Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
KELOWNA, B.C. --
It was a fun final day for me here in Kelowna.
It started in the morning with the pre-game skate, which was a lot of fun. Get the power play down pat -- just a good pre-game skate. Then we had pictures and stuff like that, went back to the hotel for a little bit of media. Got a good nap in before the game and got prepared.
One of the real highlights was getting to work with our coaches, Mark Recchi
and Ryan Huska
. Both those guys are so experienced, lots of knowledge. You can really learn from those guys. It was great to have them behind the bench.
Recchi actually showed off his three Stanley Cup rings. It was pretty amazing to see his first one, and then last year, the difference in the rings. He's wearing that one and it's weighting down his hand, it was so big. It was pretty cool to see.
When the game started, I wanted to make sure I had a good first shift, really wanted to get the legs moving. I had a pretty strong first shift, and just kept it solid and tried to improve my game from there.
The first period was really tight. I just wanted to have a good, solid period and not many mistakes and move the puck clean and get out. Go out there and work hard and battle and compete.
In the third period I got a chance for a big hit. I'm not sure I got. He was just coming down the boards and the puck was rolling on him, which made him look down at the puck. He was going wide and I got an opportunity to step up on him.
Bussieres came in and we bumped together and we both looked at each other. He told me we're going, so I dropped them.
Fighting wasn't something I was completely thinking about all game or wanted to do in a game like tonight but I knew if I was going to make a big hit, there could be a possibility a guy could jump in. But it was fun.
Overall it was a great experience, with great people. Off the ice it's really easy to get along and talk to the guys. We all have the same common goal and it's to get to the NHL. There's a lot of talk. It's fun being around the boys and it was a really fun game, as well.
For sure, I'll remember this one for a long time.