Award adds fuel to local hockey player’s desire

 

By Joel Charron

Chad Shepley has all the reason to work his tail off this summer.

Shepley, 19, a defenseman with the Jr. B team LaSalle Vipers was awarded the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League  (GOJHL) Western Conference defenseman of the month for January.

“It’s quite the honour,” said Shepley.

In January Shepley notched two goals and six assists to earn the monthly honour.

“In eight games, Shepley managed to score two goals and six assists against some fantastic teams. Constantly playing against the best forwards in the conference, Shepley still managed to play stellar hockey,” said the GOJHL in statement on the Vipers website.

Bill Weir, the GOJHL Western Conference convener presented Shepley with the award.

Shepley admits the award was something of a surprise.

“I never saw it coming,” he said. “It’s something that I don’t really think about. I just go

Amherstburg native and LaSalle Vipers defenseman Chad Shepley recorded two goals and six assists in eight games for GOJHL’s January player of the month.

out there, play my hardest and try to help out my team any way I can.”

In this first year with the Vipers, Shepley recorded six goals and 20 assists in 46 games.

Last year, Shepley played Jr. C hockey for the Essex 73’s. The 6’2” 195 pounds defenseman also helped the Amherstburg Midget majors win this first OMHA title in 35 years in 2010.

Shepley’s season has wrapped up after the London Nationals eliminated the Vipers from the playoffs. Shepley calls his first season with the Vipers “solid,” stating that the speed of the Jr. B game took some getting used to.

“The game is a lot faster,” he said. “Other than that I was able to adjust to playing at this level rather quickly. I had a first year, everything was awesome.”

Shepley said winning the player of the month motivates him to work harder to see how far he can take his hockey career.

“I would like to take my hockey career as far as it can go,” he stated. “This is really a confidence booster to try and get to the next level.”

While in the offseason, Shepley said he plans on finishing his second year of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor and start training for next season.

“I may rest for a few weeks but after that it’s right back at it,” he said. “You have to keep working hard if you want to continue to improve.”

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