In this edition of the Hot Stove, Brett Stovin talks about how the men’s hockey season has turned around, his personal play this season, and cutting his hair for cancer on Feb. 9.
Manitoban: Last time we talked, you guys weren’t exactly where you wanted to be, but in 2017 you’ve gone 7-2-1. Is this how you expected the team to play?
Stovin: I think the break was the biggest thing we needed. We were waiting for that for a few weeks before Christmas – we knew we needed it. We had a lot of banged up bodies and I didn’t want to use it as an excuse, but it does make a difference when you can get consistency in your lineup. So the break was huge for us. We came back and we’re healthy for the most part, we had the lineup we wanted and stuck with it. We’re healthy and we were lacking that consistency on the ice for the last year and a half and we seem to have found that since Christmas. We have the depth and the consistency and those are helping us right now.
M: You’ve scored less this season, but have assisted more than you did last season. Have you changed your game at all or is that just how things have gone for you?
S: It’s a little bit with the just the way it’s gone but it’s also been dealing with my injury. I’m not as an efficient skater, I’m not skating as well as I have in the past and I’m not thinking about it during the game, but it’s enough that it’s actually affecting me. I’ve moved towards more of let everyone come to me. Suck in as many guys as I can and find the open guy, or go get the puck in the corner and instead of driving the net and trying to jam it myself, I drive the net and look for the open guy. Because someone is coming to me that’s supposed to be covering someone else.
I have changed my game a little bit but that’s also just how it’s been going, a lot of my assists have been shots on net, and someone cleans it up or it’s a face-off win and a great shot from my line mate. I’m just hitting posts, getting robbed, things like that so it’s been a little bit of both.
M: Before I ask about the fundraiser you and Jonah Wasylak are doing, who’s got the better flow
S: I’ll give it to Jonah, he’s had it for three or four years and his is a little longer I think. I give it to him just because he’s had it longer and it’s a little bit thicker because of that.
M: What made you and Jonah decide to cut your long hair for cancer?
S: We’ve been growing our hair for a while. I’ve had long hair for about two and a half years now and he’s had long hair for three, four years. Last year we talked about it but we just didn’t have long enough hair. So we decided we were going to grow it out, see how long we can get it before we decided we wanted to do something with it. We threw the idea around, but we never really took it to action. We were pretty busy with the first half with school and stuff so it never really happened.
We kind of seriously thought about it at the end of Christmas when we came back from break and then when we were stuck in the airport in Lethbridge for like seven and a half hours. We just decided ‘what the heck, let’s go for it’ and we drew up a campaign, the mission goals, got the GoFundMe page going, and put it on Facebook. We thought it was just going to be a small thing, we just wanted to quietly cut our hair, wanted to raise just a little bit of money just to donate and make a little bit of a change. Hopefully someone gets a wig out of it, and then it kind of blew up and in a day and a half we reached $500 and then we raised it to $2,000 and within four days we hit that goal. Then we decided to make it a bigger thing, we opened it up to the student population. We’re going to make a big event out of it, Cancer Care society reached out to us and they want to come down and present the cheque at one of the games to us.
We’re both getting sick of our hair, so we decided to do something good with it and we’ve all been affected by cancer, one of our teammates has been affected by it this year. So we decided we’d do something good with our long hair.