It Must Be In The Water ~ Ron MacLean

“It must be in the water” was the quote that Ron McLean used when he and Don Cherry were making a center ice “Coaches Corner” appearance on the Hockey Night in Canada Kraft Hockeyville broadcast in Sylvan Lake last September 24th. His reference to the water was the “Lake”, and the affect it had and still has, on hockey, not only in Central Alberta but Nationally and Internationally as well. The “Lake” is what drew the SLHC to town, and with that came summer ice which, combined with the Hockey Camp and local area Pro’s, it became a hot bed for off season training. Off season training and the “Lake” setting, also attracted many to make their summer homes in and around the town. From Barry Long of the Oilers in the ’70’s, Brian and Brent Sutter, Chris Phillips, Curtis Glenncross, Joffrey Lupal, Colin Fraser and more have called the area home at one time or another. The summer ice also had an effect on the local minor hockey program as, Darcy Loewen (Buffalo and Ottawa), Shane Willis (Carolina), Derek Morris (Phoenix) and currently Brandon Sutter (Pittsburg) are all graduates of the Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey Association.

That is the reference to the Pro’s, but it also has meant so much more to so many participants who have come through the program over the past 40 plus years. The “Lake” has been responsible for thousands and thousands of summertime memories, that are now being shared with their own kids, who already have or will, in turn do the same. That is our reward! Yes Ron, “It must be in the water” and Thanks for sharing that with the world because Ron McLean, is as well, as much a “Laker” as anybody!

~ Graham Parsons

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