The next few weeks are going to be very personal for Princeton Posse captain Curtis Gould.
Gould, one of two homegrown talents on the Posse, is in his final year of junior hockey eligibility.
After a weekend of blowouts – 8-2 versus North Okanagan and 8-0 against Summerland – the Posse sits at the top of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), tied with Revelstoke Grizzlies at 63 points.
At stake is the President’s Trophy, awarded to the best team in the regular season, and a long look at the coming playoffs.
Last year, the Posse won the trophy for the first time in its history, and lost the playoff championship in overtime, in Game 7, to Kimberley Dynamiters.
“I want to win,” Gould told the Spotlight. “At this point I don’t think I could accept anything less.”
Gould, 20, has been a steadying presence for the team, and last year was named best defenseman in the Bill Ohlhausen division.
He said success this year will depend on “being accountable and working hard every night.”
The Posse is dressing 11 returning players, and Gould said it’s the veterans’ job to prepare the rookies.
“It’s talking to all the new guys this year, and letting them know how much it actually is going to take. It’s not that easy.”
Gould said the team is focused on “just playing a whole game.”
Coach Mark Readman agreed.“We have our sights set pretty high on some big achievements going forward…We need to find our most consistent 60 minutes.”
Highlights of weekend play included a shutout against Summerland for netminder Blake Sittler, Friday, Feb. 2. Justice Loewen scored twice in the opening frame, with the markers coming 22 seconds apart.
Against North Okanagan the following night, Princeton outshot the opponents 55-22.