Yellowknife’s Liam Tereposky has been playing in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) for a few seasons but he’s yet to play a full one due to Covid-19.
He’s hoping this season will be the one where he gets to finish what he started.
The 19-year-old is back as one of the goaltenders for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. He already has five games under his belt in the 2021-22 season. As of Oct. 4, he had an official record of four wins and one loss, the first defeat coming this past Saturday at the hands of the Swan Valley Stampeders, 6-1.
“It would have been nice to go 6-and-0 to start the season but that’s the reality of playing in a good league,” said Tereposky.
He joined the Wolverines in 2019 after impressing Josh Lee, the team’s assistant coach, during the Canadian North Rec Hockey Tournament that April.
“Josh was watching me in the final against Deline and that got the ball rolling,” said Tereposky. “He saw me again at the (2019 National Aboriginal Hockey Championship) later on and that’s where I got the invite to camp for the next season.”
His first season with the Wolverines was shortened when the pandemic began to take hold in March 2020. The MJHL shut things down during the first round of the league playoffs. Last season was pretty much a complete write-off as the Wolverines played in just six games before the league cancelled the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
“Technically, this is my third season in the league but I’m hoping this will be the first one that I get to complete from start to finish,” he said.
One thing Tereposky likes about the MJHL is the competitiveness among the teams.
“There’s lots of skill around and the level is pretty equal,” he said. “Any team can win on any night and it’s just as good as any other junior league out there.”
The MJHL is considered one step below the Western Hockey League. While Tereposky isn’t looking at the WHL as a goal, he said he wouldn’t turn his nose up at it if he had the chance to play.
“I’m working toward getting myself a scholarship to play (college hockey) in the U.S., but I wouldn’t be opposed to playing the WHL if the right opportunity came up,” he said.
There’s also the prospect of a professional opportunity, and Tereposky said that would be something he’d jump at if he had the chance.
“Every kid who plays hockey dreams of playing pro,” he said. “The National Hockey League is the ultimate goal, but there’s a lot of good hockey in North America and in Europe. If I got the right chance, I would definitely consider turning pro.”
The Wolverines have two players from Yellowknife are on the same team, a rare circumstance. Lonan Bulger is a teammate of Tereposky’s and that’s been one of the highlights for Tereposky during his time in Waywayseecappo, which lies near the Saskatchewan border.
“It’s been a ball playing with him,” he said of Bulger. “Two hometown kids playing on the same team — nothing better than that. It’s a great group of guys here and we’re battling for game nights.”