Former Chief Drayson Bowman, pictured above, gets called up to the NHL, the second player from the 2008 Memorial Cup to make it to The Show this week.
Just moments before the figure skating starts, I also wanted to share a story from Darren Steinke in the Medicine Hat News on Spokane defenseman Brett Bartman, who played his last WHL in his hometown of Medicine Hat on Wednesday.
The Chiefs play Lethbridge tonight, enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post scores, I can’t pick up the radio station in the Arena.
enjoys last trip to hometown rink
You could tell by the family gathering that it was going to be a big night for Brett Bartman.
On Wednesday, the overage defenceman and Medicine Hat product played likely his final WHL at . Bartman played a solid defensive game posting a plus-one rating in the plus-minus category as his Chiefs claimed a 4-2 victory.
About 20 to 30 of Bartman’s family and friends were in attendance for the game, and may of them wore either No. 24 Spokane Chiefs jerseys or T-shirts.
When Bartman joined the Chiefs as an 18-year-old rookie, he was hoping to be around to play one game in his 20-year-old season.
“That was always one thing that was in the back of my mind,” said Bartman. “I knew that I would play here my rookie year.
“It was always something that I was hoping for in my 20-year to be able to come back here and play one last game. Tonight, it was special, and to get the win was even more special.”
Way back on Dec. 1, 2007, Bartman played his only other major junior game at The Arena. The Chiefs suffered one of their 15 regulation losses that night, a 4-3 decision in a year where they went on to win the WHL title and the .
“It was teddy bear toss night, and things didn’t fare so well,” said Bartman. “It was still fun to play, but disappointing to get the loss, which makes it a lot more sweeter (on Wednesday night).
“Being able to come here and have the guys battle hard was really special. I will never forget it for sure.”
So far this season, Bartman has appeared in all of his club’s games collecting a goal and three assists. He is also carrying an uncharacteristic minus-11 rating in the plus-minus rating.
During his rookie season, Bartman posted a plus-16 rating in 48 games, and he was a plus-30 last season appearing in all 72 of his club’s regular season games.
“It has been a different season for sure,” said Bartman, whose Chiefs play the Hurricanes in Lethbridge tonight. “I feel I am playing really well. I have just had some bad luck.
“It seems there were some chances there that didn’t go so well. I feel like I am improving every game.”
While he is hoping his Chiefs have a long playoff run, Bartman admits he is trying not to think about his WHL career coming to an end, but he is starting to plan about what life will be like after major junior hockey.
“Obviously, the ultimate goal is to try and get a contract or tryout in the professional ranks,” said Bartman. “They have a very good scholarship program in the Western Hockey League.
“Going to school would definitely be an option for me. I think that would be really exciting and fun time.”