Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 23

I knew I had a tough job rebuilding this program, the record made that quite obvious Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., went to Japan to teach for nine years and came back to Manitoba in 2011 and spent four years coaching the Winnipeg Monarchs Triple A City Midgets, the Winnipeg Thrashers Provincial Triple A Midgets, the Pembina Valley Twisters of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League and the Lundar Falcons of the Keystone Junior B Hockey League. However, Portage College was going to be a tough assignment. Last season the Voyageurs went 1-29-2. The only victory came in overtime. The team finished ninth – dead last – in the ACAC and the future wasn’t bright. But that’s when the rookie coach went to work. He already had goalie Adam Iwan who was in his second year with the team. Iwan had played in the MJHL with the Portage Terriers and Virden Oil Capitals and decided to get into the welding program at Portage College last fall. He had former Winnipeg Saints leftwinger Tanner Quinn who had just finished playing three seasons with the Battlefords North Stars in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and was already in the power engineering program at Portage. However, because he didn’t get started until late in the summer, Caplan knew the rest of his recruiting efforts would be hit and miss. So he went back to Manitoba and got two big hits. He found Joel Warkentin from tiny Fork River, a half-hour north of Dauphin. In 2014-15, Warkentin played junior in English River, Ont., in the Superior International Junior Hockey League, but this year he figured he was done. “Arnie gave me a call a week before the season started,” Warkentin said. “Honestly, I wasn’t going to play hockey this year. I was working on the family farm – we have 150 cows and 1,500 acres of grain – and then, suddenly, I was going to school and playing hockey again. I really like it. I’m in the welding program and this is going to be my home for the next couple of years. It’s a small community and a great campus and it’s really nice.” GOALIE ADAM IWAN TANNER QUINN NOVEMBER 2015 GAME ON 23