Top Row (L-R) Kelly Shears (Billett Coordinator), Katie Bahm (Marketing Manager) Romano Morrison, Jordan Davies, Taden Rattie, Bryson Traptow, Gordie Ballhorn, Justin Young, Erik Pedersen, Malcolm Heaven (Equipment Manager)
Middle Row (L-R) Andrew Peard (Team Broadcaster), Troy Ryan (Trainer), Lance Yaremchuk, Joseph Nardi, Dylan Thudium, Carson Pickett, Ben Fonteyne, Morgan Messenger, Jared Freadrich, Ryan McKinnon, Nathan Bizeau, Nathalie Beaudoin (Office Manager)
Front Row (L-R) Tanner McCorriston, John Mullally, Marcus Ryan (Associate Coach), Brent Stark (Owner/President), James Vermeulen, Joey Bouchard (Head Coach/General Manager), Kellan Cornelis, Trace Elson, Jared Rathjen
2014-2015 Season Recap
The Whitecourt Wolverines entered into a youth movement during the 2014-2015 coming off a first-round playoff loss in the season previous.
This year’s version of the Wolverines featured the rookie seasons of a number of players who would go on to become stars of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and lead the team to becoming a consistent contender in the AJHL’s North Division over the course of the next couple of years.
Forward Joseph Nardi and defenceman Gordie Ballhorn were named to the AJHL’s North Division All-Rookie team following successful individual campaigns. Nardi’s 12 goals and 21 assists placed him third in team scoring. Another strong rookie performance came from Justin Young who finished the season picking up 20 points in his final 34 games of the season.
The Wolverines weren’t just powered by their first-year players as a pair of veterans in defenceman James Vermeulen and John Mullally were also recognized by the league being named to the North Division All-League team.
The 2014-2015 season also had the Wolverines receive a lot of recognition from NCAA scouts as by season’s end, six different players on the roster had division one commitments; James Vermeulen (Northern Michigan University), Gordie Ballhorn (Rochester Institute of Technology), Taden Rattie (Western Michigan University), Joseph Nardi (Northern Michigan University), John Mullally (University of Alaska-Fairbanks) and Justin Young (University of Alaska-Fairbanks).
On the ice, it was a slow start which was to be expected with nine true rookies on the roster. The season began to turn around on November 22nd up in Fort McMurray. Riding an eight game losing streak the Wolverines turned to affiliate goaltender Josh Dechaine with their starter, Tanner McCorriston on the shelf with injury. Dechaine turned in a sparkling 38 save performance and thanks to a third period goal from Bryson Traptow, the streak was ended and the winning became more frequent and coming out of the Christmas break, it was much more frequent. After starting the season 7-17-4 they would go 17-11-4 the rest of the way, galvanized by an 8-1-1 run coming out of the Christmas break.
For a third straight year, the Wolverines once again found themselves in the post-season and for a second straight time, they had a first-round matchup against the Lloydminster Bobcats. After a thrilling overtime win in game one of the series in Lloydminster, thanks to the OT heroics of Justin Young, the team would drop three straight hard-fought games to the Bobcats and see their season come to an end.
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