Stecher is the Man

Former Penticton Vee Troy Stecher talks about his first NHL goal and playing with Alex Edler.

TROY STECHER

TROY STECHER

I’m The Man blared from Rogers Arena when Troy Stecher slapped home the equalizer against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 13.

“I didn’t hear it. I blacked out so I kind of went all foggy in my mind,” said Stecher, who was the man as he helped the Vancouver Canucks defeat the Stars 5-4 in overtime. “It’s pretty loud when I watched the replay. Kind of in that moment I was pretty quiet. I could have heard a pin drop. It was kind of a surreal moment.”

The Canucks continue to play goal songs for their players.

“They picked the wrong one. I don’t who it’s from,” said Stecher, a former Penticton Vee and North Dakota Fighting Hawk, whose version is from Aloe Blacc instead of 50 Cent. “It worked out well. It’s a good song.”

Stecher, who fired four shots on goal in that Stars game, was surprised by his goal.

“I’ve been getting a lot of chances to shoot the puck from the point,” said the Canucks rookie, who has done what his coaches have asked in shooting a lot and has 24 shots in eight games. “At this level it’s kind of difficult to score from the point on the blueline. I was fortunate enough to have that one squeak through the five-hole. It came at a pretty good time to tie the game.”

The only thing the 22-year-old remembers when he scored was jumping on the glass. With the Canucks goalie pulled, he had five teammates jump on him.

“It kind of all went silent really,” he recalls.

After starting the season in the American Hockey League with the Utica Comets, the Canucks have called Stecher up twice to replace Chris Tanev, who has been injured. Stecher has been playing alongside Alex Edler and on Nov. 15 against the New York Rangers, Stecher played a season high 24 minutes and nine seconds. He’s soaking it all in.

“I don’t take it for granted. I come to the rink every day work as hard as I can,” said Stecher, who has a goal and three points. “It’s pretty surreal I guess. Just walking into the room and seeing guys like the (Daniel and Henrik) Sedins, and (Alex) Burrows and Edler and what not. Guys I kind of watched as a kid.”

Stecher has enjoyed playing with the veteran Edler, who he has developed chemistry with. Edler, a former Kelowna Rocket, has taken Stecher under his wing. Stecher said Edler isn’t the most vocal on the ice, but when they are on the bench, they are always discussing plays, what they could do better, what worked.

READ MORE: Penticton Vees alum makes impression with Canucks in NHL debut

Stecher has also enjoyed the love affair he’s getting from fans and the Vancouver media.

“I think being a local kid (from Richmond) it helps a lot. I think a lot of people kind of respect the way I play,” said Stecher. “Especially as an undersized defenceman, they like how I’m not shy to get physical and compete hard and battle.

“It’s one thing bearing their support, but at the end of the day I got to earn the support and trust and respect of my teammates and coaches more importantly,” he added.