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Stamps’ Osadick living hockey dream

Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

Remember the phrase, ‘good things come to those who wait? Matt Osadick of the Swan Valley Stampeders knows all about waiting … good things.

A year ago he was invited to the Team Canada West evaluation camp to select the team for the World Junior A Challenge. Osadick had to hear the bad news he wouldn’t be part of the squad.

Fast forward to 2018: Osadick learned a ton from the previous camp and is currently a member of TCW at the WJCA at Bonnyville, AB.

“I learned from last year’s experience and knew what I had to do to make the ’18 team,” said Osadick. “I was also definitely more relaxed going into this year’s evaluation camp. I knew what it would take for me to make the team.”

“Work hard. Work right. Play a 200-foot game. Finishing checks. It’s been a great experience wearing the Canadian maple leaf. I’m really proud to be a member of Team Canada.”

Osadick, who hails from Grande Point (south of Winnipeg), is hoping to bring home a medal from this year’s tournament. Team West is the defending champion.

The calibre of player at the international level is nothing short of impressive, says Osadick. “Very high skill level. Very quick. There’s a lot of very good players.”

Osadick is one of three MJHLers on TCW, joined by Reilly Funk of the Portage Terriers and Matt Radomsky of the Steinbach Pistons. Also on the bench is athletic therapist Hailee Dayman of Virden Oil Capitals, while Kevin Saurette (MJHL’s Director of Operations), is off ice for TCW.

As is the case with most Team Canada squads, players are thrown together quickly while the coaching staffs introduce a myriad of team building exercises. In order to eliminate all outside distractions and encourage team focus, all players are instructed to hand over their phones. Gawd forbid!

“I didn’t have my phone for two days,” Osadick said with a laugh. “I kind of liked being without it. No distractions. One our day off, we got our phones back. Got to catch up with the boys (Stampeder teammates).”

While catching up was important, Osadick admits his focus is how to help Team Canada West get a medal.

“This is definitely the best hockey I’ve played,” he said of the competition. “It’s been intense, but also fun.”