Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 22

Manitobans Get Together to Resurrect Portage College By Scott Taylor Photos by James Carey Lauder and Luke Muise This past summer, when Arnie Caplan won the job as head hockey coach at Portage College in Lac La Biche, Alta., he had a lot of work to do. After all, the Voyageurs won only one game all of last season. So Caplan did what he does best: He looked home toward Manitoba. With four Manitobans and two players who toiled in the MJHL, Caplan has already rebuilt a program that some left for dead. W hen Winnipegger Arnie Caplan applied for the job as head hockey coach at Portage College in Lac La Biche, Alta., he knew he was walking into a difficult situation. This was a team that won just one single game during the 2014-15 season. When Caplan got the job in August, he knew he was up against it. Building a team to compete in the improving Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, was not going to be easy. “I knew I had a tough job rebuilding this program, the record made that quite obvious,” said Caplan, who played goal for the Portage Terriers, Kildonan North Stars (1986-87) and Selkirk Steelers (1987-88). “So I made a few calls to people I knew and they suggested I go after a few Manitoba kids. So far, it was the right thing to do.” Caplan is a smart guy. He has a diploma in Audio Production from Winnipeg’s old Academy of Broadcasting and a Masters in Sociology from Acadia University. He also has coaching experience. He was the women’s head coach at 22 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 BEN SVEINSON