April 18th, 2024

Tigers veteran d-men looking to end WHL careers on top

By JAMES TUBB on March 28, 2024.

NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB The Medicine Hat Tigers three overage defencemen, Bogdans Hodass, Rhett Parsons and Dru Krebs, pose while accepting their overage gifts from the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds during a team award ceremony ahead of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on March 23 at Co-op Place.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

The three oldest Medicine Hat Tigers are looking to make the most of their final ride in the WHL playoffs.

Medicine Hat’s three overage defencemen, Rhett Parsons, Dru Krebs and Bogdans Hodass, have a guaranteed four more games in their WHL careers, with anymore coming through success starting with the Tigers first-round series against the Red Deer Rebels.

All three have played the entirety of their WHL careers in the orange and black, with the trio playing a combined 676 regular season games.

“I’ve been here for a while, five years now,” Krebs said. “I’m used to the town, used to the team and everything, so it’s going to be hard saying goodbye, whenever that happens. But I’m excited going into playoffs. I’ve got nothing to lose, it’s my last hurrah.”

Krebs is the longest tenured of the three, debuting and playing full time since 2019-20. His 279 games have him at 19th for all-time games played in Tigers history. He says the team’s goal is always a championship but he says the three 20s have all talked about making the most of their last chance at the dance.

“We’re trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Krebs said. “We want to make it so that it stays long lasting and memorable as we can with this playoff run. All three of us are just doing whatever it takes every single night and want it to last as long as possible.”

Hodass has also worked his way into the Tigers history books, his 178 games played in Medicine Hat are the most an import draft player has played in franchise history. Hodass is excited for the playoffs but he says there’s some sadness knowing this is their last run in a Tigers uniform. He still looks back on his arrival in the 2021-22 season as a special moment.

“The first day when I came here, everyone happy to see me and I appreciate the coaches and the teammates helping me all those years through here,” Hodass said.

While playing for the Tigers, Hodass has represented his native Latvia at the World Juniors, getting big-game experience that was supplemented by the Tigers’ playoff appearance last season. He says when it comes to the big games, like playoffs, it’s about sticking to what got them there.

“Just don’t think too much, just don’t get yourself in big pressure,” Hodass said. “Because playoffs is playoffs, it’s a different game but you just (have) to play your best, how you played in the whole season and just being confident.”

The younger Tigers players who will remain with the club beyond this season have shared a desire to win not only for themselves, but also to get their overage teammates a championship send-off. It’s a message that means a lot to Parsons, who says it goes the other way, too.

“Them saying that is pretty special, we’re a pretty tight-knit group in there,” Parsons said. “So for them to say that about us is pretty special. But vice versa, I want to do that for them. They have a lot of stuff on the line, too, they’re just young. So I’m going to leave it all out there and do whatever I can to help the team.”

Parsons has often been the first to volunteer to visit schools and be out in the community, sharing his junior hockey experience with the next generation. He says he enjoys being in the community and wants to do all he can to give back, on and off the ice.

“Anytime we can get in the community is awesome, I personally love doing that and I know the guys do, too,” Parsons said. “We’ve had unreal fan support the past in my whole career, the fans of Medicine Hat are great and I just love getting out into the community and doing whatever I can.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play here, so we just want to bring a championship back to Medicine Hat.”

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