New Sicamous Eagles coach brings structure and consistency – Kelowna Capital News
The new Sicamous Eagles coach is playing one game at a time.
Eagles president Sheila Devost announced that the organization had hired a new bench manager, Nick Deschênes, on January 11. The Eagles won their first game under Deschênes 4-1, their second 6-4, their third 6-3. At press time, the team was watching that three-game winning streak in games Jan. 22-23 against Summerland and 100 Mile House.
In an interview Jan. 21, Deschênes was quick to credit his players for recent wins. He said it’s not hard to motivate a group that knows their record — 9-18-2 at the time — doesn’t reflect their abilities.
“There is a good core of players,” he said. “I come in and provide some structure and consistency and they’ve responded well to that.”
Deschenes previously coached in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, managing the Grand Forks Border Bruins and, more recently, Summerland Steam. He steered Steam to a 4-1 start in the 2021-22 season before mutually parting ways with the organization. He also had a stint in the BC Hockey League as coach of the Trail Smoke Eaters.
He brings with him about 10 years of experience as a junior hockey coach and couldn’t pass up the chance to lead the Eagles.
“We’re moving forward and taking things day by day, trying to improve things a bit and end the season on a positive note,” Deschênes said.
Cerebral is how Deschênes describes his coaching style, adding that he likes to analyze the game and appreciate all the subtleties. He is a demanding coach and company, but over time he says he is changing.
“There’s a different approach needed here because really, like those players, I’ve had a second chance to get back into the game and those players have had a second chance in terms of bringing in a new coach and a different direction,” he said.
“We are all working together to get the most out of our season.”
Deschênes believes junior hockey in small communities is something special that can provide purpose and identity. In Grand Forks, Deschenes said, he saw that firsthand and realized how important it was to have a team that exemplified positive traits like work ethic and community spirit.
Having a positive impact on the community is what matters, Deschênes said, because communities are what give players and coaches the chance to play.
“Hopefully we can put on some great hockey that people are excited to come and watch and hopefully the community will be excited and rally behind us.”