CARROT RIVER — Ahead of the Carrot River Outback Thunder’s home opener, David Wiens said it will be unreal to once again play in his hometown.
The rookie forward competed the last couple of seasons for the midget AAA Tisdale Trojans, who he helped win the bronze medals at the national Telus Cup championship. Before that, Wiens suited up for the North East bantam and midget AA programs in Melfort.
“The last time I played here was when I was a kid, so it will be nice seeing all the familiar faces in the crowd,” he said. “It’s nice to be back in Carrot. It’s just so nice when I can live at home and play competitive hockey still.”
The Junior B Outback Thunder went 0-3 last week and are 0-4 on the season.
“We haven’t been able to get into the W column yet, but we’re going to get there,” Carrot River general manager Brennan Hall said. “I feel our boys have had glimpses of excellence but not a lot of balance. We need to figure out how to play a 60-minute game, then we will see the result we want.”
The Outback Thunder are thrilled to have Wiens on the roster
“Wiens has a big engine,” Carrot River head coach Luke Folk said. “His legs are always going, and he never shies away from the rough stuff.”
Through four games this season the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Wiens was tied for the team lead with three points. The 18-year-old paced the squad with two goals.
“An offensive threat but also a guy you can rely on for a strong backcheck,” Folk said. “Great at digging out pucks. Wins big draws.”
The Outback Thunder staff appreciates the way Wiens approaches the game,
“He’s the guy in the front of the line at practice setting the pace for drills,” Folk said. “He’s a passionate player and his voice is heard and respected across the bench.”
Wiens is one of four Outback Thunder players named as assistant captains. Also wearing an “A” will be Tyson Norris, Tyler Almen, and Brett Harper. The team will not have a captain this season.
In the last couple of seasons, Wiens got a taste of Junior B action by playing six games as an affiliated player. The biggest difference between Junior B and midget AAA?
“Junior B especially is a lot more physical than AAA. … But I enjoy playing physical so it’s right up my alley,” said Wiens, who has 10 penalty minutes so far.
Wiens is working on a farm near Carrot River this season. In the future, he plans to study business at the University of Saskatchewan. For now, he is having fun playing close to home and enjoying the people he gets to do it with.
“The thing I’ve enjoyed most about playing for the Thunder is the just the guys in the room,” Wiens said. “They are all really good guys and just having a bunch of them on the team is just great. It makes time at the rink that much more fun.”
The Outback Thunder Last Week
Thursday, Oct. 3 in Saskatoon
Saskatoon Royals 2, Carrot River 0
Royals Scorers: Nolan Haugen, Damon Vanderlinde
Goalies: Ross Jones, Carrot River, 43 saves on 45 shots; Kobey Clarke, Saskatoon, 15 on 15
Notes: Both of Saskatoon’s goals came in the first period.
Friday, Oct. 4 in Carrot River
Fort Knox 4, Carrot River 1
Outback Thunder Scorer: Tyrell Nicklen
Fort Knox Scorers: Rydell Chicoose, Tyson Stadnyk, Conlan Nielson, Nathan Kiddie
Goalies: Justice Haack, Carrot River, 32 saves on 36 shots; Dylan DeDecker, Fort Knox, 27 on 28
Notes: Nicklen scored the game’s first goal. The contest was tied 1-1 at the first intermission. Fort Knox led 4-1 after the second period.
Saturday, Oct. 5 in Saskatoon
Saskatoon Quakers 9, Carrot River 2
Outback Thunder Scorers: Colton McAvoy, David Wiens
Quakers Scorers: Jordan Hudson (4), Dodge Long (2), Carter Sawatzky, Noah Bankowski, Kyle Gray
Goalies: Ross Jones, Carrot River, 47 saves on 356 shots; Parker Sturby, Quakers, 15 on 17
Notes: The Outback Thunder and the Quakers both scored twice in the second period. Saskatoon took a 4-0 first period lead.
The Outback Thunder once again have three games in as many days this week. They start Friday in Saskatoon playing the Westleys. On Saturday, the Outback Thunder play host to Regina Capitals. The Delisle Chiefs visit on Sunday.