After playing for the Ghostriders for two games, newcomer power-forward Coleton Dawson, has already made an impact, both physically through big open ice hits and on the scoreboard through two assists Friday and two goals Saturday.
The team’s coach, Craig Mohr believes that Dawson has integrated into the team well and adds some size and power that the team needed.
“Got to give a big tip of the hat to Coleton Dawson. Comes in, gets here at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, gets set up in the billet house and comes back here to get two beautiful assists [Friday] and bags two really nice goals tonight,” said Mohr after the Ghostriders 8-2 win against the Golden Rockets. “We have been looking to add some size and sandpaper up front. We were looking to get a little bigger, a little tougher, a little meaner up front and you know what, I knew he had pretty good hands too, but for a big body he sure has some puck skills. He played very well.”
Hailing from Nelson B.C., Dawson has played on multiple teams over his career, with eight team moves, both inside and outside of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).
Dawson was an alternate player for the Nelson Leafs when he was 16 before bouncing around to other teams, including the Beaver Valley Nighthawks, the Revelstoke Grizzlies and the Grand Forks Border Bruins.
“I went down to California to play for the Ontario Avalanche in the WSHL [Western States Hockey League] and then I came back up this season starting in Bow Valley, now I’m in Fernie,” said Dawson. “The guys like to chirp me and call my a suitcase but whatever, I’m having fun.”
Despite the friendly heckling of Dawson’s team mates, he has seemed to successfully integrate into the Fernie squad.
“The guys are open, it’s pretty easy actually. They have just been wide open. I am not playing any different, things are just clicking and going right,” said Dawson
Although he is 20 and in his last eligible season in the KIJHL, Dawson had more offers from teams than he expected.
“It’s cool, a 20-year-old and there are only five spots per team. So I didn’t think any teams would call me. I was thinking of going to 100 Mile House, they have a really good team. They are second in their division,” said Dawson. “I got a call from Craig [Mohr] and that didn’t take long. I decided over night. I remember playing maybe a total of five games here and it was just packed. Packed with Aussies and I just love the atmosphere, it’s a fun place to play.”
Coach Mohr believes he is a good fit as well, as he is immediately fitting in with the Ghostriders.
“Sometimes you just find the good fit. He is someone we were looking to add,” said Mohr. “It’s his last year and it’s kind of his last kick at the can and he is getting along with the guys in the room right off the bat and it looks like it will be a nice little marriage here.”
Dawson believes his physical play-style is one of the reasons why he was offered a spot on the Ghostrider roster.
“I think a couple of years ago I led the league in penalty minutes, and I shouldn’t be proud of it, but I am. I like throwing the body around, I am not really a goal scorer, but it seemed like it was working out today for me,” said Dawson after Saturday’s Ghostrider win. “It’s good. I like the guys I’m playing with so far and it’s working, it’s clicking, I am glad I’m here.”