Never say never

Canada


At Canada’s national under-17 development camp, star-power is nowhere near
in short supply. With 111 of the best young hockey players in the country,
big names can be found around every corner, from those with NHL roots to
high draft picks from all three CHL leagues.

For Nova Scotia native Logan Chisholm, however, the attention is new and
humbling.

Chisholm had a stand-out 2016-17 season, culminating with his Cape Breton
West Islanders bringing home the national title from the TELUS Cup,
Canada’s National Midget Championship. The gold medal game in Prince
George, B.C., was the ultimate comeback story. Trailing the Blizzard du
Séminaire Saint-François by two in the third period, the Islanders dug deep
and pushed forward to win in overtime, with Chisholm scoring both the
game-tying and game-winning goals.

That last goal made history, with the Cape Breton West Islanders the first
Atlantic team ever to bring home TELUS gold, and only the third Maritime
team to make it to the finals, along with the 2016 St. John Vito’s and the
2002 Dartmouth Subways – led by Nova Scotia hero Sidney Crosby.

“It’s obviously a great accomplishment, and something we’ll never forget in
our lifetime,” Chisholm says.

Despite the distance – more than 5,500 kilometres and four time zones – the
support from home was enormous, and it didn’t end with Chisholm’s historic
goal. Brought to the Atlantic provinces for the first time, the TELUS Cup
was hoisted into the air, posed with for photos, and served as a guest of
honor in multiple parades.

“It’s been incredible,” Chisholm says of the response. “It’s a great
feeling going home and everyone’s there waiting for you, congratulating
you, and you’re the talk of the town, I guess you could say.”

Chisholm, who became a hometown hero overnight, is taking the success in
stride and keeping his focus on the work ahead at U17 camp. For him,
celebrating his victories isn’t just celebrating the past, but also
buckling down to work hard for the future.

Hailing from Antigonish, N.S., Chisholm understands the trials that come
with living in a small community, but he’s never let that stand in his way.
When his team was down in the TELUS Cup final, Chisholm rose to the
challenge, proving that giving up should never be an option.

The one thing he didn’t expect, though, was the attention the Islanders
received from all over the country. “It was pretty amazing,” he says of how
many people had faith in the team, even in its darkest hour – Cape Breton
West squeezed into the semifinals, and hung on to upset top-seeded
Mississauga to book its spot in the gold medal game.

His humble attitude has remained with him as he travelled west again, this
time for Canada’s national under-17 development camp. “We’re all Canadian
and we take pride in that,” he says, “and being part of the top 100 is
really amazing considering all the Midget players all over the country, so
it’s obviously a great accomplishment for all of us here.”

The three months since his TELUS Cup triumph have been a whirlwind for
Chisholm, who has been working non-stop to prepare himself for the camp. As
to whether the national title increased his confidence. “Definitely,” he
says. “It put us on the map, I guess you could say.”

He’s still determined to keep working harder, though, to develop the skills
to be able to play on the world stage. Overall, his dedication is never
just to himself, but for the team he plays for.

Canada’s national under-17 development camp is an intense seven days, with
games, practices, educational seminars and team-building just some of the
events the participants experience. For Chisholm, the professional quality
of the camp has been impressive, with an amazing staff to work with and
learn from, and the program covering everything he could ever think of.

The camp strives to bring together players from every corner of the country
(nine provinces and one territory are represented this week in Calgary),
and create bonds on and off the ice, building the camaraderie that will
serve them well in future international competitions.

Chisholm, along with and the rest of the U17 participants, learn not only
about how the game is played and taught differently in big cities and small
towns, but about how life is lived from coast to coast to coast.

His advice for young players from small communities? “You’re not always
going to get the spotlight, but you’ve got to make the most of your
opportunities.”

For Chisholm, that’s a combination of determination and drive, along with a
‘get it done’ attitude. It’s a philosophy that has certainly served him
well as he continues to strive for a place on Team Canada.



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