M. icers’ Garbutt ’09 gabs about growing up in Canada

Friday, February 9, 2007

Last weekend, Ryan Garbutt ’09 recorded his first collegiate hat trick, leading the Bears to a 6-3 victory over No.18 Quinnipiac University. On the year, Garbutt ranks third on the team in goal-scoring with seven, and he is eighth on the team in points with 10.

Herald: What was special about your first collegiate hat trick? Explain the goals.

Garbutt: I sat out the night before in our 1-1 tie to Princeton because of undisciplined play. Then against Quinnipiac, (Head Coach Roger) Grillo had the confidence to put me on the first power play. It was the first time I got in on a power play this season and I scored on a broken play. We have such talented players on our power play it was easy to get the other goal and assist. The third goal was a result of hard work by Devin Timberlake (’10) and a great pass by Aaron Volpatti (’10). They are both Canadian and the two hardest hitters I’ve ever played with.

Do the Canadians try to stick together?

We actually play games in practice where the Canadian players take on the American players. We switch jerseys and the battles tend to heat up. We fight for pride.

What do you miss most about Canada?

I spend a lot of time at outdoor rinks and everyone loves hockey. My last year playing in Canada was when the NHL lockout occurred, so many people focused a lot more on the hockey in the city because they couldn’t follow the NHL. They love to follow hockey no matter the level of play. We also had five guys who went on to play at NCAA programs, so we did have a good team.

Do you root for any teams that aren’t Canadian?

I was born in Edmonton and raised as an Oilers fan. My dad was a goaltender and he played a few games for the Edmonton Oilers before he became the broadcaster for the Oilers through their five Stanley Cups. But I do like the Colorado Avalanche. One of my friends Tyler Arnason plays for the team. My roommate Sean Muncy (’10) has a friend, Paul Stastny, who plays for them as well. We hear they are good buddies like me and Munce, and like to have a good time off the ice.

Did you ever meet former Oilers star Wayne Gretzky?

Yes, a few times. I got to meet everyone on the team when my dad worked there. I was pretty little, but I still remember it. My dad is still friends with all of them.

What is the best Canadian-related sporting event you can remember?

Well, I was very young in 1992 and 1993 when the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series. It was very exciting when the Oilers went to the Stanley Cup

Finals in 2006, although they lost to those brutal Carolina Hurricanes. When a Canadian team goes to the Stanley Cup, the entire country jumps on the bandwagon. Since the Oilers were still playing for the cup in April it gave Brian McNary (’08) and myself a chance to train with the speed training coach of the Edmonton Oilers for a week. This was possible through my dad’s connections with the Oilers, and it was definitely beneficial.

What is the team’s mindset going into this weekend?

It’s our longest road trip of the season. We take an eight-and-a-half hour bus ride to St. Lawrence (University) and Clarkson (University in New York). It’s fun for the guys. We watch movies or play cards on the bus, if we’re not talking about goons and chirpin’ Rose. We seem to play better against good teams, and they both have proven to be tough to play against. St. Lawrence has a cool rink that’s almost like playing in an old barn. It’s all made of wood. If you lit a match you would set the whole place on fire. Plus, I have extra incentive to play well against St. Lawrence because they were one of the schools recruiting me.