by Phil Ambroziak

Canoe Lake’s Roddy Ross continues to bring pride to his community.
Ross, a goalie with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Seattle Thunderbirds, was recently named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the 2019-20 season.

“To be named team MVP means a lot to me,” Ross told Northern Pride. “Throughout the entire season, everyone always works as hard as they can to do the very best for their team in every game. The Thunderbirds recognized that and I was fortunate to come out on top at the end of things by receiving this award.”

Ross, who last June was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL draft, appeared in 49 WHL games this season and had a 20-21-4-3 record with a .908 save percentage and 3.17 goals-against average.

“Roddy was a consistent performer on the ice for us during the season,” noted T-Birds general manager Russ Farwell in a recent news release. “He was instrumental in helping the team achieve a playoff spot for the eighth consecutive season.”

Ross, meanwhile, said he truly felt Seattle had a shot at going all the way in playoffs before things were cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he’s back home and biding his time until he can return to his passion.

“I keep busy by working out at home and doing what I can to stay in shape,” he said. “I’ve also been using this time to catch up on family time. Hopefully, once everything clears up, I will be back in Seattle and helping the team make it to playoffs again next season.”

Among those pleased with Ross’ ongoing success is Canoe Lake Cree First Nation chief Francis Iron.

“Roddy brings a sense of pride to the community,” Iron said. “Everyone here knows Roddy very well and we’re all very proud of him. It’s funny to see his family, who have long been Montreal Canadiens fans, now wearing Philadelphia Flyers regalia. Roddy himself has become a great role model for a number of kids in our community. He has really put Canoe Lake on the map.”

Ross started the season with a 50-save performance against the Kamloops Blazers at the home opener in September. He had a four-game win streak and two three-game win streaks during the season. He recorded his first career point with an assist on the T-Birds first goal against the Tri-City Americans Nov. 1. He registered a second point with an assist on the fourth goal against Tri-City Jan. 10.