By Craig Stein
Right in the middle of arguably the SJHL’s toughest division, the Notre Dame Hounds are quietly putting together a nice season and a big reason why has been their crop of forwards. While 20-year-old Ben Duperreault and rookie Adam Dawe (University of Maine 2017-18) have led the way offensively, second year forward Chance Longjohn has been one of the more dependable pieces to their puzzle, according to Hounds’ Head Coach & GM Clint Mylymok.
“Simply put, Chance is a player that teammates and coaches trust in all situations. Big penalty kill coming up? Up or down a goal with a minute to play? Chance is one of the first forwards we will put out there. He’ll block shots, win face-offs, and is highly competitive. As a rookie last year he played Center on our shut-down line and saw every teams top line, nightly. He knows how to defend and has quickly established himself as a very good Jr A player.”
Longjohn, from Maskwacis, Alberta, put up 12-goals and 28-points as a rookie a year ago, and at the midway point of his sophomore season, he’s on track to set new highs.
“Some of the things I feel separates Chance from others is his willingness to learn. Chance really want to be a student of the game. Sure, players have to do mandatory video and put in their time that way, but many don’t ask questions or have much to add unless we force them to interact. Chance will try to watch his shifts after every game and learn from them. He asks great hockey questions and will also challenge you as a coach respectfully, to demonstrate to him why we do things a certain way. He knows the game very well and has a passion for hockey.”
Longjohn came from Alberta to Wilcox way back in Grade 9, and he’s been coming up through the Hounds’ pipeline ever since. He started with the ‘AA’ program, before a year with the Midget ‘AAA’ Argos, and one more with the Midget ‘AAA’ Hounds. He’s now a year and a half into his SJHL career in Notre Dame, and eligible to come back for one more next year.
“I love it here,” said Longjohn. “Before I came in Grade 9, my dad was like ‘are you sure?’ But as soon as they dropped me off I decided this was a new chapter, I was more on my own, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Longjohn adds that he’s doing his best this season to take care of himself on and off the ice, and in the classroom to prepare himself for hockey at the next level.
“Getting a scholarship is my main goal, the NCAA would be my preference. I’ve signed up for the SAT and I’m studying for it.”
Mylymok says Longjohn is full of skill, and teams & schools are taking notice.
“There is always a role for a guy like Chance on a team, and the first team that gets him in the NCAA will have a valuable 4-year player on their hands. He can do it all, and does it with enthusiasm!”