PacWest Preview: Douglas College Royals

Andrew Baron leads a young group of Royals into 2013-14.  - Brian Jones Photo

Andrew Baron leads a young group of Royals into 2013-14. – Brian Jones Photo

Regular-season record: 8-13

Provincial tournament: 4th place

Key returning players:

  • Andrew Baron (3rd year)
  • Kristian Hildenbrandt (2nd year)
  • Ethan McKean (2nd year)
  • Tom Ghag (2nd year)
  • Mike Blaauw (2nd year)

Key losses:

  • Mark Dabrowski
  • Devan Haynes (Kwantlen)
  • Dustin Egelstad (Kwantlen)
  • Harpreet Randhawa
  • Daniel Kim (Langara)

Rookies:

  • Grant Campbell
  • Sylvester Appiah
  • Bradyn Norris
  • Akim Zongo
  • Jacob Juras
  • Harbir Phool
  • Karun Samra
  • Pavan Leeho

It’s not too hard to think back and reminisce about the year 2008.

Kanye West was beginning his affinity with auto-tune, Obama was beginning his first term as POTUS, the one kid in your school with an iPhone 3G was a king, and the Douglas College Royals had just finished putting together one of the most dominant seasons in CCAA history.

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PacWest Preview: Vancouver Island University Mariners

Brandon Jones looks to lead VIU back to the national stage in 2014. - Brian Jones photo

Brandon Jones looks to lead VIU back to the national stage in 2014. – Brian Jones Photo

Regular-season record: 16-5

Provincial tournament: Silver medallists

National tournament: Gold medallists

Key returning players:

  • Brandon Jones (4th year)
  • Clayton Billett (5th year)
  • Evan Verdel (5th year)
  • Jason McKee (3rd year)
  • Harrison Stupich (4th year)

Key losses:

  • Adam Connolly
  • Ryan Davidson
  • Tyler Olsen
  • Jon Bethell (injury)

Rookies:

  • Jerod Dorby
  • Seth Goodman
  • Bryson Cox
  • Liam Horne

Last March, after the Vancouver Island University Mariners conquered the CCAA’s best and took home gold in Montreal, they were awarded a plethora of hardware: a banner, individual medals and trophies, and customary championship rings.

But if you search for distinguishing jewelery on head coach Matt Kuzminski’s hands, you’re only going to be able to tell that he’s married, and not a national champion.

He doesn’t want to flaunt it. He doesn’t want to show it off. In fact, he doesn’t even want to think about it.

“We got our ring and everything, but I put all of that stuff away,” said Kuzminski. “I don’t really look at it and I don’t really think too much about the championship. I’m conscious of taking the approach where you have stay hungry and keep trying to get better. Any time you get content, I think that’s where you have a chance to slip up and people are going to pass you by.”

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