TISDALE — Drayton Hvidston has gone from watching Tisdale Trojans games as a fan to playing in them.
The 16-year-old rookie defenceman grew up in Tisdale. He remembers well attending games.
“Growing up, I always liked to come to Trojan games because the atmosphere was amazing, with all the fans watching and how skilled the players were,” he said. “Now to be a part of that. The feeling is unreal. Playing in my hometown is even better because I get to play in front of my family and friends.”
Although he has been out with injuries lately, Hvidston is an important player on the backend for the Trojans. The 5-foot-10, 178-pounder has two goals and four points in 12 games this season.
“He’s a great skater and makes a good first pass,” Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat said.
The Trojans bench boss is pleased with Hvidston’s work ethic.
“He’s one of the guys who competes hard. He is always going to the gym and does well in school,” said Kubat, who also stated that, “He puts in the work in the offseason. He is really fit and really strong. That’s due to the hard work he puts in.”
Hvidston is certainly no stranger to seeing hard work pay off. In his first bantam season, Hvidston did not make the North East AA team. However, he attended as many practices with the team as he could. He learned, worked hard, and emerged as a key player for the team the next season.
Last season Hvidston posted 23 points, with eight goals, in 32 games for the North East midget AA team. He suited up as an affiliated player in five regular season games for the Trojans. In addition, Hvidston went with the Tisdale team to the Telus Cup in Thunder Bay. He helped the squad capture the bronze medals. Those experiences helped him adjust to the on-ice play of AAA, but there are also other differences between the two midget levels.
“The biggest adjustment from midget AA to midget AAA is probably the schedule,” Hvidston said. “There’s practice every day, workouts three times a week, yoga, chapel, video, and tons of other stuff. It’s awesome to spend so much time together as a team.
The Trojans Last Week
Saturday, Nov. 16 in North Battleford
Tisdale 3, Battlefords 2
Trojans Scorers: Mario Fortier, Noah Wills, Zac Robins
Stars Scorers: Vaughn Watterodt, Liam McInnis
Goalies: Hunter Loclacher, Tisdale, 32 saves on 34 shots; Jackson Fellner, Battlefords, 23 on 26
Notes: Defenceman Zac Robin scored the game winner with four minutes remaining. After trailing 1-0 in the first period, the Trojans tied the game before the end of the frame. They went up 2-1 in the second, but the Stars tied the game in the third. Tisdale head coach Dennis Kubat expressed appreciation for the play of his goalies on the weekend. “They are playing with a lot of confidence – both of them. Hunter kind of held us in there in the third when the shots were 16-4 and we were able to squeak a point shot behind there to get the victory,” he said. Kubat said it was not pretty and the staff was not really happy with the overall effort but were pleased to get the win.
Sunday, Nov. 17 in North Battleford
Tisdale 5, Battlefords 1
Trojans Scorers: Kalen Ukrainetz (2), Kylynn Olafson, Jordan Normand, Mackenzie Carson
Stars Scorer: Carson Dobson
Goalies: Boston Gelowitz, Tisdale, 36 saves on 37 shots; Ethan Hein, Battlefords, 19 on 24
Notes: After a scoreless first period, Carson scored on the powerplay to get the Trojans rolling. They scored five straight goals. It was their strong play on the other end of the ice playing a man down more than usual that seemed to get the Trojans going. “We were able to get a lot of big kills and I think that gained a little momentum for us and we were able to score a powerplay goal too, which was awesome,” head coach Dennis Kubat said. Tisdale led 2-0 at the second intermission. Olafson and Noah Wills each had three points. Kubat praised the play of Gelowitz. “He held us in early and obviously your goalie has to be your best penalty killer. He was that tonight. He gave us a chance to win.”
Mother’s Road Trip
The Tisdale Trojans delivered two victories in front of their moms last weekend.
The contests in North Battleford were part of the first of what the team plans to be many more Mother’s Road Trips. The moms watched the games while wearing their son’s jerseys, participated in team activities and team dinners, and received notes of appreciation from their boys. Trojans billet co-ordinator Stacey Simpson was key in organizing the first edition of the event.
“I know the guys appreciated it a lot and all of the moms were very grateful,” head coach Dennis Kubat said.
The Tisdale Trojans (10-7-0-1) play host this weekend. The Notre Dame Argos (9-4-0-0) visit for Saturday and Sunday contests.