Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 20

I don’t know if it was the operation or what, but I’m a lot faster now than I was before the operation. In terms of hockey, the operation made me a faster player up. The doctors were scared that because I guess I was, like, dead, that maybe I’d lost oxygen to my brain so they started asking me questions to see if I had brain damage. “I think maybe they thought I had a problem because I’d been out for so long I wasn’t sure what day it was, but my dad straightened it all out. He asked me, ‘Who’s the goalie on your fantasy team?’ and I said, ‘Henrik Lundqvist,’ and he smiled and told the doctors, ‘He’s OK.’” It took awhile, but Mirrlees got his health back. In fact, one year after the operation, he was back on the ice playing for the Sanford Collegiate Sabres. “I had the operation on Nov. 7, 2011,” he said. “And I played my next game on Nov. 5, 2012. I don’t know if it was the operation or what, but I’m a lot faster now than I was before the operation. In terms of hockey, the operation made me a faster player.” Like so many young players in Manitoba, Mirrlees has played the game for almost all of his life. “My parents were split and my mom lived in St. Boniface and my dad lived in the country and we decided I’d start playing in the city,” Mirrlees said. “So I registered to play in St. Boniface and played A-1 with the Stars and then Double A with the Railcats. Then I spent one year with the Warriors and move back out to the country with my dad and played bantam in MacDonald (northwest of Portage). “Then from Grade 10-12, I played at Sanford Collegiate. Last year, as an 18-year-old, I went to tryouts with the Twisters and they signed me. I had a pretty good year and won top rookie.” 20 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 Last season, Mirrlees played in 45 games and had 22 goals and 17 assists to win the league’s Rookie of the Year Award. This season, he’s off to a great start. He has 10 goals and five assists in his first nine games and leads the MMJHL in scoring (as of press time). “It’s really nice to have a league like the MMJHL,” Mirrlees said. “I was a high school player and there wasn’t a lot of interest in me in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. But I’m in a league now where it’s not a huge commitment to hockey. “I’m living in Oak Bluff, it takes about a half hour to drive to practice and I work full-time at Arctic Spas. Playing for the Twisters allows to me to work when I have to work and still practice one or two times a week. I also get to play at a high level of junior hockey. It also looks like I’ll play four seasons in this league. Counting this season, I have three years left and I’m excited about playing.” He’s excited for good reason. The Twisters, under head coach Derek Mohr, are among the lea