With half the season behind them the Thompson North Stars played a fierce game this past weekend (Nov. 11, 12) that ended in another victory. The energy was so thick you could feel it like a personal boost from your seats. Ice spat up in the face of the opposing team proving to be at least one step ahead at every goal.
“It’s been looking really good, a lot stronger then last year” Said Center Playmaker; Isaac Tomchak.
With such tight harmonic moves and conversation said with a mere glance you would think a team such as this were born playing along side the other, but Tomchak actually stated that he himself had only joined on 2 years ago, and some players are new this year. “We got a couple imports from academy, so it’s looking pretty up-hill”.
Tomchak has been found with a stick in his hand since he was as young as three or four years old, known to slap a ball or puck around a makeshift rink since his earliest memory. His love was originally developed from his father who is actually a former North Stars player, now watching his son follow in his past footsteps.
Others following in the same tracks are the North Stars Minor League who played on the same sheet of ice the weekend prior (Nov. 4, 5) where the team Defence; Ashton Harrison said that the North Stars is his pathway to “Wanting to go pro”, as he put it, paving the way for the NHL.
Unlike Tomchak and many others, Harrison didn’t grow up with a family of Hockey lovers, instead studying the games of other teams, particularly the North Stars built a desire for wanting to be apart of that. “I started the ball rolling” stated Harrison saying that he now started the Hockey passion in his family.
Minor League North Stars Center Playmaker; Michael Pawlachuk shared more in common with Tomchak then just having the same team title, but they both expressed just how important warm-ups were to the untrained player. “It’s a big mental game” Tomchak emphasized “Your up in the morning, your being active, getting good sleep, good bite to eat, drink lots of water”
“My coaches are my biggest role model” Pawlachuk said, explaining that one of the biggest ways to mentally prepare is to know your leadership and develop a strong relationship with your coaches. “It’s not just about the players” he continued “Knowing the coaches makes a stronger team in general”.
Pawlachuk’s ‘play hard’ mentality is a huge asset to his whole team, but after breaking his wrist in a previous game he’s had to work at staying physically fit and sharp on his skills now with the injury. Yet to this, Pawlachuk said that he doesn’t let it slow him down at all, making sure he is at his top game once coming back.
You’ve gotta be dedicated” passionately stated Pawlachuk “You’ve gotta push through the nervous, never be the best that you can, but BETTER then the best. Always go one-hundred and one”. Pawlachuk refers to himself as a generally active person, saying that he rarely gets weary on the ice, the teammates keep him motivating giving him “Never a reason to quit”.
We all can enjoy a good intense game playing out live before you as you sit on the edge of your seat, and when we hear stories from players such as these represented, we realize how much is possible when we shoot for our dreams and goals when you display that kind of dedication and determination.
~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.