The Manitoba Junior Hockey League announced each team's RBC Community Ambassador, and the Portage Terriers saw a local recognized for his contributions. Defenceman Kian Calder is one of the 13 players honoured for their efforts in giving back to the community.
"I wasn't expecting it at all. An award like that always makes you feel good about yourself but there are a lot of guys who are deserving of it on our team," Calder explains. "(my teammates) helped me win the award, for sure."
The assistant captain notes playing for his hometown team has given him some extra motivation when it comes to giving back.
"The Terriers were a big part of my life growing up, so I know how it feels to be a kid watching the Terriers play in your hometown," Calder continues."I try my best to make their childhood with the Terriers the way mine was, which was pretty positive."
Winning this award earns the recipient a donation to a local school of their choosing from RBC. Calder says this is going to be a very difficult choice for him.
"I work at the high school right now, so obviously, that's an option. I went to Yellowquill as a kid, and my first job was at Fort La Reine. So, I wish I could donate to everybody."
While Calder will have a very tough decision on his hands, his mind will be occupied by the Virden Oil Capitals tonight. Virden and Portage will battle for their third time this season tonight at Stride Place.
"I think they're a physical team, and they work hard. They've had some struggles this year but with the way the league is, you can't take anyone lightly on any given night because it will cost you."
The Terriers are coming into tonight's game, having won three straight. Portage's first outing of 2023 took place on Friday and saw the Dogs take down the MJHL's number-one ranked team, the Steinbach Pistons.
"Things are really starting to click for us. We have 20 guys going every single night. Monteith stood on his head the last three games, and it always helps when that happens," says Calder. "We've got some big goals from guys on the team. It's exciting to beat the top teams."
Calder notes now that the trade deadline has passed, the competition will be ramped up even more at practices. Guys are now battling for positions in the lineup and can gain some confidence knowing they will end their season with the Terriers.
Portage and Virden will go head-to-head tonight at 7:30 at Stride Place.