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Tatamagouche native Dana Fraser accomplished a lot in hockey

Forward Dana Fraser is shown in professional hockey in 2015 with the Adirondack Thunder.
Forward Dana Fraser is shown in professional hockey in 2015 with the Adirondack Thunder. - Contributed

It was nine hockey seasons ago (2009-10) that Dana Fraser played his last year with the Truro Bearcats.

Fraser led all Bearcats in scoring that season with 28 goals and 63 assists for 91 points. During three seasons with Truro, the dedicated Tatamagouche kid left town with a few accomplishments under his belt. He held the single season record for both assists and points, he led the Bearcats in scoring two seasons and the Maritime Hockey League honoured Fraser by naming him the league’s top forward.

Reflecting briefly on the third annual Colchester Cup, played in late April at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, some very talented hockey players suited up. The well-organized event, oversaw by Mathew Shipley, drew more than 200 fans to the A Division championship game won by Action Seal in a 3-2 shootout win over Island Lake All-Stars. Fans were thrilled to watch present day junior A players and outstanding former junior and senior players go at it in end-to-end fashion.

Present and former Truro Bearcats included G Blackmore, Carson Lanceleve, Ryan Porter, Alex Anthony, Denver Lynds, Dan Little and Brooks vanTassell. Also digging deep were the likes of Andrew Roop, Patrick Stewart, Bobby Sill, Jimmy Scullion, Brent Harrison and Troy Sutherland.

From professional hockey, Zach Sill was flying for the All-Stars. The rugged, hard-nosed forward who played in the National Hockey League with Pittsburgh, Toronto and Washington, returned home recently from the Czech Republic where he played the 2018-19 season with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraloga (ELH).

Another former pro player was Fraser of Action Seal.

“First off, I’d like to thank Matt Shipley for organizing such a great tournament,” Fraser, 29, a Moncton resident, said. “It was a high-calibre tournament, there were some great players. I was definitely surprised by the speed of the games.

“I guess although most of us are done playing competitive hockey, we still have that drive to win. That’s what makes it so much fun. How many fans were in attendance was another thing, it’s been awhile since I played in a stadium with so many fans.”

Fraser said the calibre of play was about as good as it gets in a gentleman’s tournament. He complimented Zach Sill who has played more than 100 NHL games and he noted the performances of the many former junior players.

After his days with the Bearcats, Fraser played four years (2010-14) with University of PEI Panthers. Highlights included leading the team in scoring in 2013, he graduated with bachelor of business administration – earning Academic All Canadian and Dean’s List Honours.

The 2013-14 season saw Fraser ink a professional hockey contract with Evansville Icemen in the United States. An ankle injury cost him the last half of the season. In 2014-15 he attended and played for the University of New Brunswick. He played an important role as UNB won the AUS championship and earned a second-place finish in national play.

The next two seasons took Fraser back to pro hockey, first playing for Adirondack Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League and then with Stockton Heat, a Calgary Flames American Hockey League farm club.

Retiring from hockey in 2017 due to multiple blood clots from hockey related injuries, Fraser works for Labatt Breweries of Canada. As territory manager, he does retail sales, marketing and merchandising for the company.

When asked to share an early hockey memory, Fraser responded:

“I remember as a kid spending hours at the Tatamagouche rink handling the puck and practicing my game. Storm days or early mornings, Lyle Eagles and Richard Halverson (rink employees) always found time for us to play. That’s something I’ve always appreciated; they didn’t have to do that for us. It’s something we need more of today.”

Fraser recalled playing for the Bearcats under the coaching of Shawn Evans, Troy Fougere and Jamie Barbour.

“Those were some of the best years of my life. I met so many great people who helped get me where I am today. With top-calibre players and coaching, this really helped me develop. Stu Rath and the organization are really the next level, I can’t thank them enough. They still continue to help me out whenever needed.”

Moving forward and on the right track, Fraser’s future wife is Truro’s Mairead Davidson.

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902-673-2857.

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