New coaching staff, new players and new events on tap for UVic men’s hockey club
September 16, 2021
The University of Victoria men's hockey club will see a changing of the guard in the 2021 season, with UVic student Alec Dillon taking over as head coach from long-time program leader Harry Schamhart. Schamhart, who continues to operate as the team's General Manager, served as the Vikes bench boss since 2005, leading the team to four provincial championships (2007, 2009, 2012 and 2017).
After playing two seasons with the club, Dillon, a former NHL goaltender, assisted the team during the 2019/2020 season. Hailing from Nanaimo, the former Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) standout played one season with the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL). Dillon was selected 150th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft (Los Angeles Kings) before a season-ending hip injury.
"If Alec didn't get injured, he would likely be the starting goaltender for the LA Kings right now. It's exciting to have him take the reins and help bring a new culture to the program," said Schamhart.
The last time the team made a championship run was in 2017, but they have struggled to get back on top since. "With new energy, a new coaching staff, and lots of young players, I think it's a great opportunity."
Dillon and assistant coaches Cole Pickup and Josh Coblenz take over as the BCIHL works towards a return to action following the COVID-19 extended offseason. Following the 2019-20 season, UVic announced commitments from Louis Ferraro (Kerry Park Islanders, VIJHL), Joe Stafford-Veale (Saanich Jr Hockey Club, VIJHL) and Tom Sweeney (Richmond Sockeyes, PIJHL).
“If Alec didn't get injured, he would likely be the starting goaltender for the LA Kings right now. It's exciting to have him take the reins and help bring a new culture to the program.”
"Stepping into the head coaching role at UVic is something I take very seriously, and I think my approach to coaching will elevate the program. I am extremely excited for this season, as are the players. A full year's break from hockey has created a resurgence in several of our players and the players we have recruited," said Dillon.
Next up for the club is the Captain's Cup, an exhibition tournament that looks to crown the best in the west heading into regular season play.
First established in 2017, the Captain's Cup promotes university hockey while raising awareness for the WHL's Scholarship Program, available for players entering the post-secondary institution of their choice.
What began as a three-team competition between UBC, SFU, and Trinity Western University, the 2021 version of the Captain's Cup has expanded to include UVic and Vancouver Island University.
This year's tournament has increased to 11 games, kicking off on Friday, September 17, in Victoria and Vancouver. Each participating team will host during the round-robin tournament, with the top two teams competing for the championship on Saturday, October 9 at UBC. The winner will take home bragging rights for the year and the storied President's Trophy donated by the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
“The goal is to bring more awareness to intercollegiate hockey on the island. This year it's us, VIU, the Okanagan Lakers, and hopefully one more team, but in the future, we'd love to have teams come from Alaska and Wisconsin.”
UVic will also play host to the Tom Harris Cup in January—a new tournament honouring long-time hockey supporter out of Nanaimo Tom Harris. The event will start small this season with the hopes of growing into a robust destination tournament on the island.
"The goal is to bring more awareness to intercollegiate hockey on the island. This year it's us, VIU, the Okanagan Lakers, and hopefully one more team, but in the future, we'd love to have teams come from Alaska and Wisconsin," said Schamhart.
2021 UVic Captain's Cup Schedule:
- September 17th: TWU @ UVIC (7pm)
- September 24th: VIU @ UVIC (7pm)
- October 1st: UVIC @ SFU (7pm)
- October 2nd: UVIC @ UBC (3:30pm)
- October 9th: Captain's Cup Final (top two seeds), hosted by UBC (3:30pm)
Love hockey and want to get involved? Looking to gain volunteer/work experience?
The men's hockey program is looking for student volunteers for live scoring, music, front door, announcing, concession, time keeper, scoresheet, social media, camera operator, and more.
Contact Harry Schamhart at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.