Preds win Squamish Men's Hockey League championships

The victory marks the team's seventh championship win in a row

For the seventh time in a row, the Preds have won the championships of the Squamish Men's Hockey League, following two decisive victories at the playoffs.

Taking a 6-0 win on the first game and a 12-1 victory on the second, the Preds bested their opponents, the Blue Whales.

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These wins allowed the team to claim victory in the series, which is a best-of-three.

"It's always fun winning — it's better than losing, I guess," said Kelly Higginbottom, the general manager of the team. "We've got a good group of guys."

Higginbottom said the season came off to a slow start for the Preds.

"It's tough getting some of the guys out in September and October," he said. "We got beat a couple of times over that. We've had a couple of games where only seven or eight of us would show up."

However, after that initial slow stretch, things started clicking, Higginbottom said.

The team has a rather improvisational approach to playing.

According to Higginbottom, the Preds don't practice. A lot of members' play is based on long-standing chemistry.

"We've been playing with each other for quite a few years, most of us, so we kind of know where everybody's going," he said.

He added that the team has a good mix of offensive and defensive players, backed by a strong goaltender.

A big priority for the team is to have a full bench, Higginbottom said, as it allows them to keep up with increasingly younger players in the league.

The average player on the Preds is in their early 40s, he said, so the group would welcome new blood into the fold.

During the end-of-season awards ceremony, the Preds also recognized several key players.

They are:

Aaron Ramage - "stone wall goalie"

Jamie Brandon - playoff mvp

Kyle McMurtry - most sportsmanlike player in playoffs

Shane McKay - "ringer of the year"

Preds team - most defensive team of the year

Max Whale - Preds rookie of the year

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