TISDALE — With hard work, Nic Andrusiak has earned a spot and role on his hometown Tisdale Trojans.
Early on this Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League season, the 15-year-old rookie defenceman was not seeing a lot of playing time. However, head coach Dennis Kubat said Andrusiak worked hard, hit the gym, attended every optional practice and workout, and his role increased.
“It’s funny how if you work hard and you are committed to the game on and off the ice, you’ll see success,” the Trojans head coach said.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Andrusiak had 12 assists through 31 games. He has helped the Trojans win three of their last five games. The team has a 16-14-0-1 record entering this week.
Kubat said that the son of Chastity and Daryl Andrusiak can be a role model for local players. He explained that the rookie blue liner sets a good example for Tisdale products that “if they put in the time, they can be a Trojan.”
“He’s a guy that just every day comes to the rink and wants to get better,” Kubat said. “His work ethic is unbelievable... His marks are really good in school.”
Andrusiak has been watching the Trojans play since his family moved to the community in 2014. He is pleased to compete for the squad.
“I get to play in front of the amazing crowds that I’ve always been a part of and I also get 20 new best friends that I spend everyday with and always hangout with,” Andrusiak said.
He is pleased to be playing at the high midget AAA level. Andrusiak is enjoying the fast pace of games and how there is more skill involved.
“In midget AAA, you have to play a team game every night in order to win,” he said. “One guy can’t just carry the team, it really has to be a team effort. I feel my game has improved a lot throughout the year from practice everyday and even just watching video with coaches. The coaches give me lots of opportunities to improve and I take every one. Working out is also a huge part of my improvement this year. Being physically in shape is a huge part of getting to that next level.”
Andrusiak was tabbed second overall in the 2019 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Draft by the Melville Millionaires. He attended camp with that Junior A team as well as the major junior Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
“The Portland experience helps me a lot,” Andrusiak said. “When I was there, they went over everything. They went over proper eating, sleeping, warm ups, mental preparation, you name it. I took all that information with me back to Tisdale and I use it lots in the rink and at home. It really showed me what it takes to get to the next level. The Portland experience is a huge part of my game right now.”
The Trojans last week
Saturday, Jan. 11 in Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw 6, Tisdale 3
Tisdale Scorers: Mackenzie Carson (2), Kalen Ukrainetz
Warriors Scorers: Connor McGrath (2), Atley Calvert, Matt Perkins, Sam Boldt, Davis Fry
Goalies: Boston Gelowitz, Tisdale, 38 saves on 44 shots; Chase Coward, Moose Jaw, 21 on 24
Notes: Moose Jaw, the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s top team, held a 3-1, at the first intermission. The Trojans came back to tie things up in the second, but the Warriors scored once in that period and twice in the third. “Saturday’s game was lost in the first and third periods for us,” assistant coach Daven Smith said. “We came out flat in the first period, we were excellent in the second period, and then average in the third. We need all hands-on deck for 60 minutes when playing Moose Jaw or any team for that matter or else the end result isn’t going to be one we like.” Trojan Trenton Curtis had three assists.
Sunday, Jan. 12 in Swift Current
Swift Current 4, Tisdale 3
Tisdale Scorers: Mackenzie Carson, Cole Tanchuk, Kayden Ostrom
Legionnaires Scorers: Rhett Evjen (2), Jankin Lawrence, Logan Linklater
Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 20 saves on 24 shots; Justin Dueck, Swift Current, 21 on 24
Notes: The Trojans trailed 2-1 and 3-2 at the intermissions. Ostrom tied the game in the third period, but Evjen’s second of the day boosted Swift Current to the win. Ethan Lang had two assists for Tisdale. “It’s never good coming home from a weekend road trip with zero points,” Trojans assistant coach Daven Smith said. “It’s frustrating for both the players and coaching staff.”
Jordan Simoneau (2016-17) had seven points in three games for the Nipawin Hawks last week. He helped them win all three of their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League contests. The Hawks enter this week on a five-game winning streak. Simoneau, a forward from Tisdale, has 12 goals and 25 points in 36 games this season.
The Tisdale Trojans (16-14-0-1) have three road games this week. The squad takes on Beardy’s on Thursday. They play the Notre Dame Argos in Wilcox on Saturday and Sunday.