Vancan Outta The Blue


Spirit Bear & Great Bear Rainforest Saved Thanks to the Power of Persistence

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Twenty years ago, a 13-year-old BC boy began an inspiring journey that just so happens to have recently reached its pinnacle moment.

Simon Jackson rose to fame with a TV special that aired in 2005. I must have watched it four or five times. The subject of that special, his quest to save the Spirit Bear or as it’s known by its true name, the Kermode bear, is officially complete.

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Simon Jackson

These gorgeous beasts can continue existing because of Simon’s work to save the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. I believe the bear and that land owe Simon their existence. In a day and age where we’re all so consumed by what resources we have, it’s amazing that a young, now 33-year-old Simon could convince the powers that be to make the RIGHT decisions on a matter of this nature.

Back in high school, beginning in 2005 coincidentally, I was president of the Earth Club, which I also founded. Two years later before my graduation, I insisted that we donate some of our club money from recycling, $25o to be exact, to Simon’s organization, the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. I’m proud to say now that I and the members we had in our club 10+ years ago helped make a difference in the long term.

What really made it come full circle and confirmed to me that donating to the SBYC was actually when I met Simon in 2007 the night I was given a City of Surrey Youth Recognition Award for Community Dedication. Simon was the MC for the awards ceremony and I was lucky enough to have a conversation with him before it all began. Even then, nearly a decade before he’d reach his ultimate goal, I knew I’d just met someone who was in fact going to go on to make a gigantic difference in all of our lives. Have no doubt, this does affect everyone because now the habitat of the Kermode won’t be destroyed, leaving it a desolate wasteland. It means it can forever be enjoyed by people who respect the Earth.

Needless to say, this achievement is solid proof that a young person can do great things if he or she puts his or her mind to it and is dedicated to the cause.

If you’re interested in a summation of the events that have occurred leading up to the recent accomplishment by Simon and what it all means, check out this post. SERIOUSLY, DO IT!!! 

Also make sure to give a looksie at his latest endeavours, CoalitionWILD and Ghost Bear Photography. Better yet, shoot him a follow on Twitter @dSimonJackson.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, peace.

(All photos courtesy Simon Jackson/Ghost Bear Photography)



Proving I Can Still Do This Thing…

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It’s official…

I’m doing the Spartan Sprint September 4th at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer, Alberta.

If you follow my blog and my other social media accounts, you may have in recent months read that I had a huge goal to accomplish. This is it.

I actually didn’t intend to do it until 2017 but my ulcerative colitis (IBD) has gone so far into remission and I’ve been feeling so good that I decided to take the plunge this year. I didn’t actually realize it was still eight months away until I looked for the first time two weeks ago.

I’m feeling so well that I am going to openly lay it all out for you right here and make my vow public to train my ass off for this event. The sprint is the shortest of the three main Spartan races (sprint, super and beast) at 5km and 15-20 obstacles. Despite that, I’m going to have to train hard because I’ll admit I’m a long way off from where I need to be. I get winded running (walking) up the stairs at work. I’m seeing a dietitian, I’ve got a gym pass, and I’m in remission thanks to a wonderful drug named remicade that allows me to not worry so much about my disease.

The thing is as much as I was an athlete for the first 18 years of my life, UC changed that aspect of my life almost instantly. I’ve gone almost nine years now with a level of

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Proof I was a runner! That singlet even has my name on the back. 

conditioning I can only describe as pathetic compared to my heydays as a soccer, hockey and lacrosse playing, cross-country running, 100m, 200m and relay sprinting, javelin, discus and shotput throwing, 1500m racewalking(Surrey Champ x2), tennis ball swatting, gross and sweaty son of a gun. Frankly, you don’t really need to have great conditioning to play the type of golf I do now.

The reason I’m doing this?

To prove to myself that I can still lead an active life and get back to some semblance of what I was nine years ago when I was very nearly bringing up the year at the 2006-07 Provincial Cross-Country championships in Victoria. I was an athlete but I was never an all-star okay (still more of one than John Scott though).

I want to prove that people with inflammatory bowel disease can live an active life and be a beast on the course and in life. I want to prove I can eat healthy because I’d be a liar if I said that colitis hasn’t affected the way I eat in a major, major way.

I want to prove to my daughter and fiancee that I know how to strive for something successfully.

I’m going to be successful, no matter how many burpees I end up having to do. That’s the punishment for failing an obstacle on the Spartan course, 30 to be exact.

With all that said, I want to thank once again anyone reading this and anyone who’s ever encouraged me to stick with it through my battle with colitis. I wouldn’t be at this point without you.

This is also a plea to anyone reading who has colitis and more specifically, anyone with IBD in the Red Deer area. If you’d like to join my team, the GUTSY GLADIATORS, please let me know. You don’t even have to have IBD, you can join my team to show your support for those with IBD.

Contact me by commenting on this post.

I’ll finish with a quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky



The Canucks Sisters and Misters

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This isn’t about me but let the record show this is my first hockey-related post in quite some time.

I could spit out a few numbered tweets but this feels like the right time to put electronical pen to paper and share my thoughts on the blog I once tried so hard to keep up.

So how about those Canuckleheads eh?!

I’m going to address two things here.

Numero uno:

The ‘sisters’ act is old.

(Warning: long sentence) It’s a promise of mine to you that anyone who is intelligent when it comes to hockey hears you refer to Daniel and Henrik Sedin as sisters, they are hearing someone who is not only unintelligent about hockey, but someone who is so insecure in their own life, they must refer to two world-class hockey players as such.

I think even the people who refer to the twins as sisters know that women can be great at the sport in 2016. Obviously the intended connotation is that the twins play like little whiny, wussy flopping, diving, baby girls. Of course that’s too assume that all little girls are just that (which they’re not, but I digress).

Let’s be blunt here: if you call the Sedin twins sisters with any intended meaning, you sound like a complete tool. Lest we forget Henrik once played 679 straight regular season games. Lest we forget Hank playing like a beast when his bro went down for 19 games with a broken foot in 2009.

How about just last week when Daniel had his face smashed by vulcanized rubber, losing three or four chiclets in the process, only to come back to the game and score a goal, which by the way he now has 346 of in his career? That’s not a total one achieves by laying down and playing like a big wuss his entire career.

The use of the word sister in this context, as I’m sure we all know, is sexist. It does imply that women can’t play hockey or that women can’t play hockey tough, both of which are certifiably wrong, trust me. So the next time you call the Sedin twins sisters, know that it seems as if you have never watched them play in your entire life and that you really don’t know jack about hockey or how they play the game (along the boards/dirty areas their entire careers).

Between the end of the 3rd period and start of Overtime between the Canucks and Panthers Monday night, a Florida player (allegedly) said something to or about the twins. Daniel said after the game it was one guy and he knows who he is. Any Canucks fan should know who it was too and even Botchford provides some pretty undeniable GIF proof.

Let me just finish this topic off by saying that if *cough* Shawn Thornton *cough* really did make a ‘sisters’ remark, then Daniel Sedin, the ‘low-life’ that he is had pretty much free rein after he scored that GWG in OT. I would be disappointed actually if Daniel (or Henrik) didn’t skate by the bench and say something like, “How do ya like me now biznitches,” or, “How’s that for a sister biznitches?”

And two:

I’m ashamed to say that up to this point in the season, I have been a card-carrying member of #TankNation. Yup, I’ve hashtagged it on Twitter and grown accustomed to the likelihood this season will end poorly once again, very quickly. It started off pretty decent but the tailspin began after the two week mark and with Auston Matthews perched at the top of the draft rankings, it should make any crappy team’s fans salivate.

I’m tired of mediocrity as a Canucks fan and as a hardcore lifer, I’m allowed to feel that way. I know I’m not the only one. We all want ownership to give the management team the go-ahead to do whatever it takes and Linden/Benning probably have that freedom, but at times this season and in the past, it’s been a lot of talk and no walk.

By mediocrity, I don’t just mean always being the bridesmaid three times and never the bride, I also mean having bad seasons, but ones just not crappy enough to get one of those top notch NHL-ready players at the draft. This of course doesn’t count 1999, but even then, the twins went back to Sweden for a season. It also doesn’t count 1988 of course.

If we are going to miss the playoffs, we might as well really miss them and get something impactful for the rest of the re-build (or re-tooling on the fly).

HOWEVER, after last night’s streak-halting victory over the Seattle/Quebec/Las Vegas/Portland/Milwaukee/Hamilton Panthers who I’m sure had plenty of people watching their webcast, there may just be hope for this Canucks team yet. They’ve got a long way to go still to prove they can hang with the Kings of the world, or of the Pacific, but there is hope.

Mark my words, if the Canucks make a run past the second round of the playoffs, Monday’s win will have been the turning point. I say past the second round because in this division, if L.A. remains the sole really good team, the Canucks could make it in as a mediocre team but still get a mediocre first-round opponent.

So in the words of Aragorn, “there is always hope.” #TankNation is still alive and well to be sure, and there still needs to be convincing done on my part, but better days may lie ahead with guys like Horvat, Virtanen, McCann, Etem, Sutter, Markstrom, and yes, the Sedins, all contributing at once.

Monday was a bonding experience for this team, this group of men, of Misters, have no doubt.

Start praying to the hockey gods Canucks fans they’ll use that experience wisely going forward.

ADDENDUM: To all the Canucks fans on Twitter last night going apes*** over Potvin’s commentary and idiotic Panthers fans, shame on you. The vitriol I observed was appalling and it’s no wonder Canucks nation seemingly has an average of IQ of about 44. There’s this thing called retaliation and it can be acted out in the form of words as much as it can in the actions of a hockey game. Next time we win, and somebody cuts our players down, don’t stoop even lower than that.

You know who you are.



I’m OKAY, In Case You Were Wondering…

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Disclaimer: Any post on this website that pertains to IBD or ulcerative colitis may contain TMI for some people. Please read at your own discretion.

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay…OKAY! I’m okay. I want you all to know that. I went a little off the deep end yesterday.

Had you read what I posted to Facebook and Twitter Thursday, you may think otherwise but I can assure you I’m on the right path. Does the possibility remain that my health could get worse before it gets better? Yes. Do I plan on laying back and not putting up a fight? No.

Before I share yesterday’s post for context, I’ll point out this is my first post on my website/blog in while and I realize it’s really got nothing to do with sports, which is what my blog has always been focused around. Subscribers can expect to see more posts related to this topic and new visitors can expect to be directed here again in the future rather than reading a long-ish post on Facebook.

Here’s yesterday’s post:

Please read…

I can easily say this is the lowest point I’ve been at with my ‪#‎colitis‬.

I’m extremely grateful to those in my life that I live and work with every day though. I hope if you’re one of those people, you know that.

I’m desperate for the drugs to start working, the real drugs, not the bullshit band-aids that are the steroids and other supplementary meds which by the way have caused me numerous side effects.

If you know of my recent struggles you’ll know I’m open to admitting I have mental/psychological issues because of the far reaching effects of the colitis. Not easy for anyone to admit at the best of times but I’ve seen the ill effects of holding that stuff in.

I already told one person today I feel pitiful.

I’m down. Way down. But I love the idea of life too much to ever give up. I know I’ve asked for prayers and good vibes and really…it’s impossible to quantify how much impact those have but please feel free. I also accept spoons (‪#‎spoontheory‬).

I and many like me are desperate for a cure. I know I’m not the only one suffering from ‪#‎IBD‬ or a chronic illness in general and I know many have it much worse..as bad as my situation is.

I’ll get through it. I’m going to keep telling myself that because it’s true. I’m 6 feet over, not under. Some days though — today — I question everything.

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Please help find a cure by visiting http://www.crohnsandcolitis.ca.

Just because today I’m saying I’m okay doesn’t mean anything from that post was false or untrue or an exaggeration. I stand by what I said 100 per cent. I am at the lowest point I’ve ever been. I am near what I would call rock bottom, knowing full well that physically and mentally, it could get worse before it gets better. Thursday and today were the first two days I’ve actually missed full days of work exclusively because of my colitis and its far reaching affects.

I felt like I owed this update — 24 hours later — to everyone because so many have followed me for so long, whether it was when I was writing every day about hockey or because I post news articles I write for work, or for my recent attempts at bringing awareness to IBD (Crohn’s and colitis).

It is of utmost importance to me going forward to be selfish in the respect that I won’t hold back posting about mental health and obviously what IBD and colitis are all about. It is an invisible disease without a cure. There is no fix for what I and many others have, just band-aids. Unfortunately getting to a goosfraba or OM state is a lot easier said than done sometimes, as much as it’s recommended and encouraged. So that said, I will continue to post about my issues with the hope that someone out there having similar problems will see my positivity or my story that isn’t too much different from their own. Hopefully that person will be inspired in some form to keep their head up and not let a disease control their life.

I am fully aware there are a lot of people in this world, even in my own life, that have to deal with worse than I do. Yes, as bad as my raw deal is, others suffer more. I feel for those people. I am with those people. I am a support for those people as much as people are a support for me. That’s what I can offer those people. I can’t promise I’ll selflessly promote awareness about every disease on this planet, but I can pay it forward by being a compassionate human being who can relate to going through the daily pain of chronic illness. That is how I have and will give back.

If you are ever stuck on how to help me because you have no idea what I’m deaing with, I’ll tell you right now that offering up an ear or two just to listen to me goes so much further than most people think.

I’m paused at the moment not exactly sure how to continue. I know there’s so much I want to say but this is where I’d remind everyone perhaps that I want you to ask me about my disease. I want to spread the word. I want people to know about something not a lot of people know a lot about because without telling my story and without others like me telling their’s, a cure will surely never be discovered. I know I’m going to leave stuff out of this post but please ask me anything you ever want to know.

I didn't know this until today. This is why many others on remicade refer to it as mouse juice.

I didn’t know this until today. This is why many others on remicade refer to it as mouse juice.

I recently found out I lost close to 20 pounds in a six week span. I went from 145 to 125 after having my third infusion of Remicade (Infliximab) and that was certainly a jolt to my depression. I’ve always been a pretty slim kid, a runner for a decade in school, playing soccer, hockey, lacrosse and lord knows what other sports. So it was never a big deal my size but now that I’ve lost weight when I want to gain it, but physically can’t, I struggle with how to deal with this. I haven’t eaten a lot in that span, because any food amounting to more than a small meal for a normal person, and I have issues that cause me some distress. I obviously can’t gain weight if I don’t eat and let’s be honest, taking Vitamin D and B12 tablets just isn’t going to solve this issue by themselves. So now I’m skinny as hell. I hate looking at myself without a shirt on.

You could honestly find a meatier rack of ribs at Montana’s Cookhouse.

I’ve struggled extra hard since May. Yes I had an accident. Yes a car was involved. It was however not what people commonly refer to as a car accident though. That was one of the harshest realities I’ve faced with my colitis and it’s affected my brain ever since. I have the fear of god in me every time I know I have to leave the house and yes I travel everywhere with a roadside emergency kit. Imagine having to live like that…every single damn day. I wake up, bathroom. I shower and get dressed, bathroom, for hours before I can leave for work. I arrive, bathroom. I have to go the scene of a fire, bathroom. I leave the scene of the fire, where’s the nearest grocery store or gas station? I eat something, bathroom. Time to head home, bathroom. Bed time, bathroom. It’s bloody awful, thankfully for me for the last four or five years, not literally bloody. If that’s TMI, for you, well, sorry not sorry.

Then there are all the drugs (remicade, prednisone, lomotil, pantoprozol, iron infusions and those are just the ones I’m on) and conversations with doctors and nurses and case managers and drug coordinators. I had a blood test this week, another next week. I have an infusion next week. I have to do a stool test this weekend (happy happy joy joy). In October, I’ll have my second colonoscopy since May (also hurrah…not). A big plus though that I cannot not mention is the quality of care I’ve received since moving to Alberta. Second to none hands down in all the years I’ve had this stupid affliction.

I went golfing last Saturday and those four hours of frustrating joy meant not eating all day. I didn't get home until 4:30 p.m.

I went golfing last Saturday and those four hours of frustrating joy meant not eating all day. I didn’t get home until 4:30.

This morning I came up with a potential resolution for 2016. This plan can only be initiated if the drugs start to work though. I’m not going to share the details because then I’ll be getting my hopes up on it and last time I got my hopes up for something too quickly (the remicade), I became depressed because it wasn’t having the desired affect. Hopefully it still does but that’s not the point. The point is if they do begin to work, I have something exciting to share with you all a few months from now. First, I need to prove to myself I can gain some weight and I can get some fitness back.

Here is how I’ll close. Today it came closer than ever to full circle for me in terms of realizing how great of an employer I have in the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Obviously I also know my family has my back and I have friends that support me. I will not give up on the notion that better days lie ahead for me and while it sucks to play the waiting game and wonder if anything really is ever going to change, I know I don’t have a choice. During that time I have to be all my body will let me be, physically, mentally, socially and even spiritually.

Hell, I also have to prepare myself for the day (which will come sooner than I think) my daughter understands better what is going on with her Daddy. I have to be strong for her. I have to be strong for my fiancee. I have to be strong for myself because if it’s going to get worse, it won’t be because of anything I do.

So I’m okay. I’m not great. I’m not good. I’m chronically ill. I’ve been sick every day for the last eight years. And I’ve cried many times over the last several weeks and months. I’m tired, but I am okay and I know it will get better.

Shoutout to @Offseids and @ColitisNinja for being two wonderful supports for me lately. Please check out Colitis Ninja on Facebook and Twitter for a lot of great info on Crohn’s and colitis. You can also buy wristbands and other things that support research. Please also check out http://www.crohnsandcolitis.ca.


2014 NHL Stanley Cup playoff picks

img-reward-nhl-stanley-finalI did make these picks in a pool before the playoffs started. That pool, in case you’re interested see you get a certain point value for picking the right team who moves on and also for picking the right amount of games. You can also win a bonus by selecting the Stanley Cup winner, but you have to make that pick before the first round begins.

Each selection comes with a brief explanation I gave on the pool’s Facebook page. I will be updating this page as the playoffs go along. Feel free to post your picks.

ROUND 1

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Boston vs Detroit – Boston in 6 (Boston’s just too big and tough for the very Canuck-like, personnel-wise, Wings) [CORRECT TEAM]

Montreal vs Tampa Bay – Montreal in 6 (Bishop out and even with Stamkos, as good as he is can’t keep up with all the Habs’ parts which include Price, Pacioretty, Vanek and Subban) [CORRECT TEAM]

Pittsburgh vs Columbus – Pittsburgh in 5 (Crosby, Malkin, ’nuff said) [CORRECT TEAM]

New York vs Philly – New York in 7 (I guess the Canucks played each twice this year but I don’t recall either Philly game..and both Rangers games, they owned us so I’ll take NYR) [CORRECT TEAM AND GAMES]

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Colorado vs Minnesota – Colorado in 6 (Colorado looks like a team of destiny this year. Edmonton is so jealous of them right now) [INCORRECT]

Anaheim vs Dallas – Anaheim in 6 (Again, from what I’ve seen of Anaheim which includes a 9-1 beatdown of the Nucks, they are just too high powered for Dallas. Seguin could be a game changer) [CORRECT TEAM AND GAMES]

Chicago vs St. Louis – Chicago in 6 (St. Louis has looked sexy this season but with Kane and Toews back, not to mention Sharp and all that supporting cast, gotta go with Chi-town) [CORRECT TEAM AND GAMES]

LA vs San Jose – LA in 7 (Seven game battle to the death via cheap shots. Thornton and co. choke again and LA moves on) [CORRECT TEAM AND GAMES]

STANLEY CUP SELECTION

Stanley Cup Winner will be the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Crosby and Malkin, ’nuff said…oh and they win it over the Avalanche. Varlamov will take them to the Final)

ROUND 1 SUMMARY

7 CORRECT TEAMS AND 4 CORRECT SERIES (I MUST BE A PROPHET)

ROUND 2

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Canadiens vs Bruins – Montreal in 7 (I’m going to go ahead and say that Boston IS slow and the speed of Pacioretty, Vanek, Gallagher and Subban will burn them, but it will take 7 games) [CORRECT TEAM AND GAMES]

Penguins vs Rangers – Pittsburgh in 6 (Rangers are good but not on the Pens’ level. The flightless birds caught the wind beneath their wings to close out Columbus. Momentum) [INCORRECT]

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Ducks vs Kings – Anaheim in 7 (Kings are stingy and will take another series to 7 games but Getzlaf and Perry will prevail with Selanne also playing a key role) [INCORRECT]

Hawks vs Wild – Chicago in 5  (Hawks also have massive momentum on their side and Minnesota was LUUUUUUUCKY to get by the Avs…also even though it means nothing, I’ll say it’s gonna be Hawks in the final now vs Pitt…I had Avs before) [CORRECT TEAM]

ROUND 3

EASTERN CONFERENCE 

Canadiens vs Rangers – Montreal in 6 [INCORRECT]

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Kings vs Hawks – Chicago in 6 [INCORRECT]

STANLEY CUP FINAL

Kings vs Rangers – Kings in 6



Wranglers camp day 2: key word ‘intensity’

Day 2 is in the books from Wranglers spring camp in 100 Mile House. The intensity, as many players I’ve spoken to have made mention of, has picked up. This has been reflected in tight scoring games where goalies have stood on their head and some players have made great individual efforts.

Reece Forman, a 100 Mile product who’s been playing Junior ‘A’ in Nipawin, Saskatchewan with the Hawks of the SJHL, says he’s here to not only get some ice time and grow as a person and player, but to be a role model for the kids. “I’m trying to keep the tempo up and show them the intensity it takes to be a junior hockey player.”

That doesn’t just go for the guys here who are at their first camp and in their first year midget. Veteran Wrangler d-man Kenny Nordstrom was absolutely gangbusters in his game yesterday, dominating with his puck possession and speed from the back end.

Asked if he’s playing up to their level, he says, “I’m playing up to their [Junior ‘A’ players] level easily I think. I’ve played for a couple years with some of those guys in major midget, like Jarvis, Harris, Forman a bit and Micky Turner. I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for, of course I want to play Junior ‘A’ but you never get your spot back here without giving 100%. You never know who’s going to be better than you, and so I expect it to get harder. Everyone’s tired but it’s going to get more chippy.”

Nordstrom, a Terrace native and 2011 bantam draft pick of the WHL Regina Pats, (10th round, 201st overall), says hes been bulking up in the gym since the playoffs ended in March.

Joshua Janzen, a Burns Lake Tier 4 player has some thoughts on big bodies.

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The Wranglers team bus parked outside the SCRC this weekend for show (Photo by Josh Hall)

He says they make this level, “a lot different from Tier 4.” Throw on top of that the great competition from a wide variety of players and Janzen’s first camp has been an exciting one.

He says, “the coaching’s been great,” and he sort of already had an idea how that would be going in because his brother Jaden Janzen was coached by Hladun for two seasons (2010-12) while in Princeton. What he took from Friday’s orientation with ‘Duner’ was that, “he’s going to be hard on us, no one gets off easy, everyone gets treated the same and he’ll be crazy hard on us if we don’t listen to what he says.”

The ’96’er was also very complimentary of the Wranglers players who are at camp stating, “It’s nice to see how they move the puck. They move it quick, nothing fancy, and get the puck on net. They’re tough on the stick and they crash the net.”

“I think I’ll be ready to step up if I get carded,” he continues.” I was following them all year because they were new, and the closest town with a Junior ‘B’ team, and it’s an amazing facility here too.”

Matt Fichter was next to step up to the mic. The ’97 says, “everyone’s calmed down a bit from the day one nerves. The rest of camp should be better.” Fichter missed on a penalty shot in one game but looked dangerous in other parts.

*Note: In games, they’ve been allowing penalty shots with a chaser as opposed to having a player sit two minutes.

Fichter played Tier 2 in Kamloops last season and says while junior is a whole other level from midget, spring camp is just a, “little bit higher competition. This makes sense considering the amount of midget players here yet to play more than a handful of games as an AP with a junior team.

“I really like the coach and have heard really good things.” The 16 year old played one game with the Chase Heat in December.

We spoke finally, at least player-wise, to Tyler Collens, who played major midget with the Thompson Blazers last season at just 15 years of age. He won’t turn 16 until August.

Believe it or not, this isn’t even his first KI camp, having attended the Sicamous Eagles’ camp two weeks ago. “The camps have been the same in terms of speed and intensity. It’s a big step from playing major midget last year. It’s more skilled, physical, overall just a step higher. I think right now I’m doing pretty good. I just have to keep it up and be consistent.”

When asked about what would happen if he was carded, he says, “I’d have to think about it.”

Finally, we got back around to the head coach Dale ‘Duner’ Hladun.

“I think it’s progressed because the kids are clearly getting more comfortable. There’s no dilly-dallying, and now that I’ve been barking at them a bit, the pace has picked up.”

The pace has picked up indeed but ‘Duner’ says, “I think the kids still have to lose some of their habits,like not paying attention or going to the wrong spots. That’s why I bark at them to get in the zone, its just something the young guys have to learn.”

With regards to the skills sessions, which stopped after Saturday’s morning games, “They’re about basic skills. I don’t care what fancy system you have, if you can’t pass 10 feet, we have a problem. Those are the types of core things we need to start with. It’s about skating, shooting, passing, and battles, and then we teach the game.”

I queried Hladun on which players have stood out for him and he divulged.

“I’ve liked the play of Prince George goalie Riley Druskin, Justin Bond [Williams Lake] has looked sharp, also a couple of Quesnel kids, and a couple guys who are just starting to grow on me.”

As for the some of the veterans on the ice, “Kenny’s good [referring to Nordstrom, Zimmerman looked good in the last session too. Sometimes guys don’t get it. They think ‘I played here last year, I’ll just come out and have fun at camp’ but these guys have come out and played hard so I’m happy.”

READ MORE: HARD-NOSED STYLE ‘MAKES ME WORK HARDER

READ MORE: WRANGLERS SPRING CAMP OPENS AT SCRC



Wranglers camp day 1: Hard-nosed style ‘makes me work harder’
April 26, 2014, 09:48
Filed under: 100 Mile Wranglers, KIJHL | Tags: , , , ,

Day one is in the books at 100 Mile Wranglers spring camp.

In game 1, team red and team green finished deadlocked at three goals apiece, albeit playing a two period (21 minutes each) game. Game 2 featured teams Blue and Gold also tying 1-1. I caught up with a few of the players post-game 1 to talk about the competition level.

Cam Flinton, one of three players here from Notre Dame, Saskatchewan says, “I’ve been to some other camps and by far this is the most up-paced. The Coach pushed the pace in the kills sesh too so that was pretty good.”

The all around consensus is that Coach Dale Hladun’s style was totally appropriate.’Duner’ as he’s known, a 9 year KIJHL coaching veteran, was loud, boisterous, and hard-nosed during the opening skills session (practice).

Wranglers camp 3

Game 1 between Green & Red which ended in a 3-3 tie (Photo by Josh Hall)

“I like that. It makes me work harder,” says Quesnel native Kyle Riley. He also says, “I felt normal,” out there, even after a bit of a break.

Riley was in 100 Mile House in March for the Midget Tier 3 Provincials where his team finished 3rd.

We also caught Dylan Haney of Notre Dame in the hallway following Game 1. He tells us their team won their Provincial tournament in Saskatchewan this past season.

That said, “you can tell a lot of seasons have ended so a lot of guys haven’t been on the ice but the pace was still pretty good.” Haney says he hadn’t done any prior research about Duner’ but that he, “seems intense, and I like that.”

Kyle Haugo, a 1998 born from Elkford says, “the coaching’s pretty good. I’ve practiced with him a few times this year.” Elkford (or Elk Valley) is near Fernie where Coach Hladun was behind the bench last season. Haugo says that’s how he got invited to this camp. He says, “It’s a little intimidating being a first year midget.”

Player-wise, we spoke lastly to veteran Wrangler Mathieu Longhurst, a Prince George native who turned 18 in January. He was optimistic about the season to come, which is still months and a main camp away.”

“During the skills, I felt like I was getting my legs back and hands back,” he says. “It’s going to be a good year for the Wranglers. There’s a lot of good talent out here.”

Prior to the opening skills session at 4 o’ clock, Coach Hladun held an orientation in the lobby of the South Cariboo Rec Centre. In the talk, he says he spoke about all of the players being Wranglers, “until you don’t make the team. So act accordingly,” he says.

“I told them to act well off the ice, make sure the dressing rooms are clean and no chewing tobacco, that kind of stuff, and there’s a no fight rule. I dont want passive guys though. By Sunday, it’ll be a little more intense. The first day of any camp, guys dont know each other and for some, it’s their first camp but by Sunday, they’ll be full of piss and vinegar.”

READ MORE: WRANGLERS SPRING CAMP OPENS AT SCRC

Bookmark 100MileWranglers.com and follow @100MHWranglers on Twitter for more updates throughout and following the weekend.

The remaining schedule will see teams Red and Gold participate in a skills session followed by a game at 9am Saturday. After that, teams Green and Blue will do the same thing beginning at 11am.

In the afternoon, beginning at 4pm, Green will play Blue and Gold will play Red with no skills session in between. We also expect to speak with a member of the BCHL Merritt Centennials coaching staff who’s here coaching one of the four teams.

Sunday morning at 9am and 11:30am will be two final all-star games.




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