MRU’s hockey team adds depth for the second half push
Cougars latest addition looking to make an impact on a surging squad
By Dan Khavkin, Sports Editor
Mount Royal’s men’s hockey team has recently recruited forward Chris Gerrie to a struggling squad looking to use the turn of the calendar to shift momentum. They continue to be in the fight for a playoff spot in a closely knit Canada West conference and his impact can already be felt.
Prior to MRU, Gerrie has had an accomplished career as both a minor and junior hockey player.
He played for the powerhouse Red Deer Optimist Chiefs ‘AAA’ team that won the Telus Cup in 2013. At the conclusion of his Midget year, Gerrie settled not to far from Red Deer, playing two years for the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL, totalling 119 points in 115 games wearing the gold and black.
He was named the CJHL co-rookie of the year in the 2013/2014 season.
In 2015/2016 he took his talents to B.C. and suited up for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL for one season, racking up 42 points in 56 games. Gerrie played on a squad filled with talent from top to bottom who finished the year as regular season champions with a 50-7-1 record, but lost to the eventual league champions West Kelowna in the playoffs.
Wanting a change of pace in his life and to pursue an education, Gerrie took his talents down south to Michigan Tech and suited up in NCAA Division 1 college hockey for the Huskies while starting to pursue a degree in management.
After another short stint of one season, Gerrie wanted to be closer to home but also continue to pursue his business degree while at the same time, play at a high level of hockey.
Leaving the U.S. in order to be closer to home, Gerrie got a call from the general manager in Lacombe to play for them.
“I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, once I went to play there I didn’t regret it for a second. I had a lot of fun and staying in shape was a really big thing too,” Gerrie says.
Gerrie, 21, is a second-year eligible player coming from the ACHW league, departing from the Lacombe Generals before settling at Mount Royal.
Gerrie states, “The business program is really the first thing that brought me here,” on making his choice to become a Cougar and a student at MRU.
“The rest was obviously Bert [Gilling] and the coaching staff.”
He had a few offers from other schools but he stuck with taking both his academic and athletic talents to MRU and especially the Cougars as that was his plan from the start.
“I asked around for a bit, I kinda networked and tried to find out more about it… everything was positive so it was a pretty smooth transition,” he says.
Gerrie understood what he got himself into coming to MRU as the Cougars were below .500 heading into the new year but still in a playoff spot, with other teams either catching up or pulling away in the standings.
The Cougars completed their second sweep of the season when they out-dueled the Regina Cougars to start 2018 on the road.
“I knew they were struggling a little bit so coming in was like a fresh start,” he says. “Coach has been stressing that everyone’s record at the new year is 0-0 so if you look at us were 2-0, looking forward were looking to get better every game.”
Carrying that same momentum into the next weekend, the Cougars proceeded to pull off back-to-back sweeps for the first time since January of last year, getting two more straight victories against the Lethbridge ‘Horns.
Gerrie is optimistic towards his new team and believes that progress will be made in the second half of the regular season.
“100 per cent, we’ve been great getting in practises and pushing ourselves for the start of the new year.”