Former Vee is excited to hit the ice with Canucks

Michael Garteig, a former Penticton Vees goalie, looks to impress Canucks brass at the Canucks Young Stars tournament this weekend.

MICHAEL GARTEIG

MICHAEL GARTEIG



Michael Garteig is determined to make a good impression at the Canucks Young Stars Classic Sept.16 to 19 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The former Powell River King and Penticton Vee said returning to the Okanagan has been on his mind and there is excitement about the atmosphere and familiar faces, but he doesn’t want to put any pressure on himself.

“I don’t want to add any outside distractions. It’s all about what’s gonna happen on the ice. Focusing on my game and how I can play to benefit myself, but also the team.”

The Canucks prospect remembers watching the Young Stars Classic when he was with the Vees and watched his friend Ryan Howse when he was a Calgary Flames prospect.

“It was cool, high caliber hockey,” said Garteig. “It’s pretty cool that I will be playing in that now.”

Garteig, who helped the Vees win an RBC Cup in 2012, signed with the Canucks when he completed his four-year career in the National Collegiate Athletic Association with the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Garteig and the Bobcats lost the Frozen Four championship 5-1 to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

Garteig spent the summer in his hometown of Prince George where he focused on his weight, gaining strength and working on his skills on ice. Garteig also spent late August on the ice with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings.

“It was really good because they were in training camp mode. They were all trying to make the team,” said Garteig. “Very competitive.”

Garteig faced shots which helped him prepare for Vancouver and he was thankful to the junior A club for allowing him to skate with them.

“It was good caliber,” he said of the players’ shots. “I think they are going to have a pretty good team this year. Obviously it’s pretty hard to compete with teams like Penticton.”

During his training Garteig shed 20 pounds to get down to 184 pounds. In losing that weight, Garteig noticed he is quicker.

“I never thought of body weight affecting the way I played. I have always played a little bit heavier,” he said. “I feel a little bit faster, better shape then general.”

When it comes to this weekend, Garteig has also thought about putting on the Canucks jersey, which he said will be “really cool.”

Garteig hasn’t been back to Penticton since he played there.

“It’s always exciting coming back to somewhere you had so much success,” he said. “Winning an RBC in Penticton was obviously one of the more memorable years of hockey in my life. It’s going to be really special to put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey. Get to play in front of family and friends.”

Single and double-header tickets are still available for purchase and can be bought at the Valley First Box Office, by phone 1.877.763.2849 or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com.

2016 CANUCKS YOUNG STARS PRACTICE ICE TIMES

DATE                     TIME                      ICE                                          TEAM*

Sept. 15                2:00 pm                SOEC                                     Vancouver Canucks

Sept. 16                9:00 am                SOEC                                     Winnipeg Jets

9:15 am                OH Training Centre          Calgary Flames

10:30 am              SOEC                                     Vancouver Canucks

10:45 am              OH Training Centre          Edmonton Oilers

Sept. 17                9:15 am                OH Training Centre          Winnipeg Jets

10:30 am              SOEC                                     Edmonton Oilers

10:45 am              OH Training Centre          Calgary Flames

12:00 pm              SOEC                                     Vancouver Canucks

Sept. 18                9:15 am                SOEC                                     Vancouver Canucks

12:30 pm              OH Training Centre          Edmonton Oilers

1:30 pm                OH Training Centre          Calgary Flames

Sept. 19                8:30 am                SOEC                                     Vancouver Canucks

9:15 am                OH Training Centre          Calgary Flames

 

*Ice dates and times are subject to change