Friday, December 4, 2009

John McInnis, #21, Okotoks Oilers

The head coach of the Okotoks Junior A Oilers describes one of his forwards as pretty dependable.

It’s a bit of an understatement. John McInnis’ironman streak sits at 91 games played without missing time due to injury, illness or even a healthy scratch. Oiler bench boss Gary VanHereweghe said as long as McInnis can lace up his skates, he’ll play.

“He’s the type of kid that doesn’t take no for an answer if it comes to playing time,” said VanHereweghe.

McInnis has tallied 86 points in 91 games played, a streak that began last season. As of Nov. 30, McInnis had 31 points in 29 games played this campaign.

“I hate missing games no matter what. I don’t think I’ve missed a game in probably four years,” said McInnis. Sick, hurt, tired, whatever McInnis said he just shakes it off and gets out there. Like a perpetual-motion machine, once McInnis is moving, he stays moving regardless of how under the weather he might feel.

“It’s kind of like a wall, once you get past it, you’re fine and you’re good for the rest of the game or practice,” said McInnis. Perhaps making the streak all that more impressive is the fact McInnis does not shy away from the most physical aspects of the game.

On two occasions VanHereweghe has seen McInnis flying in to rescue a teammate getting shoved around by an opponent. Watching his teammates getting roughed up is perhaps the one thing that sets McInnis off, otherwise he doesn’t seek out fisticuffs.

“I play with (Kyle) Reynolds and Hoogie (Brandon Hoogenboom), who are not the biggest guys on the team,” said McInnis.

A Plymouth, Mass., native, McInnis said he would like to return home after his tour of duty with the Oilers and skate for one of six major universities in the Boston area. “They are all over the place, I’ve talked to BC (Boston College) a little bit,” said McInnis.

VanHereweghe said McInnis is committed to his hockey and his leadership skills are apparent. All through his minor career McInnis has been a captain and even though he doesn’t wear the ‘C’ with the Oilers, he still looks upon himself as a leader with the club.

“As a 20-year-old guy I have to set the tone for some of the guys who really don’t know the way,” said McInnis.

2 December 2009 by Rick Northrop - Staff Reporter. The Western Wheel

No comments: