Two Bantam Mustangs chosen for elite hockey program

‘That’s where we’d like to be,” said Mustangs forward Gibson Pearson, while discussing last week’s World Junior Hockey…

‘That’s where we’d like to be,” said Mustangs forward Gibson Pearson, while discussing last week’s World Junior Hockey Championship. “This is the first step to getting to that level of hockey.”

Last weekend Gibson and teammate Brett Roulston travelled to Prince George, BC to try out for the BC Best Ever High Performance Hockey Program. After a couple days of grueling tryouts, the two Mustangs were two of just 12 forwards (plus six defencemen and two goalies) selected from over 60 to attend the elite program, which has such alumni as Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and St. Louis Blues winger Paul Kariya, a member of Team Canada’s 2002 gold winning Olympic squad.

“It was pretty intense,” said Brett. “There were a lot of good hockey players there and good competition.

“(We) just went down to tryout, see what we were up against, see how we rank.”

Designated for those born in 1994, the BC Best Ever program is one of eight in the province and will begin mid-April in Salmon Arm, BC, where the 160 players selected from the BC region will congregate.

“They will have a large jamboree-type tournament where they mix the players together and they will be coached by some of the best coaches in BC and Hockey Canada,” said Bantam Mustangs coach Dave Pearson. “They will be analyzed and evaluated and treated like kings, really.

“It’s the beginning of the Canadian High Performance Program,” said Pearson. “It’s the starting point for Canadian hockey players that have aspirations to play for Team Canada. It’s an identification camp; it’s an avenue for them to be out there and take their hockey to a different level.

“I’m really proud of both of them. It’s really exciting to see both of them make the team.

“Brett could be one of the fastest players in BC; he’s got unbelievable speed and many people comment on it, and Gibson sees the ice so well and he’s got a lethal shot,” said Pearson. “The combination of the two of them is real nice to see.”

According to Pearson, the opening stage of the program coincides with the World Junior Hockey Championship in order to perhaps boost the thrill of possibly taking the first steps towards playing at that level.

“Hockey Canada does it for a reason at that time,” said Pearson. “It was a very cool experience as a coach and as a father to watch that level of play and watch them compete for jobs.”

Patrick Soprovich and Mustangs goalie Matthew Pollard, also made the trip south but unfortunately came up short in the tryouts.

“They weren’t successful making the team, but they did a real good job at the camp,” said Pearson. “In all fairness, there were 13 goalies trying out for two spots and the goalies that were there were big and tall and fast, and it was tough for our guys to compete with that.”

Next weekend Roulston and Pearson, who have been playing on Mustangs teams since they were atoms, will be joining their team at the Western Classic, a bantam tournament being held in Abbotsford, BC.

“We’re really looking for good results there,” said Pearson.

However, there was a downside to the tryouts: the two Mustangs missed some of Team Canada’s games at the World Juniors.

“We missed the semifinal game because we were on the ice,” said Gibson.

“We were stuck in the airport for the gold medal game,” added Brett. “So we watched it in a little café.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon youth being extorted online Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. Politicians return for the spring sitting of the assembly March 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Analysis: What to expect in spring sitting of the legislature

They’re back on March 4, but election speculation is looming large

d
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for March 3, 2021.

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Most Read