The Nitehawks have only one game at home this weekend and the Smoke Eaters are away. But, local fans having nothing much to do can lend their support to local hockey players just by logging on the Internet.
The Jones boys, yep, them again, are in the running for the most prestigious amateur hockey award in the United States, and anyone, anywhere, can influence the selection process.
Access the BCHL website (many already do, so that seems easiest) or NCAA hockey, or the award page, and in a couple of clicks you can cast a vote for Connor or Kellen to move forward in the Hobey Baker award process.
That’s the award Paul Karya won (‘93), back in the day. Not that it had anything to do with his pro career, but still a nice piece of history to hold.
In fact, as big an achievement as the HB nod is seen to be, it seldom presages a star pro career. Most of us would not recognize most of the award winners in the trophy’s 33-year existence, although a check of each year’s three finalists would yield some familiar names.
If you are so inclined, you can vote daily for the next month or so. It is quick and easy – no signing in but a bit of scrolling to find the local boys – and keep tabs on the totals.
As always, the twins, so close in looks and athletic abilities, are being assessed as if they were very different. Connor had almost twice the votes of Kellen after the first three days of voting. You will remember, of course, that Kellen was NHL-drafted five years ago, and Connor was not.
An indication of the of the quality of the Vernon Vipers team with which the Jones earned two national junior A (Royal Bank Cup) championships is the fact three of the twins’ ex-teammates are also on the opening ballot.
This won’t be top of mind for Connor and Kellen – that would taking that one final step to NCAA championship status that eluded them last year when they were upset in the national final – but I am certain they would appreciate the support from home.
•Meantime, the tube sport this week will be all about spotting the neighbours in Vegas, where at least dozens of locals are currently attending the sold out Continental Cup of Curling.
Fans from across the region have flown, driven or bussed to the desert to take in the action, and some of the other, “action,” available, I am sure.
If we are vigilant this weekend, at least some of, “what happens in Vegas,” will not be staying in those environs.