CALGARY - When Hockey Alberta named Carson Dyck to its 2016 U16 Male roster in September, he and his father Mike became a part of Team Alberta history.
With Carson suiting up at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, and Mike serving as Head Coach of the silver-medal winning U16 Male squad at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the pair became the first ever father-son duo to represent Team Alberta.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Carson. “I try to follow in his footsteps a lot; he’s a big influence in my life. He knows a lot about this kind of stuff, obviously has great knowledge, so I look to him for a lot of advice.”
The Dyck family hails from Lethbridge, where Carson, a 2016 second-round pick of the Swift Current Broncos, currently plays for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League.
“I was really happy for him, I was proud of him,” Mike said of Carson being named to Team Alberta. “Having this experience a couple of years ago, I’m obviously very excited for him that he gets to experience playing for his province, and playing in a competition like this is only going to make him a better hockey player, and a better person.”
Mike came into his role with Team Alberta in 2015 with a lofty coaching pedigree, spending 11 years coaching in the Western Hockey League - three of those as the head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Mike definitely left a lasting impression on the Team Alberta program.
“In his time with Team Alberta, Mike led with passion, integrity and professionalism, displaying the Alberta Built characteristics to the highest regard,” said Tim Leer, the Director of Operations for Team Alberta at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. “He came into a Team Alberta program that already had a strong foundation, and he built on it, raising the bar for those to follow. The staff and players from that team still talk about their experience at the Canada Winter Games, and that is a testament to Mike’s leadership.”
Given his dad’s track record with Team Alberta, Carson definitely felt a bit of pressure during the entire evaluation process, and heading into the U16 Challenge.
“He left some pretty big shoes to fill, he had a lot of success with Team Alberta,” he said. “But it feels good with him watching, because he can give me lots of advice after the games.”
Mike, who made the trip north to Calgary to watch his son compete with Team Alberta, said he’ll be taking in the competition from the perspective of both a former coach, and a parent.
“Normally I enjoy watching the game, and obviously watching both teams, and watching how coaches respond to one another,” he said. “But obviously, now I have a vested interest. I’m always cheering for Team Alberta, but now with my son playing, it’s way more of a fan-feel for me now, that’s for sure.”
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