Hardship makes rookie easy to embrace

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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. 

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