After seeing his dream of playing for Canada at the World Junior Championships come to an end it would have been difficult to blame Kole Lind if he had a few sub-par performances after rushing back to rejoin the Kelowna Rockets prior to the holiday break.
Instead, the Shaunavon native returned to the ice with three goals and three assists to lead the Kelowna Rockets to a pair of wins in his home province.
Lind had made it to Hockey Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp in St. Catharines, ON, but was let go on Thursday evening during the first round of cuts.
“It was a dream for me to go out there and hopefully play for Team Canada. It was obviously heartbreaking getting the news that I wasn’t going to play there,” explained Lind. “I came back and had a good couple games back in Saskatchewan with my team. Hockey is always something that just takes my mind off all the tough things. It was definitely good to get my head in the game and just go out there and play.”
Friday, Lind notched a hat trick in a 7-3 win over the host Prince Albert Raiders.
“I think I definitely wanted to go out there and make a statement these last two games. Sam Steel did the same thing last year, he was a late cut and then he ended up winning WHL Player of the Year. I want to go out there and prove myself every night and just show what they could have had I guess.”
The Vancouver Canucks prospect followed up with three assists in a 5-0 win over the Saskatoon Blades Saturday.
“It was another good game last night. It was good to get these last two pretty big wins heading into the Christmas break. It is a little bit more of a Merry Christmas now.”
Lind was back in Swift Current on Sunday and got to cheer on his younger sisters, Tenelle and Taylor, who helped lead the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats to a 6-1 upset win over the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League leading Saskatoon Stars.
“It’s awesome. I don’t get to see them very often, just maybe one or two games a year. It was good that they came out and beat the best team in the league. Both of them chipped in with a couple points, Taylor had a couple of goals, so it was good.”
Read the complete story in the Dec. 21 edition of the Southwest Booster