Penticton Silver Bullets celebrating 2022 for returning to the ice – Penticton News

Penticton Silver Bullets celebrating 2022 for returning to the ice – Penticton News

Mark Brett – Penticton Herald/Local Journalism Initiative – | History: 403082

It was a historic hockey homecoming that took nearly 30 years to make.

It happened last fall when the Penticton Silver Bullets Senior AA men’s ice hockey team stepped onto the ice at Memorial Arena for the first time after a long absence.

Revitalizing the team, and more importantly playing at the city’s iconic venue, began as an idea Matt Fraser and some friends had after a round of golf.

“Basically it was just a bit of nostalgia, and I think a lot of us who play in the men’s leagues wanted to play hockey at the highest level that we could play,” said Fraser, team captain and former coach of the Penticton Vees organization.

“Slowly it all just came together and before you know it we had a schedule, we had jerseys and we had a roster and we were rocking and rolling.

“I just thought about bringing the senior team back, the time was right, we had a great group of lads and when it came to the name I thought there’s nothing better than the old programme.”

They are one of three teams in the Independent Division with the Rossland Warriors and arch-rivals Powell River Regals.

The original Silver Bullets began in the late ’80s and peaked at Memorial Arena in 1992 when they defeated the Regals in the Senior AA Coy Cup Championship.

This season’s division winner will advance to the Coy Cup next spring. Penticton have already registered a claim for promotion opportunities and currently hold a record of seven wins and just one loss this season.

“There’s just so much hockey history in Penticton and I actually know a lot of the guys that were on that team (Bullets) back then and they were very interested in bringing it back,” Fraser said.

And there was no question where home games would be played.

“For me, going back to Memorial Arena was a big part of that,” he said. “Memorial has one of the best atmospheres in the entire game of hockey.

“This is something special. Every time there’s a crowd there’s a nice little buzz. There is simply no better place to watch a hockey game.”

And it’s real hockey, the veteran players are all competitive, including the pros. The players are between 21 and 41 years old.

While team members come to Osoyoos from Kelowna, most are based in Penticton.

“It definitely adds a local touch and these guys definitely have the skills,” Fraser said. “We don’t have the same dangles and shots as we used to, but we definitely still have some game in us.

“We all still love to compete and we all love to win.”

The Silver Bullets have until next month off when they play two games against Rossland on January 21 and 22 at Memorial Arena at 7:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively.

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