Continuing with Chapter 3 of his guest blogging series with us is Dylan Willick, forward of the Kamloops Blazers. The native of Prince George, B.C. submitted his first entry to the blog back on November 1st with Part 2 arriving at the end of November. Since then, Willick has added a scoring touch to his strong two-way play and has upped his season total to 21 points.
Here is the third chapter in Dylan Willick's 2011 Draft Blog...
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2010 treated everyone well enough and that 2011 only brings you better things.
December - the month of Christmas holidays and a busy schedule. The boys and I were starting to look forward to the week off for our annual Christmas break but we had to remain focused on the games ahead. It didn’t really happen… Prior to the break we had lost four straight games, one of them being another embarrassment in Spokane where they scored ten goals against us for the second time this year. We never really bounced back entirely from that game and lost the next three games by only one goal. They were all good games, with good effort, but we really needed the points.
Going into the Christmas break we were at the bottom of the standings in the tight Western Conference. We all came back after the visits with our families, well rested and recharged enough to win the next three of the four games. We now sit in eighth place, thanks to the recent team turnaround. I feel our team has finally bought into the systems and we're working harder than we have all season for the entire sixty minutes - something that is required for any team to be good. I know I sound repetitive, but if our team keeps up the work ethic it has demonstrated since Christmas, we will be climbing up the standings and become a very competitive team in our conference.
A holiday tradition that our entire nation becomes consumed by is The World Junior Championships. This year, the Kamloops Blazers are represented by our two European players. Dalibor Bortnak, who is in his third year with the Blazers, and is playing for Team Slovakia. Berhard Keil, a first year with the Blazers, is representing Team Germany. Unfortunately, neither of them will be bringing home any medals to show off in the dressing room as both teams did not make it to the quarter finals.
In a similar tournament, the U-17 Championships, another two players from our roster are representing the Blazers well. Logan McVeigh and Brady Gaudet are both playing for Team West. Both players are in their rookie season with our team. Logan has a goal and three assists, while Brady has one assist. This tournament started later than the World Juniors so it is still too early to tell if they will be getting into a medal round or not.
December was one busy month, even with an entire week off. Again, new faces appeared around the rink and we had to say goodbye to some friends. Just prior to the break, we traded away Shayne Neigum, whom we acquired from Chilliwack earlier this year, Lynden Martell, a fellow Prince George product who started the season with us but returned to his Jr. A team last month and a third round draft pick were all dealt to the Regina Pats for Thomas Frazee. Thomas has fit in nicely with our team.
After some tough loses last month, the coaching staff decided that our team needed to be shaken up. In the games that followed, we played with only our captain, Chase Schaber wearing his letter. Eventually, two letters were redistributed and in late November, I was honoured to have our coach, Guy Charron present me with an "A"... alternate team captain. I do not take this privilege lightly.
December was a good month for me on a personal level. I have managed 7 pts in 9 games and notched three game winning goals in the last four of our games. If you include the two games just played in January, I have five points in the past five games. The last goal I scored, my 11th this season, was also my 50th point in the WHL. A small milestone I am very proud of.
So what was one of the highlights of my Christmas break? Up in Prince George, we have one of the best Major Midget teams in the BCMML, the Cariboo Cougars and they are coached by a great guy, Trevor Sprague. I played on this Major Midget Team the season before I came to the Kamloops Blazers, where I proudly was an Assistant Captain. Over the Christmas Holidays, it has become a tradition for the Cariboo Cougars to play a little shinny hockey game between the current Cariboo Cougars and a group of Cariboo Cougar Alumni players. The list of Alumni Cougars is extensive and full of great players, from the WHL to the Junior’s.
This years Alumni team consisted of some great current WHL players which included Mitch Elliot of the Seattle Thunderbirds, Jari Ericson of the Everett Silvertips, Alex Roach of the Calgary Hitmen, Ryan Howse of the Chilliwack Bruins and myself. Alumni WHL players included Garret Thiessen of the Kamloops Blazers, Prince Albert Raiders and Prince George Cougars, and Brian Matte, who also played for the Prince George Cougars. We also had a former NHLer out there on the ice with the current Cariboo Cougar team, Ronald Petrovicky. What a treat for ALL of us out there! This was my third time playing in this game. The first year, I was a Cariboo Cougar, and the last two years as Alumni. All three years, the Alumni team won, and in fairness, it wasn’t much of a competition but it is all about having fun. It's always been a great experience for both teams and keeps us ‘old guys’ current with our old team.
Thanks again for taking time out to read my blog! All the best to you all in the New Year!
(Kamloops Photos: Tricia Mercuri / Kamloops Blazers)
Dylan Willick is sitting 9th in team scoring with the Blazers having scored 11 goals and 21 points thus far. The 5'10 and 187 lbs, right winger is currently riding a point scoring streak that has seen him notch 5 goals in the past 7 games including 3 game winners.