Yukon’s hockey prowess knows no bounds

Yukon hockey talent is too abundant to be kept within the territory's borders. It has seeped into leagues across Canada and the U.S.

Yukon hockey talent is too abundant to be kept within the territory’s borders. It has seeped into leagues across Canada and the U.S.

From minor hockey teams in B.C. and Alberta, to junior and university teams in Canada and the U.S., even up to the professional level, Yukon has representation all over the place.

“I’m enjoying it, the team is great, everything is great here,” said Whitehorse’s Jordan Lane. “We’re off to a real good start, we’ve got a good squad here.”

Lane is a defenceman for the Quad City Mallards in the Central Hockey League and is currently Yukon’s only professional player.

The Mallards, which are based in Moline, Illinois and currently have a 4-3-2 record, are affiliated with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.

“I’ve been playing in most of the games, playing my role, doing my job,” said Lane in an interview last week. “I’ve been in three fights so far, put up a couple PIMs, being defensively sound, doing what I have to do.”

Lane is in his first season with the team. The 24-year-old was on the Elmira Jackels in the Eastern Central Hockey League last season.

At six-foot-eight, 250 pounds, Lane is the biggest guy on the team and has an enforcer role. But gone are the days of thugs who only fight and can’t play, he said.

“You can’t just be an enforcer anymore, you have to be able to play the game,” said Lane. “You can’t be a defensive liability.

“I’m just here to work hard, get better and show that I can play hard enough that I get a chance to go play some games in the American league and show my stuff up there.”

Yukon is also represented in the Western Hockey League.

Whitehorse’s Brett Roulston is playing right-wing in his second season for the Prince George Cougars.

“It’s awesome. It’s a pretty good experience,” said Roulston. “It’s as close to pro hockey as you can get without actually playing pro, so it’s a lot of fun.”

The Cougars (9-13-1-3) missed the playoffs by a few points last season. Roulston played major midget in Prince George before moving up to the Cougars. The 19-year-old finished last season with eight goals and 11 points.

Yukon has a handful of players lacing up for college and university teams in Canada and the U.S., but they’re not all from Whitehorse.

Haines Junction’s Reid Campbell is playing NCAA hockey for the St. Norbert College Green Knights in Wisconsin.

“We drove back and fourth probably five days a week when I was eight to 14 to play hockey in Whitehorse – I have my parents to thank for that,” said Campbell. “I went through the whole Mustangs system all the way up to when I moved away at 15 to go to Fort St. John with a few other Yukon guys to play major midget there.”

The Whitehorse Mustangs rep club “is a good system, they definitely develop some good hockey players,” said Campbell. “It was fun to be a part of.”

Since Campbell joined the Green Knights, the team has won two NCAA Division III championships.

The team is currently undefeated after six games this season.

Campbell, who is studying communications with a business minor and is in his senior year, has one goal and two assists in the six games.

“It was different coming in from playing junior in Powell River to college hockey,” said the defenceman. “The lifestyle is a little different, it’s more of a student-first mentality. So you have to keep your marks up in order to play.

“Coming in was really good. I got to play as a freshman, which is nice.

“I’ve carried my workload through and had success. I was an All-American in my sophomore year. That was an honour I wasn’t expecting.”

Whitehorse’s Andrew Pettitt, who played Junior A with Campbell on the Powell River Kings, is a forward for the SeaWolves at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Pettitt, who is in his junior year, registered two assists in 23 games last season with the “Green and Gold.” The team is currently undefeated at home with four straight.

Whitehorse’s Ian Perrier is goalie for the Westfield State College Owls in Westfield, Massachusetts.

The team is currently 1-4-0 in the NCAA Division III (not including Thursday’s game).

Perrier, who is in his junior year, played for Northland College last year.

Whitehorse’s Angela Burke is playing for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

Burke is in her fourth year and currently has two assists this season as the team struggles to improve on a 3-7-0-2 record.

“I feel like there’s been a lot of growth, not only individually, but in our team,” Burke told the News at the start of the season. “We have a really strong core group of girls and we’ve really developed with each other through the years.”

Burke is one of four female players outside the territory this season.

Whitehorse’s Tamara Greek is playing defence for the Richmond Pacific Steelers in the Junior Women’s Hockey League in B.C.

Marsh Lake’s Jocelyn Wynnyk and Dawson City’s Lynsey Keaton are playing for the Trojans at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary.

“I absolutely love it,” said Wynnyk. “There’s something about the team and the atmosphere that’s really good. The fact that you’re playing with girls who are at your level and can challenge you as well is really good. And the program is set up really well.”

Whitehorse’s Ted Stephens is in his third season playing forward with the St. Francis Xavier University X-Men in Nova Scotia.

The X-Men are currently in third place in their CIS division with a 5-4-1 record, including an overtime loss to the Acadia Axemen on Wednesday.

Stephen’s brother David is experiencing tremendous success as a forward with Maritime Junior A Pictou County Weeks Crushers in the Maritime Hockey League.

The Weeks Crushers are currently first in the league with a 15-3-0-3 record.

David is leading the team with eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points.

Whitehorse’s Trevor Hanna is having a great Junior B season. The forward is turning on red lights more often than Amsterdam while playing with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

Hanna has 19 goals and 18 assists in 22 games and is third on his team in points and second for scoring. The Thunder Cats are at the top of the Eddie Mountain Division and fifth in the league.

Dawson City’s Charles Dagostin is playing defence for the Kimberley Dynamiters, a Junior B team in the KIJHL.

Whitehorse’s Trevor Whynot is a forward for the Junior B’s Dawson Creek Junior Canucks (6-8-0-1) in the North West Junior Hockey League.

Whitehorse’s Tyson Glass is playing left wing for the Fort St. John Huskies in Junior B, also in the NWJHL.

Yukon has a number of midget level players Outside, three of which are on the same team.

Whitehorse’s Riley Pettitt, Kole Comin and Cole Morris are all forwards for the Prince George Cariboo Cougars in the British Columbia Major Midget League. The Cougars are currently in fourth place in the league with an 8-7-1 record.

Other Yukon midgets include Dylan McCuaig for the Airdrie Avalanche Midget, Tomas Jirousek in Lethbridge, Liam Webster for the Whistler Hawks and Wyatt Gale and Alex Hansen playing AA in Fort St. John.

Yukon bantams include Matt Braga in Kamloops on the Players Bench Raiders, Matt Butler at the Calgary Edge School, Jonas Leas North Shore Winter Club in North Vancouver and Lukas Jirousek in Lethbridge.

If you know any hockey players who should have been included in this story but weren’t, please contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com.

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