Will Keating of Corner Brook is a second-year player with the Western Wolves AAA peewee hockey team participating in the provincial league this season.
CORNER BROOK Will Keating dabbles in a number of sports, but he makes no bones about it that hockey is his favourite.
‚ÄúI guess it‚Äôs just Canada‚Äôs game,‚ÄĚ Keating said Wednesday. ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt really describe it.‚ÄĚ
Keating feels fortunate to be immersed in hockey because he was born in London, England. His parents Bruce and Susan Keating lived in London, England for close to a decade before deciding to pull up stakes and move back to Corner Brook in 2005.
He got a late start to his minor hockey career, donning the skates in the Novice program at the age of seven. But, he didn‚Äôt take long to adapt to life on ice as he secured a berth on the Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association A team in his first two years of atom and is now in his second-straight season as a talented pivot with the Western Wolves AAA peewee team.
This year‚Äôs edition of the Wolves is participating in the inaugural provincial AAA peewee league that is holding three warm-up tournaments before a champion is crowned at the provincial team in Goulds in early February. Two of the three tournaments have already been staged with the final one slated for January with the Wolves playing host at the Gros Morne Arena in Rocky Harbour.
The Wolves posted a 1-1-2 record at the first tournament in Bonavista back in November, while managing one win and three defeats at the second one in Bishop‚Äôs Falls earlier this month.
Keating, who likes to ski and play baseball, believes the team has played some good hockey, but will need some time for the new guys to adjust to the pace at the AAA level. He feels they have been getting better with each game and appears to be a few strides ahead of where the team was at the same point last season.
‚ÄúFrom the time we‚Äôve had we‚Äôve improved a lot,‚ÄĚ he said of the team‚Äôs progress.
As a returning player, Keating is one of the team‚Äôs go-to guys who sees his fair share of time on the power play and penalty kill. He has a flare for the offensive side of the game, but more importantly he has taken on a leadership role and tries to do what he can to help everybody get used to playing at the level and enjoying themselves.
‚ÄúJust setting good examples on the ice and not doing anything too stupid,‚ÄĚ‚Äąhe said of his mission to be a leader on and off the ice.
Time will tell how things unfold for the Wolves, but the new concept of playing in a provincial league versus playing random games against east coast teams before going to provincials is something Keating is enjoying.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm definitely excited because it means more travel and more games,‚ÄĚ‚Äąhe said, noting that playing more games against better players will make him better.
Looking forward to joining his teammates down the stretch strive, Keating likes how the team has been meshing together and encourages the team to cut down on the goals against for the balance of the schedule to improve their chances of winning hockey games. He believes the team will be just fine once some of the first-year players find their groove.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre certainly not favoured to win it, but we‚Äôre definitely one of the contenders,‚ÄĚ‚Äąhe said.