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Dumba: Still pushing hard to finish season

by Matt Dumba
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 that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

It's been a rough month for us here in Red Deer, but it's nice to finally be home.

With the Scotties here in Red Deer -- it's the Canadian women's curling championship -- we got kicked out of our rink for two and a half weeks. So we made our swing out west and then back east. We played some really good teams and we're happy with the record we had on the road. Lately we've been .500, but the team's been working hard and it's been good to see.

We won't be making the playoffs this season -- we were eliminated over the weekend -- but with three games left, it's a matter of working hard and competing in the situation we're in and making the most of it.

Being on the road, it's tough. It wears on you, your body. Every game we played, we came out and worked and battled as hard as we should have and gave ourselves an opportunity to win almost every game. The coaching staff was happy about that and we're happy we showed that consistent work ethic.

And we were able to play well with so many guys injured. It's almost a joke. We laugh about it, how many injuries we have. Eight or nine regulars have been out. We only had four defensemen for about a month or something and we've been playing with five defensemen ever since. But it's been fun logging those minutes and I'm happy I'm helping my teammates out the best I can.

I'm pretty happy with my game. I think it's been really consistent. Throughout the games on the road there were times where there were a couple games where as a team we weren't playing our best hockey and I had one game in there where I didn't play my best. But beside that, the last month has been really good. I've been feeling really good, been battling and competing, doing all the little things my team has asked for.

We did have some fun on the road. We had a 20-hour bus ride from Vancouver to Prince Albert, and some of the older guys, the second-year veterans and some of the other guys, we stayed up and got our shaving cream and got a bunch of the guys while they were sleeping.

Our focus right now is taking it one day at a time, one period at a time, one shift at a time. That's what we emphasize around here. If you win or lose, the big thing is knowing that you went out there and gave your all. Be able to look your teammates in the face and look in the mirror at the end of the night and be satisfied with your effort, know you couldn't have done any more.

Thanks for reading.
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