(ISN) – Brandon, MB . – Tuesday night will be a special night for newly acquired defenceman Reid Gow of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The 20-year old blueliner, whose rights were acquired from the Spokane Chiefs in January, will be heading home to Killarney as the Western Hockey League club plays host to its fifth and final Minor Hockey Caravan visit of the 2014-15 season.
Gow, who will be joined in Killarney by fellow veterans Macoy Erkamps and Ryan Pilon, will be skating with a number of Killarney’s minor hockey teams and the former WHL Scholastic Player of the Year is excited about returning to the Shamrock Centre.
“Killarney is my hometown and it’s where I learned to love the game,” says the 6′ 190 lb Gow. “I will always love Killarney and it will always be my home…excited to go back and skate there as a Wheat King.”
In addition to skating with both the Novice and Atoms, Gow, Erkamps and Pilon will be signing autographs and distributing tickets to an upcoming Wheat Kings’ game, courtesy of the Minor Hockey Caravan sponsors Canadian Tire and The Construction Association of Rural Manitoba.
Since joining the Wheat Kings in early January, Gow has one goal and six assists in eighteen games. His first goal as a Wheat King came in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders.
An 18-year old from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, Pilon is among the league’s top scoring defencemen with ten goals and 47 points in 54 games while Erkamps, a 19-year old from Delta, B.C., has a goal and 23 points in 54 games.
Both Pilon and Erkamps were acquired by Wheat Kings’ general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon from the Lethbridge Hurricanes – Pilon in November 2013 and Erkamps in September 2014.
In addition to his father Neil, who is a border patrol officer at the Lena Port south of Killarney, Gow says that several minor hockey coaches in the community were influential in helping him along his hockey playing career path. Among them – Murray Chapman, Glen Haney and Marvin Magwood.
Favorite memories of playing hockey in Killarney?
“I remember Paul Lamont (who is affectionately called ‘Shrek’ by the local minor sports community) always made sure that the rink was cleared following the senior team’s games so that a bunch of us could get out and play,” says Gow, who played his minor hockey in Killarney, before joining the Southwest AAA Midget Cougars in Souris. “We also played a lot on ‘The Pond’ (large dugout located south of Highway 3 coming into town from the west) as a kid. It was great to wake up and go skating whenever you wanted.”
“In fact I still go back there when I get the chance,” says Gow, who was the Chiefs third highest scoring player during his fourth and final year in Spokane, scoring six goals and 62 points in 65 games.
Killarney is the fifth western Manitoba community to host a Minor Hockey Caravan visit this season, joining Shilo, Souris, Gladstone and Melita.
Next action for Gow and the Eastern Conference leading Wheat Kings is this coming weekend when they play the Raiders and Blades in Prince Albert and Saskatoon.
Brandon’s next home game is a week from Wednesday when they play host to the second place Medicine Hat Tigers at Westman Communications Group Place. The Wheat Kings, who are currently 43-9-4-2 on the season, enter the week with a fifteen point cushion atop the Conference. Overall, Brandon is tied with Kelowna for the league lead with 92 points each.