By Bob Ede/Photos by Lisa Ede
When you are a parent to a young hockey player, you get to watch a lot of hockey over the years. You witness your own child improving as well as other children. Because Robert-Tye (RT) Rice is close to my son’s age, I watched him develop through the Windermere Valley Minor Hockey system, into a talented junior player. RT played for the Fernie Ghostriders Junior B team last season. The previous season he played for the Columbia Valley Rockies.
What struck me most about RT’s play when he was younger was his explosiveness. He was never one of the larger players but he was quick, with a hard shot and played physical. He surprised opposition players, often much bigger than himself, with hard, clean bodychecks. Through his minor hockey career, RT was often relied upon to give the team a spark when it was needed most and he never failed to deliver.
RT comes from a true hockey family. RT’s parents are DK and Rob Rice. They have volunteered for every task it takes to put on games and tournaments. From managing to billet, the Rices have been involved at every level. Rob has coached children from the time they put on skates right up to junior. RT’s sisters Cydnie, Braydi and Wasyn are all involved in hockey.
This summer RT will take part in the reality TV series, Hit the Ice. Hit the Ice is a fast-paced, 13 half hour, television series which sees high profile hockey professionals help a group of young Aboriginal prospects as they try to achieve their dreams of making it to the junior level. RT was scouted for the program while he was taking part in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship last April. The show is set to air in January 2013. More information about the show can be found at: http://hittheice.tv/ .
RT is a quiet, polite young man. He seemed a lot bigger than I remembered him when he played minor hockey. Since being selected for the TV show he has had some attention that he is not yet comfortable with. Luckily, RT agreed to answer a few questions.
BE: First, congratulation on graduating from David Thompson Secondary School. It is a whirlwind of activities, how was it?
BE: Now let’s get to some serious hockey questions. What brand of skates do you use; Bauer or CCM?
RT: Bauer 7.0.
BE: How about sticks? Do you have different sticks for different circumstances?
RT: I use only one stick for everything. Bauer APX one-piece fiberglass.
BE: You played for Fernie in the KIJHL last year, what was it like coming into the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena to face your old team, the Rockies?
RT: It was exciting because I was playing in front of my hometown and I liked playing against my childhood hockey friends on the Rockies this year. I didn’t know very many guys from when I played with the Rockies; it was almost a new team this year.
BE: How was your year in Fernie?
RT: It was good; I learned a lot of life lessons, met a lot of great people, loved the fans and had a good hockey experience.
BE: Did you miss being away from home?
RT: Yes, especially the first month away. I missed my family and friends the most.
BE: Would you have any advice for young players who are leaving home for the first time?
RT: Try and get a billet that is a good fit for you and be sure to hang out with the team whenever you can, it makes a big difference.
BE: Your sister, Cydnie officiates in the KIJHL. Do you always agree with her calls?
RT: She officiated three of my games this year; two were exhibition games. I don’t always agree with her calls.
BE: How would you describe the way you play the game?
RT: I play physical; bring an offensive punch with my hard shot; good skater for a big guy and a smart defensive forward.
BE: You are going to be on the reality TV show Hit the Ice, how were you chosen?
RT: We were scouted at the National Aboriginal Midget Championships in Saskatoon this spring. Once chosen, I had to forward a video explaining why I feel I would be a good candidate for the show and training camp.
BE: What are you looking forward to on Hit the Ice? What are you nervous about?
RT: I’m looking forward to being a part of a professional training camp for two weeks and the opportunity to be scouted by Junior A or higher league. I’m nervous about being on TV and talking to people I don’t know.
BE: Do you have any other camps you will be going to this summer/fall?
RT: I have been invited to a few Junior A main camps in B.C. and Alberta, but want to leave my options open until after my training camp with Hit the Ice.
BE: Thanks for doing this, RT, and good luck with everything, would you like to say anything else?
RT: It makes me happy to be rewarded for my hard work and I am thankful for this opportunity. I’ve learned that commitment and consistency eventually pay off, so don’t give up on your dreams.
Bob Ede spends his time cruising the backroads, with a blind Terrier and a yappy Wire-haired Dachshund riding shotgun. The above interview is part of a series of conversations with long time locals that will run in e-KNOW. He can be reached at: [email protected]Tags: Bob EdeColumbia Valley RockiesFernie GhostridersHit the IceLisa EdeRobert-Tye (RT) RiceWindermere Valley Minor Hockey
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