Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 57

make CIS teams -- clubs that are loaded with 22-24-year-old players right out of the Western Hockey League. However, while at school, Turner found a home with the Ochapowace Thunder of the Saskatchewan Jr. B Hockey League. “I played there for a year and a half and then I left school and went back to Thompson,” he said. “I sat out the rest of that season and then I got the call from Andrew and I’ve been with the Falcons ever since. It’s been great for me.” It’s been a great experience for Ross, too. He grew up in Leaf Rapids and played what’s called Peanuts Hockey up north. After two years of minor hockey in Leaf Rapids, he moved to Gillam and then, after a year of Atom in Gillam, his family moved to Thompson. That summer he started going to Edge of Excellence camps and became a good player in the north. He played Double A Atom, then Peewee A for the King Miners in Thompson. He also played for the Ice Bears during the summer and reached Peewee Double A. He was even chosen to attend a Program of Excellence camp with Hockey Manitoba as a 14-year-old. “It was in the U-16 program and I never cracked the Provincial team lineup, but I made it to the Top 120,” he said proudly. “I eventually made the Midget Triple A Norman North Stars, but my main focus was always school. “After high school, I didn’t know what I was going to do, and I was finished with midget, so I got a call to play for Carrot River in the Prairie Junior Hockey League. It was a pretty good league but Carrot River is way out there. It’s four hours from Flin Flon, 40 miles down a dirt road that can barely handle one car and has no cell service. If I stalled out on that road in January, nobody would find me ‘till spring.” After nearly a year, he’d had enough of the PJHL, but he still wanted to play. That’s when he got a call from Drews and finished the season with Lundar. “I played seven regular season games and then our four playoff games against Selkirk,” he said. “I loved it. Things really started coming together for us in that series with Selkirk. Brad’s an excellent coach and even though we lost four straight to Selkirk, the eventual league champions, we were in every game. That’s why I’m excited about our chances this season. I think we’ll have a really good team.” Meanwhile, Turner had a good year in 2014-15. He had nine goals and 25 points in 29 games and then had a pair of assists in four playoff games. He said that last year’s playoffs gave the entire Falcons team the confidence it needed to come out and have a great season in 2015-16. “We got off to a real good start and we’re all excited about our chances this season,” said Turner enthusiastically. “We have a great group of young guys back from last season and our goaltending has been a lot better than it was last year. “We’ll also build off last spring’s playoffs. We had a good run after Christmas last year and with a great group of veterans and some really talented young guys, we’re all excited about this team. “Still, for me, the most important thing is that everything worked out with my job so it’s not too hard for me to play with this team. I get to work out of Stonewall, live in Winnipeg and play in Lundar and that’s a lot easier than deriving down from Thompson. This is my second year with Lundar and it’s my last year of junior and it’s going to be fun playing a final season with some great friends and also starting my career.” Ross feels much the same. “Every hour it takes to drive to Lundar is worth it,” he said. “Lundar was the first team in the KJ to call me and show interest. I love playing there. No matter how long it takes to get there, it’s