No on-ice activities for the prospects Friday, it’s all about team building on day four of Canucks prospects camp and it began bright and early.
The players were up at the crack of dawn to load a team bus that delivered them to Grouse Mountain for the hike of all hikes, the Grouse Grind. All 36 prospects partook in what we at Canucks.com have dubbed the Stairway to Heaven; divided into groups they each conquered the grind hoping for a combined time faster than the others.
Speed is the goal on the grind, but the 2.9 kilometre hike, which has participants starting 900 feet above sea level at the base and finishing 3,700 feet above sea level at the summit, has a 2,800-foot elevation from the 2,830 steps that lead hikers up the mountain and it takes stamina and mental stability to make it to the top.
That’s precisely what the six-some of Kevin Connauton, Jonathan Lilahti, Alex Friesen, Jeremy Price, Pierre-Olivier Morin and Kevan Miller had in winning the grind competition with a time of 44:53, 37 seconds better than the closest group behind them.
Connauton and Price repeat as camp champs on the Grouse Grind as second year vets now.
”*panting* I need some water before I tweet,” Connauton tweeted through @VanCanucks after the grind. “Wow what a climb. My team was great we pushed right to the end. Really happy to be finished with the grind.”
To the Canucks coaching staff, it’s not just about getting through the grind, it’s about the journey to the top with the players relying on one another for support.
“The purpose of the grind is that it’s something kind of different and while we’re hockey, hockey, hockey, at the same time you want them to get a little bit of a feel of what the city is about and what the province has to offer,” said Stan Smyl, senior advisor to Gillis.
“The Grouse Grind is very well known throughout North America and it’s a team building exercise. A lot of them haven’t done it and they’re nervous, but the guys that have done it before help them out.
“It’s a great accomplishment once you get to the top and there’s no better way to finish the week then standing at the top of a mountain looking over Vancouver.”
The results for the trek are as follows:
1st place: Miller, Ilahti, Friesen, Price, Morin, Connauton (44:53)
2nd place: Fraser, Polasek, Ellis, Zurevinski, Sauve (45:30)
3rd place: Rodin, Houser, McNally, Henry, Ellington (46:29)
4th place: Schneider, Matson, Fedum, Andersson, Volpatti (51:10)
5th place: Cannata, Oberg, Edwards, Tochkin, Scroeder (51:30)
6th place: Jordan, Anthony, Kinkaid, Clark, Tanev, Hannay (51:38)
NOONER AT THE NAT
The Canucks prospects took a well-deserved break from training following the Grouse Grind with a visit to Nat Bailey Stadium to take in an afternoon ball game watching the Vancouver Canadians.
The guys took in come vitamin D, a few ballpark dogs, and a 3-1 win over the Yakima Bears of Washington state.