It was an up-and-down season for the Kelowna Raiders this year, but general manager Jules Morris says overall he’s pleased with his team’s performance.
After finishing 4-6 in the regular season, the Raiders bested the beleaguered Kamloops Rattlers in the league semi-finals, but lost the finals to a stacked Armstrong Shamrocks.
Morris chalked the early season losses up to a few major injuries, adding that he felt that put the team “behind the eight ball.”
“Overall we started off quite slow: we didn’t come alive,” he added.
While the four-game losing streak was a tough way to kick off the season, Morris said he was happy to see the team end “on a high note,” and put up a good fight in the finals.
“We ended up with a better season than we did last year,” he said.
Doug Manning, the Raiders’ head coach, said he liked a lot of what he saw in his team this season, but lamenting the fact that his players has so much trouble scoring.
“Our offense is a little sad,” he said. “We couldn’t get as many goals as I thought we should.”
Morris sang a similar tune, commenting that some of his players seemed to suffer from “cement hands” throughout the season as they struggled to find the back of the net.
Manning said his team doesn’t necessarily lack talent, but would benefit from a little more balance.
He said their goal-tending and defense are very solid, but that the offense sometimes has trouble keeping up.
He pointed to that fact that the lineup consists of three lefties. One of whom would be better suited for defense, but plays offensively just to fill the slot.
Despite that, Manning said the team was solid enough to be able to beat any of their rivals on any given day,
“We were good enough to win, but it had to be an any given Sunday kind of thing, where we just had a good day.”
He said next year he would like to see the team step it up offensively, and that “if we can step that up we’ll give Armstrong a run.”
He pointed to the fact that they took Armstrong to overtime in the second playoff game as evidence of that a championship is a possibility next year.
“We’re not far off,” he said.