By Ryan McCracken on October 11, 2016.
While Kamloops Blazers forward Nick Chyzowski left the ice Saturday at the Canalta Centre with a goal, an assist and bragging rights following a 5-1 victory over his younger brother Ryan’s Medicine Hat Tigers, the most memorable moments of the evening came while watching from the bench.
“It’s really special. I’m sitting on the bench watching him and I just couldn’t be more proud of him. I’m kind of a fan of his too so it’s sometimes a little bit hard, but it’s pretty special,” said Nick of watching Ryan in his rookie season with the Tigers. “It’s pretty hard when he leaves for Medicine Hat in the summer so it was really exciting to see him and we had fun tonight.”
Nick added the near-inseparable brothers spend their summers together in Kamloops, alongside Tigers forward Chad Butcher and a handful of other junior hockey players, all collectively working on bettering their game in the hopes of an eventual pro contract.
“We’re pretty close, it’s a pretty special bond with us,” said Nick. “I try to teach him as much as I can and I think he really likes to listen to me.”
While Nick secured the Thanksgiving bragging rights with Saturday’s performance, Ryan points out there is still a chance to steal back the momentum on Nov. 4 at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops. It’s a matchup they’ve already started to discuss.
“As soon as the schedule comes out we’ll notice when we’re playing each other, talk about it a little bit, joke around about some circumstances that could happen on the ice. It’s all fun,” said Ryan. “It’s something we don’t get very often so we try to take advantage of it and have some fun out there.”
Tigers head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston, who selected Ryan 15th overall in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, says the young forward has wasted little time showcasing his potential to the franchise. Considering the Chyzowski work ethic, he feels great things are on the horizon.
“He’s smart, he’s hard working and he’s very committed to the work he needs to do to get better,” said Clouston of Ryan. “It’s always a process, there are challenges for everybody, him included, but I think this has been a real positive start and we think he’s going to have a bright future with us.”
The Tigers were unable to claw back into the game after finding themselves in a defict after 40 minutes for the third game in a row. While James Hamblin kicked off the scoring late in the opening frame with his second of the season, Blazers goaltender Connor Ingram slammed the door shut for the rest of the game and Kamloops rallied for five in front of him.
“He’s been one of our best players so far,” Nick said of Ingram, who earned the game’s first start with 39 saves. “He’s the type of guy who’s going to really help us get deep into the playoffs.”
Matt Revel scored twice while Nick, Quinn Benjafield and Garrett Pilon all added individual markers to put the game out of reach for Medicine Hat â€” beating Tigers netminder Duncan McGovern four times on 25 chances and adding a late empty netter.
While the loss put an end to Medicine Hat’s five-game winning streak at the start of a four-game homestand, Ryan says the team is taking it in stride, and will be using every learning tool at their disposal to start up another run.
“It was tough. We had a bit of a roll going there with five games, but this is a new start for us now,” said Ryan. “We’re going to put this behind us, take the positives and the negatives and work on everything to make us better. “
The Tigers (5-2-0-0) return to the Canalta Centre tonight to take on the Victoria Royals (3-4-0-0) at 7 p.m.