TISDALE — Tisdale Trojans defenceman Cole Tanchuk has a definite passion for hockey.
“I like hockey because it’s a competitive sport and relates to life and what the real world is like,” he said. “If you work hard and do your best, you can see the results. When I’m on the ice I can focus on hockey and forget about everything else.”
The 15-year-old rookie from Shellbrook is not afraid to work hard to get better at the game he loves.
“Cole Tanchuk is another one of our guys who is so dialled in to getting better and is mentally invested in the game of hockey,” Trojans assistant coach Daven Smith said. “He has tons of potential and I’m fairly confident he’ll unlock the best version of himself with the time and effort he puts in.”
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound blue liner has two goals and six points in 18 games in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League this season.
“I would describe my game as a two-way defenceman that likes to jump up in the rush and can be counted on in all situations and can play strong defence when needed,” Tanchuk said.
Last year Tanchuk was chosen by the Flin Flon Bombers in the second round of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League draft. He was also a fifth-round draft pick of the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Tanchuk attended camps with both clubs.
“It helped my game because it made me realize how strong and how hard you need to work to move up in hockey and what it takes to play at the highest levels possible,” he said.
Tanchuk has been enjoying his time in Tisdale. He billets with Rikki Lynn and Robin Shellito and their children Parker and Norah.
“They are awesome billets and really make it seem like a home away from home,” Tanchuk said. “They even come to my games and bring other family members with them.”
He has been impressed with many facets of the Trojans organization. “The thing I like most about playing for the Trojans is that we are involved in the community and do lots with and for the community and minor hockey,” Tanchuk said.
“The community also really supports our team. We have awesome coaches and I also like the players and all the people involved with the organization that make it run so well. A big bonus is that the school and rink are all in the same facility which makes it easy for a first year 15-year-old player.”
The Trojans last week
Sunday, Jan. 5 in Saskatoon
Tisdale 5, Saskatoon Contacts 4
Tisdale Scorers: Carson Briltz (2), Noah Wills, Zac Robins, Mackenzie Carson,
Contacts Scorers: Matthew Hodson (2), Alex Bernauer, Riley Heidt
Goalies: Hunter Lolacher, Tisdale, 20 saves on 24 shots; Ethan Chadwick, Saskatoon, 19 on 24
Notes: Following a scoreless first period, the teams were tied at 2-2 at the second intermission. The Trojans outscored the Contacts, 3-2, in the third period. “We had really good practices on Thursday and Friday,” head coach Dennis Kubat said. “The boys were excited (Sunday). We had some mental mistakes, but all in all it was one of our more complete games that we’ve played. Our penalty kill gave up one, but they had some big kills. We had some secondary scoring, which we really need in the second half to be successful. Our four D were great for our first game back. Lolacher was solid in the pipes. He made the big saves when he had to. It was a good team effort game.” The line of Briltz, Wills, and Keagon Little accounted for three goals. Little and Briltz each had three points. Kubat said the coaching staff is excited for their young group heading into the 2020 portion of the schedule. The rookies played a lot in the first half of the season and now “It’s good for them to come back refreshed and recharged. Everything is not new to them now. They know what to expect.”
Kaden Kohle (2017-18) has a new Western Hockey League home. The 17-year-old from Cudworth was traded last week to the Vancouver Giants from the Washington state-based Tri-City Americans. The 6-foot-3, 192-pound forward had an assist and 44 penalty minutes in 28 games with the Americans this season.
The Tisdale Trojans (16-12-0-1) are on the road for their next five games. The Trojans are in Moose Jaw on Saturday and Swift Current on Sunday. “We’re looking forward to getting together as a group again and hopefully we can get some victories on the road here,” Kubat said.