The support Trevor Ebeling received from the Sicamous Eagles gives him the confidence he can take the next step to play in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League with the Okanagan Lakers.
After two seasons and 49 career Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season games, in which he put up five goals and 15 points, Ebeling is excited to take what he says is a “huge step” with the expansion Lakers.
“I was really lucky to have this opportunity,” says Ebeling, 20, a Terrace, B.C. product. “It all kind of came together really quickly.”
Ebeling, who experienced growth as a person on and off the ice with the Eagles and was named captain last season, says being able to attend UBC-O and play hockey was hard to pass up following his conversations with Lakers head coach Kevin Bathurst and his staff.
“It’s another four years to keep playing the game I love so I can’t complain,” says Ebeling. “UBC-O is a pretty established school. The ice time per week, and it’s a competitive league, the training, the dedicated coaches. It was all important in my decision to head there. The coaches seem really invested in the program and the players.”
Ebeling made strides last season after he was given more offensive responsibility, compared to his rookie season as an 18-year-old. The Eagles staff supported him in a way that boosted his self-confidence. The five-foot-11, 210 pound forward likes to combine a strong defensive game with play-making ability, while also bringing a physical presence as Ebeling doesn’t shy away from the dirty areas.
“I was able to take those next strides and believe that I am ready to play at the next level,” says Ebeling, who will study psychology to become a sports psychologist. “I made most of my growth with my offensive skills.”
Ebeling credits the KIJHL for helping him grow as a player, creating friendships and seeing his hockey skills grow after his final season in Terrace Minor Hockey. That growth is why the league is special to him.
“I don’t think I would have had that without it. I can’t be thankful enough,” says Ebeling.