak for itself.
“The Captain should will the other players to play better, to play bigger and to play together and Ty does all of that for our team.”
Hermsen played all of his minor hockey right here on the Peninsula with the Peninsula Minor Hockey Association. He was affiliated to the Panthers as a 17-year-old and then made the squad the next season. He is pound-for-pound the toughest player in the VIJHL and does not miss an opportunity to lay out a big hit on any given shift.
“The kids in the room are really happy for Ty,” quipped General Manager Pete Zubersky. “He is quiet by nature but his play is loud. I know that when he is out on the ice, our opposition on the night do not feel comfortable and have to pay attention just that little bit more. We are hoping that his intensity will rub off on a lot of the other younger guys in the room.”
In another move, the Club has signed 19-year-old defenceman Gavin Yee. Yee was acquired in a deal midway through last season but started this year in Toronto with the Chinese U20 squad. He is now back and should bolster a fairly strong back end for the Panthers.
On the ice, the Panthers (11-15) had a rough weekend after being bounced by the Saanich Braves (12-13), 6-4 and 4-0 in a home-and-home weekend series. They will be right back at the Panorama this Friday night when they host the visiting Oceanside Generals (11-15) for a 7:30 p.m. start.
— Peninsula Panthers