EDMONTON - Ethan Phillips is going to get the chance to showcase his hockey skills at a national level.
Ethan, a 10-year-old defenceman and winger who hails from Torquay, was selected to play for the Saskatchewan entry that will compete at The Brick Invitational Tournament in Edmonton from July 4-10. Saskatchewan’s entry boasts some of the best players in the province born in 2012 or later.
Ethan played U11 hockey for the house league Estevan Hornets and the age rep. Estevan Gold Bruins this season. He said he had to go through tryouts in Regina and Lumsden to make Team Saskatchewan. Sixty-five players were at the camp.
He was invited but the camp also featured walk-ons.
Ethan will be playing defence for the team.
“The tryouts were fun,” said Ethan. “I got a couple of goals and a couple of assists.”
“There was a lot of good skaters at the last round of tryouts,” added Ethan’s father Rodney. “I think there was 30 kids out there last Sunday [April 3], and they played two games. And there were a lot of good hockey players, a good couple of games.”
Goaltender Ty Blackburn was chosen for the camp but didn’t make the team.
Ethan believes he did a good job of passing the puck, making plays and working hard during the selection camp. The work ethic showed, as the coaches cited it as a reason for him being selected.
Despite the competitive atmosphere, Ethan said he made some new friends.
Ethan wanted to be part of the team after learning that his favourite NHL player, Calgary Flames’ superstar winger Johnny Gaudreau, competed at The Brick Invitation when Gaudreau was younger.
Team Saskatchewan will compete at tournaments in Regina and Winnipeg before the Brick Invitational. And they will meet for practices in Regina, giving Ethan and the rest of the team the chance to meet and build chemistry.
“There are lots from all over the province – Yorkton, Saskatoon, Regina and Lumsden. I think there’s even a kid from PA [Prince Albert],” said Rodney.
Former Estevan Bruins’ head coach and general manager Chris Lewgood will be the head coach of Team Saskatchewan.
Ethan knows he will have to step up his game and work harder than before.
Even though he’s a defenceman, Ethan said he loves to score goals. He also likes to be with his teammates and have fun with everybody.