Colin Blake to Germany

What a difference a week makes. On September 9th, Colin Blake was watching his former junior team from the stands and chatting with fans that had followed his 5 year career with the Campbell River Storm. Less than 7 days later, he was putting the puck in the back of the net for EC Eisbären Eppelheim in the German Regionalliga Sud West.

“The deal came together quickly,” said Blake right after signing with the Ice Bears. “Two days ago I didn’t know where Eppelheim was, I’m very excited about this opportunity.”

In the summer of 2012, Blake reported to Storm training camp and as the story goes, he was asked by the ladies at the registration desk if he was there to see his big brother. He asked for a jersey instead. Mark Berry, the Storm Hockey TV play-by-play broadcaster recalls, “I remember seeing him at his first camp and I wondered how the heck this little guy was going to survive. I was worried for his safety, I think he was just 5”7 or 8 and weighed 135 pounds.” He demonstrated early that what he lacked in size he more than made up in feistiness, grit and determination.

Berry recalls a conversation he had last season when he asked if #88 could offer any advice to younger players looking to make it to Junior. “Colin told me that it was important to believe in yourself and don’t always listen to people who say you can’t do it, because if you want it bad enough you’ll get there.”

As a 16 year old, Blake was a solid player but showed little sign of the scoring ability he would later demonstrate. That first season he accounted for 24 points in 35 games, not bad for a rookie on a team that managed just 12 wins.

In the middle of his sophomore season, the young man from Maple Ridge was dealt to the KIJHL Sicamous Eagles where he picked up 19 points in 25 games.

At the start of the 2014/15 season, Blakey was back on the Island for the most memorable year in Campbell River Storm history and he played a pivotal role setting the tone in the opener. At 3:10 of overtime, he lifted the roof at the Brindy (Rod Brind’Amour Arena) when he skated over the blueline, pulled one of his outside, inside to the backhand moves and buried his shot past Riley Mathieson. Andy Stevens, now with the BCHL Powell River Kings, assisted on the goal and claims it’s one of his most memorable Colin Blake moments. The Storm lost only 4 games in regulation that season, won the Western Canadian Championships and Blake finished 5th in league scoring (77 points).    

The following year, he set the Storm single season assist record with 59 helpers to go with his 20 goals. That was good enough for number 3 in VIJHL scoring.

As a 20 year old, Blake led a team full of leaders to another league championship and a silver medal at the Cyclone Taylor Cup. On October 22nd, 2016, he set the club all-time assist record of 140 at Kerry Park and on February 13th, 2017, after setting up Sheldon Brett, Colin Blake became the all-time leading scorer for the Campbell River Storm with his 266th regular season point. Also in February, in an online vote, he was selected as 2017 Storm fan favourite.

He finished his senior season ranked 2nd in league scoring. In total, in all competitions, Blake played 247 games in the Black and Red amassing 327 total points, most of which came in his final three seasons.

“The fans here are the greatest, there isn’t another town that supports their Junior B team like this one, home or away they’re there in the stands cheering,” Blakey said in a 2016 interview, “It’s great playing here.”

Whether it was scoring the Teddy Bear Toss goal in his rookie year or scoring the overtime winner against the Cougars in the league finals in their barn, Colin Blake has been thrilling Storm fans for years.

Thank you Colin and enjoy your great hockey adventure; wir werden für dich jubelin.

Monday, September 18, 2017