Victoria Grizzlies (new)

Story and Photographs by Glenn ivens – ISN

November 17, 2012 – Victoria, BC – Community support is vital for a BCHL team and one of the ways they get that support is through jersey advertising.  This season Island Sports News has sponsored Jersey #23 for the Victoria Grizzlies, and with that sponsorship comes a sense of support for the player wearing that jersey.

ISN owner Scott Harrigan and Reporter/Photographer Glenn Ivens had an opportunity to meet with Blake Thompson this season’s wearer of Jersey #23.

ISN: Blake, thanks for taking the time to meet with us. Let’s start by finding out where you grew up?

Thompson: I grew up in Listowel, Ontario, a small town Northwest of Kitchener Waterloo.

ISN: What brought you out west to the BCHL and the Victoria Grizzlies?

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Listowel, Ontario native Blake Thompson controls the puck behind the Grizzlies net during BCHL regular season action. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

Thompson: Last season I was playing Junior B in Ontario and my General Manager and I were talking about my future goal of a college scholarship and it was decided that it would be in my best interest to step up to Junior A and that the BCHL was the best place to try and get on with a team. We contacted some people and the Grizzlies seemed like the best fit.

ISN: Have any colleges taken notice?

Thompson: Yes, a few colleges have shown interest in me and at this point I am working towards my SAT’s and then I can do some fly downs and check out the schools and then early in the New Year I hope to make my decision.

ISN: That’s great! What has your experience in the BCHL been like to date?

Thompson: It’s been really good, I got off to a good start in pre-season, but the regular season has been a little tougher. The coaching staff is working with me to try and simplify my game so I don’t try to do too much.

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Blake Thompson of the Victoria Grizzlies heads up ice during BCHL game against Cowichan Valley Capitals. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

ISN: Speaking of the coaching staff, the Grizzlies have the pleasure of a current NHL player on staff courtesy of the current lockout. How has it been with Ryan O’Byrne helping out behind the bench.

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Blake Thompson is working with Colorado Avalanche defenseman and associtate coach Ryan O’Byrne to improve his point shot. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

Thompson: The coaching staff here, with Bill Bestwick and Craig didmon, was great to begin with, so adding Ryan to the mix is a real bonus. Being a current player, he is able to help us with the little things that make the difference in a game. Personally, he is helping me with positioning so that I am more prepared to make the play when the puck comes to me.  He is also helping me to improve my shot. Another big thing Ryan brings to the team is his work ethic.  We get to see him working out on the ice and even though he is not playing, he goes all out on the ice, and he works on the basics. It has been a good eye opener on what it takes to make it to the next level.

ISN: Well Blake thanks for taking the time to chat with us and all the best in your future.

Thompson: Thank you for your support and I promise I won’t tuck in my jersey.

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Blake Thompson of the Victoria Grizzlies proudly displays the Island Sports News.Net name on his jersey. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

After 20 regular season games Thompson has 3 goals and 7 assists to go along with 22 penalty minutes and is second on the team with 3 power play goals.