When asked about how much support you need at home to play hockey in the junior leagues, Ethan Bear made it clear that it was a very important part of his career. “It’s huge. It makes you feel special and I like it, I enjoy it. But at the same time I don’t let it be a distraction. The main thing for me is limiting outside distractions. My family really supports me well,” he says.
And that they do. The Bear family is always at a T-Birds game, no matter the distance, and you can spot them wearing the family jersey with Bear’s number on it, 25. He says that his family always made sure he had rides to his local games when he was a youth as well. Bear says that having his family watch him play in the championship will be an amazing experience. “I’ve never had the support I’ve had and it’s going to be really exciting and emotional,” he says.
Bear has achieved a total of 19 goals and 45 career assists with the Seattle Thunderbirds since joining the team, and he has been an integral defenseman while the T-Birds have made it through the playoffs and into the WHL series this spring. Fans have always appreciated Bear’s quiet but fierce presence on the ice, but during game four when Bear scored not one but two goals in a major victory, he was lauded as a bit of a superstar. Of course, being Bear, he shrugged it off and said that he just got lucky. “The season and the whole year just keeps getting better and better. I’ll keep working for myself you know, I’m not trying to get too ahead of myself. I’m just going to keep working and stay humble,” he says.
Bear, 18-year-old native of Ochapowace, Saskatchewan, is NHL material, having been chosen as a prospect by the Edmonton Oilers, and will certainly continue to prove that fact as he continues through the championship with the Thunderbirds. Fans reading his interview with Andy Eide from 710 ESPN Seattle chimed in that he lives up to the name “Bear,” and that they really appreciate his strong, steady presence on the team. Some are even saying that he has quietly “taken over” the playoffs with his game-saving quick thinking and sure shots.
What do you think of Bear? Will you be sad to see him go when he graduates to the NHL?
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia