Hardship makes rookie easy to embrace
It was a revealing interview.
I didn't see it coming.
I spoke to Kelowna Rockets rookie d-man William Irvine on Wednesday.
He was asked about the most influential person in his hockey career.
The conversation became heart felt in a hurry.
"My dad got me started pretty much as soon as I can remember. I was skating and shooting and going to an outdoor rink pretty much every day. He passed away when I was five."
His father's name was Wayne. He died of a heart attack.
"I don't want to say I got used to it. I tried to keep it as normal as I could and I always worked hard and that's what got me here".
What makes the story even more heart warming is how a nearby family in Morden, Manitoba, who's son now plays with the Victoria Royals (Trentyn Crane) became like a second family to Irvine.
William knows his father is watching.
"He told me how to skate. He taught me how to shoot a puck. Obviously pretty much every game I play, I play for him and try to make him proud".
I cheer for them all, but after hearing his revealing story, it's hard not to cheer just a little bit harder for Rockets rookie d-man William Irvine.