Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 55

e KJHL Jory Ross Two young players from the north have found a hockey home in Lundar. The Keystone Junior B Hockey League allows them to work and still play competitive hockey. It’s the best of both worlds, but it sure isn’t easy. By Scott Taylor Photos by Marissa Naylor and James Carey Lauder ST. ADOLPHE – Jory Ross has a great job in the refinery at the nickel mine in Thompson. It pays so well and the shifts can be so long (sometimes as much as 15 hours) that he just might be the highest paid player in the Keystone Jr. B Hockey League. When he used to drive his old Camaro from Thompson to Lundar to play for the Falcons, it would take him nearly eight hours. Now, with his brand new Charger, “I get there a lot faster than eight hours,” he said. There aren’t many players in Manitoba – heck, anywhere in the world, for that matter – that would drive eight hours to play a Jr. B hockey game, but it’s become old hat for Ross. “Yeah, I’m lucky some weekends because the guys will come north to play Cross Lake or Norway House and I can just meet them up here,” Ross said. “But most of the time, I have to drive. I don’t mind, though. I love to play the game so much, I’ll drive anywhere.” It’s a good thing he’s prepared to make that kind of commitment. After all, for head coach Brad Drews and the people who run the Falcons, finding quality players to play at the Jr. B level in a small, rural community is not an easy task. Many of Drews’ players have joined the team because their friends played there. Others are in Lundar are there because Drews went out and recruited them. The night we caught up with the coach, he and his wife had been driving around the community looking for winter jobs for the players. “My wife and I drove to four farms tonight to see if they needed help this winter,” said Drews, who teaches at Eriksdale School. “It’s important for us to get them good billets and good winter jobs.” Still, even with help, finding players is no picnic. “I have a very good relationship with Larry Frykas and the NOVEMBER 2015 GAME ON 55