The sun is out, pouring golden rays and heat down on the Cariboo, while people water ski and sleep in tents and on beaches, and already many minds and bodies are readying for the snow, and, more to the point, the ice that signifies hockey is starting once again, because, hey, not all stereotypes are incorrect.
Alex Roach, an erstwhile Gold Pan resident is set to take the next step from the Calgary Hitmen, where he has been playing defence for the last three seasons to the L.A. Kings.
Alex is in El Segundo for the Kings Development Camp currently.
He has been training at the Quesnel Acceleration Centre for the summer in anticipation of the camp.
Younger brother Jesse Roach, an erstwhile member of the gold medal-winning bantam Thunder last year, is headed down south to try out for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.
Jesse was a second round draft pick for the Giants.
He received, what he called, a nerve racking phone call during the draft informing him of the good news.
“I’m really excited, I’m hoping to make the team this year,” he said
In anticipation of the try-outs, Roach has been training five days a week all summer.
He flies out Aug. 18 to Vancouver.
Shelby Ballendine has been back in town for three months after her winter playing hockey in Leksand, Sweden.
Though asked back, Ballendine has faced some visa problems and is currently mulling over trying to obtain the more difficult visa and head back to Leksand, or going on a new adventure and playing in Belarus.
Last year’s stint in Sweden was a good stretch for Ballendine, with fierce competition.
“There were lot’s of skilled players and it was much faster, because of the bigger ice surface,” she said.
With a quicker game style, the emphasis was on passing to the stick over angles.
“The coach was always telling us faster,” she said.
What really threw her, though, was her position on the opposite wing from what she’s used to because everyone else was left handed.
Tim Traber, another erstwhile native, has been back in town training for his next step. And it is a long step indeed; he is moving from the Victoria Royals to the bigger rinks of Europe.
Traber is making the move to Switzerland to join the professional ranks in the Old Country.