Gooderham boys joins Wolves
September 17, 2015
By Darren Lum
The Hunter boys of Gooderham are the newest players to sign with the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League Haliburton Wolves.
Both Ryan and Nick have made a life in the Highlands and work for the family sawmill in Gooderham.
After the team’s captain Cole Rowden called last week about a tryout, they welcomed the opportunity to be able to represent Haliburton and play junior hockey in front of family and friends.
“We were waiting for a junior C team to be in Haliburton probably since we were 16 so it’s kind of lucky – it’s winding down to our last year’s [eligibility] – it’s a junior A team … we had to jump on it,” Nick said.
The brothers each played a season on different Red Hawks teams a few years ago with older brother Ryan spending a season with the junior C Little Britain Merchants.
When Ryan, 21, was asked about what he thought he will gain playing for the Wolves, Ryan attributed the chance to learn from head coach Walt McKechnie.
“Oh, listening to Walt. Whatever he says I’ll learn,” he said.
This gives the A.J. LaRue Arena based team six local players. They include Curtis Ballantyne, Tanner Hamilton, Jacob Bishop and captain Rowden
McKechnie is excited about adding more locals to the team that bring complementary skills for the young squad.
“It’s just so nice to have two more local boys on the team along with the other ones we got,” he said. “They’re excited about the opportunity to play junior hockey in their home town so that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Rowden, who played for the Red Hawks in 2010 before he played junior hockey, said their addition is important on the ice and off of it, as they can attract more fan support.
Rowden said Nick is a “finesse forward.”
“He fills a role on centre that we definitely needed. He has the finesse, straight up the ice, natural goal scoring ability,” he said.
However Ryan, he said, is a “gritty two-way player”
“He’ll work hard in the corners and battle hard for pucks.”
A player with the ability to effectively play forward and defence is something the team lacked with its current roster, he said.
“Having a guy that is a two-way player is always special because there’s many times you’re short [a defenceman] through injuries. He can come back and help us out on the point or go up front,” he said.
Nick and Ryan are proud to represent Haliburton and believe it will be good for everyone.
“It’s a privilege to me. I think it’ll get a lot more people to come to the games, having a lot more local boys. There’s a lot of people from out of town on the team and it’s good to have as many locals as you can to have a nice crowd. And, yeah, just the family and whatnot seeing us play it’s got to be good for them. It’s good hockey all around. It’s good for the town,” he said.
The team plays its season and home opener tonight at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton. Warm-up at 7 p.m. and the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.