Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ice captain knew it was coming

Dustin Sylvester isn't surprised.

The 22 year-old knew the Ice had the potential of winning a Western Hockey League title.

Unfortunately for him, they did it a season after he graduated as one of three overage players.

The Kelowna resident was part of the process, but would have liked nothing more than enjoying the fruits of Kootenay's labour in winning the league crown this season. The Kelowna residents birth certificate proved to be the stumbling block as he watched the teams magic ride through the post season from afar.

Sylvester spent five seasons with the Kootenay Ice and captained the team in his 20 year-old season. Outside of just four players currently on the Ice' roster, Sylvester went to battle with all of them.

"Pretty much everyone was coming back from last year, so it is the luck of the draw that I was there for five years and this was their year to do it. I kinda missed out, but I have a lot of good friends on that team and am glad to see them go that far".

Sylvester led the Ice in scoring (35+58=93) in 2009-2010, but admits the organizations always preached work ethic over individual results.

"I think it shows how good of a team they were when you look at the stats. When you have four guys with 27 points in the playoffs, you can't complain with that".

Sylvester is one alumnus that would encourage other players concerned about playing in the CHL's second smallest centre to put those fears behind them.

"Kootenay hasn't missed the playoffs in what, ten or 11 years or something? I enjoyed playing there. It is a small isn't a big city so the guys are really close. The furthest guy from you is about a five minute drive. That is one of the reasons alone why they have been so successful".

Sylvester played this past season in Europe but is contemplating whether to return or play North American hockey this fall.

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