Sunday, April 5, 2015 2:31:43 EDT PM
Former Kirkland Laker Zach Pease is off to play NCAA Division 3 next season.
KIRKLAND LAKE - With the early playoff exit of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, Miners’ Nation were faced with the reality they would be seeing some of their favorite players leave due to ageing-out. One of the was Zach Pease.
In his time with the club Pease played 139 games and collected 81 points. But if one looks beyond the numbers, fans saw Pease as a heart and soul kind of player and quickly became very popular.
Pease recently spoke with the Northern News about his time with the Miners and living in Kirkland Lake.
“”My time in Kirkland Lake has been amazing. I am definitely going to miss the town and the boys on the team. I was very fortunate to come to Kirkland Lake and win a championship my first year and to come back my second year and to be one of the leaders. I leave Kirkland Lake a better person and a better hockey player than when I arrived. From a players perspective getting on the ice early, gym access, study hall, and having structure ensures the on ice program delivers. It obviously was not the result we wanted this year and its still a little bittersweet being home this early.”
He added he has many to thank for their kindness and support while in town.
“ I want to send out a big shout out to the Allen’s. With open arms Natalie, Rob, Jagger, and Hunter opened there home for two years and made me a part of their family. Obviously the first has already been mentioned. Entering someones home as a stranger, but leaving as family knowing I am welcomed back any time truly sits at the top (of my memories). All billet families need to be thanked for opening there homes and contributing to the teams success. The billet captain Natalie Perreault does a great job.“
He also pointed out winning the Copeland Cup is something that will always be special. “A second memory that stands out is the full house at the “JOE” cheering the team on to our first NOJHL Championship. That vision of 1000 fans (or more) standing and cheering is engrained in my memory and will never be forgotten. The fans are the ones we need to thank the most.“
And he pointed to one interaction with a young fans that will stay with him.
“One of my best experiences in Kirkland Lake was last year after a playoff game I went to Tim Horton’s to meet my parents to have a treat and to talk hockey. A young man nervously approached me. His name was Seth Guertin. He asked me for my autograph. I signed his hat, gave him a signed hockey card, and had a little conversation with him and his mom. I sometimes see on Facebook that to this date he is still wearing the hat that I signed for him. Good luck in your hockey career Seth. I will be watching and checking up on you buddy.“
Pease is now back in his hometown of Toronto. And while his Junior career is over his hockey career is not. Pease will be attending Fredonia State University and playing NCC Division three. He will also be studying business.
“I am really excited for this opportunity and thank the Gold Miners for helping me reach the next level,“ he stated.
In the end he says he will miss everything about Kirkland Lake as the town was so welcoming to him.