Earlier this week we introduced PLAYER BLOGS here at soogreyhounds.com.
Today we feature the Hounds’ second pick in the 5th Round the 2011 OHL Priority Selection – TYLER GANLY.
Tyler was one of seven Greyhounds to participate in the 2011 Under 17 Provincial Camp in Thunder Bay, ON earlier this month.
“The day before leaving for Thunder bay could not have gone by any slower. The whole day was spent by over packing and sitting around nervous, anxious and thinking what was I was going to need to do up there to try and show the coaches what I can do best. After talking with Hounds’ GM Kyle Dubas and my agent Larry Stern, I learned from both of them that I should go up there calm and relaxed and play the game the way I always play. With little sleep because of all my nerves, I woke up nice and early for the 8:55 a.m. flight and was finally off for the hour and a half flight to Thunder Bay.
No one wanted to be the first person to make a mistake up there so everything went by orderly and fast and before we knew it we were already in our rooms at Lakehead University. I shared my room with Ryan Kujawinski, Danny Desrochers and Brendan Pheasant. It was great meeting new guys from other areas other than Toronto and areas around my home in Milton. The first day wasn’t too much and I just got settled in and got to meet my teammates who I’d be with for the rest of the week. With no on ice or off ice testing yet, I still had plenty of nerves running inside me, most of which were nerves for the days ahead to prove myself.
After a good nights rest I woke up and went down for breakfast with my team then headed out for our first early morning practice. I was excited for it because with all my nerves still inside me this first skate loosened me up so I was ready for the rest of the camp. Through the day we had a seminar on the mental aspect of the game, ate and did our fitness testing. I was excited to finally see how my strength and speed had improved from the beginning of the summer till now, before going out to our first game. This showed me that all my on and off ice summer conditioning was paying off. After the first couple of shifts I felt my comfort level on the ice improve and my game play picked up. Even though we got shutout 5-0, I felt I played a solid defensive game against Team White’s speedy offence. One day down with plenty more left.
The rest of the camp days followed the same type of order other then some of times changing. The days usually went as: breakfast, practice, seminar, rest time, game, snack, then finally curfew. Each day was long and tiring but it taught me that when I have the time to rest that I should take it. As each day and game went on, I felt as if my play was getting better and better. I was getting my sticks in shooting and passing lanes, blocking shots, getting shots towards the net, and winning my battles. From losing our first game 5-0, we came back and won our next two games 6-0, 6-5 and finally winning the gold medal game 3-2 in a rematch of game 1 against Team White.
The whole camp experience taught me a lot both on and off the ice. It taught me to always carry myself with composure because everyone is watching, to do everything to the best of my ability, and to play through pain and injuries to help my team. After playing through a long strenuous week, a fractured finger, and complete tiredness, I boarded the plane back to Toronto knowing that I showed my best up there for Sault Ste. Marie and I am now working out hard gearing up for main camp.