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The OCN Storm season in review


The OCN Storm hockey season is now over and there is much to look back on from when the season started in early October all the way though until the playoffs started in late February with its ups, downs, highlights and more.
The General Manager of the Storm Jeremy Hohn sat down with the Opasquia Times to talk about how he thought the season went.
“From start to finish the regular season was pretty good. We had a young team but we were able to add a few key players by December 1st, late cuts from junior A, they came in and helped out big time,” said Hohn. “We clenched our division (North for the) second year in a row.”
From mid-November all the way through December and January until the start of February the OCN Storm had undertaken a 17-game winning streak, something that doesn’t happen often for any hockey team.
“We were consistent; we really believed in ourselves and in each other and the coaching staff was confident too. Everybody was in it, the boys really worked hard in the regular season and the results were there, we were successful,” he said on the winning streak.
But it was also the additions from players who got cut from junior A leagues such as the Manitoba Junior Hockey League that helped out the OCN Storm, players from the OCN Blizzard and the Dauphin Kings.
“I think Bryce Young was huge, he has unreal skill and he was just a great hockey player, being able to add him was key. We were able to get Ethan Stuckless before the December 1st deadline, we got a local kid named Dustin Parker, he was a late cut from the Dauphin Kings; with adding those guys and the group we had already it was solid,” explained Hohn.
There were also players from past years who also excelled such as defenceman Devon Tobacco who topped the triple digit mark in regards to earning points among other players.
“Devon Tobacco, he led the league in points at 107 points -he was outstanding all year for us- but a guy like Bryson Werbicki-Mallet I think he really turned his game around and became more of an offensive threat; really happy with his performance. Then our 21-year-old kids -Broady Personius, Brandon Sinclair-Martin- those two guys they were leaders,” he said.
They had also added two new goalies to the team, which Hohn also thought helped.
“Demaine (Wray) was a new addition,” said Hohn. “He was key, he was great in the pipe for us, he did awesome.”
It was also the year Hohn stepped down as Head Coach and brought on board two new coaches, TJ Constant -who used to play with the OCN Blizzard- and James Lathlin, both of whom it was their first year coaching and for the most part they did well.
“We had a rookie coaching staff, they worked hard and they worked hard to get better and to push the team. The winning streak was nice and everything, the consistency was obviously there in the regular season. You get to the playoffs it’s a new game and that’s something you only learn though experience. As a rookie coaching staff and a young team it was clearly obvious that we struggled in the playoffs, that’s not a knock against any one individual but as a group and organization we need to be better because we cannot lose in the first round,” he said.
There were four 21-year-olds this season, Vergus Chartier, Broady Personius, Jory Ross and Brandon Sinclair-Martin and they will be missed Hohn stated.
“Anytime you lose a 21-year-old it’s tough, you feel for them in a way because when you lose you never got them the championship that they were after and pushed so hard for. On the flipside that’s kind of how the game works,” he said.
Hohn added in a quick side story about Ross.
“We played against him for three years against Lundar (Falcons), and the kid played exactly the way he did for us. When it was against us there was a real hatred there, but bringing him (in) felt good, I’m happy we were able to end it with him on our side.”
There will be the need for some reorganizing as some players will be aging out and others will be moving on to junior A hockey among other things.
“We got some holes to fill, we got a great group that are here, that are in Flin Flon and they’re in the surrounding areas. Goaltending we got two 18-year-olds here, that means two 19-year-olds next year. I think we have some six goalies that are around that have an opportunity to play with us next year, it’s just going to be a matter of who’s going to work the hardest in summer and come to camp ready to play, and up-front we lose two forwards, two key guys and I expect to lose a couple more guys that move on to junior A. Ethan Stuckless, Bryce Young, I expect those guys to move onto bigger and better things,” Hohn explained.
To summarize Hohn finished up by saying “it was an up and down season, the regular season was up and playoffs were down, it’s pretty much as simple as that. I’m happy with how the regular season went I think the team played really well but the results weren’t there in the playoffs.”

Trevor Wright