Terry Ryan doesn’t shy away from the fact that he chose to play with the Montreal Black Knights over Newfoundland and Labrador entries at national ball hockey tournaments throughout the 2000’s.
“I didn’t play with Newfoundland because they didn’t have a chance to win. They would go and get blown out,” says Ryan, who won a national title with Black Knights in 2008.
“Maybe looking back I could have been part of that, but I rejoined Newfoundland at the right time when it was headed in the right direction.”
That was in 2010 in St. John’s, when Ryan was part of the Newfoundland Black Horse team that included, among others, NHLers Adam Pardy and Teddy Purcell and former major junior players Scott Brophy and Patrick O’Keefe. The team would dominate the competition on its way to the national title that put the province back on the national ball hockey map.
After being bounced in the quarter-final round last year, Ryan and the Black Horse are in Edmonton this week for the national championships. And they are actually benefitting from Ryan’s prior connection to the Black Knights and the national program.
With players such as Donnie Gosse and Brad Greene, among a few others, unable to make it to Edmonton, Ryan reached out to the Montreal club and to secure the services of Mike Stinziani, Joey D’Amico and Paolo Musto. All three were members, along with Ryan and O’Keefe, of the Canadian team that claimed silver at the 2011 World Cup in Slovakia.
Evan Mosher, who played between the pipes in 2010 and last year, was also unable to make the trip this week, so the Black Horse have enlisted Edmonton goalie Tim Barlow, a graduate of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors who also played with Team Canada last year.
“Getting the three Black Knights and Barlow was huge,” says Ryan.
“I might be getting ahead of myself. We could blow it yet, but we’ve got a better, more solid foundation here this year than we did in Brampton last year. I think we’re one of the better teams here, if not the best team.”
“If we lose in the quarters again, then we’ve underachieved.”
The rest of the Black Horse roster includes locals Justin Barbour, Jeremy Bishop, Andrew Brennan, Peter Cabral, Andrew Dewland, Mike Dyke, Jordan Escott, Shaun Fagan, Chris Feltham, Tyler Gale, Chris Owens, Justin Pender, Chris Sparkes and coach Ian Moores.
The Black Horse opened with a 2-1 win over Manitoba Selects Tuesday. Escott and O’Keefe supplied the goals. They play twice today, first against the St. Michael's BHC then against the Calgary Phantoms.