This week your Strathmore Motor Products King of the Week is a hometown rookie!

Gavin Smith is in his first year playing with the Strathmore Wheatland Kings and his biggest highlight for the season is a pretty personal one, “It's gotta be the first time I scored a goal with them. We have some big crowds coming in and the place erupts pretty much and it's something that I won't forget playing with the Kings.”

After that first goal, Gavin was sure to hang onto that puck as a reminder of that moment.

It has been a tough start to 2022 for the Kings with 2 losses last weekend. The team has three games on the schedule this coming weekend one away and two at home and Gavin said the team has been putting in a lot of hard work this week to get ready to play at home for the first time in 2022.

“Well, we need to play physical and shoot quality shots on net, little things like that will really improve our game and get us to beat these more physical teams that we play for two of the three games.”

Getting to play at this level hockey is not an easy road for players and requires the support of many people along the way, there wasn’t one major person that Gavin could single out as being one major impact in his life, for him it was all of his coaches who offered different advice and support over the years.

“Each one of them has taught me something different, like playing more physical for my size, I’m a big guy, and you know, working on my hands just various things that I couldn't have done with just one person and I gotta appreciate every single one.”

Getting to step into junior hockey and playing consistently this season is something that Gavin has taken a lot of pride in and when asked about what makes a good hockey player it came down to one thing, “Just having a passion for the game, being a part of the team learning from various people, your peers, your teammates or coaches just being around it and loving it. That really makes it the best sport there is.”

Gavin continued to say if he was to offer advice to younger players who come out to watch the Kings games it’s simple, “Just love the game, watch it, play it, learn it, it never gets old.”

Gavin is from Strathmore and getting to play in front of the Strathmore crowd is something very special for him, he said that the crowds and the support that they show the team is something the players thrive on.  Playing in other towns they don’t see the big crowds like they do at home, it means a lot to the team to see their stands full and the crowd cheering them on win or lose.

The Strathmore Wheatland Kings will be at home this weekend on Saturday night with an 8 p.m. start and again Sunday afternoon when the puck drops at 4:15 p.m. find more details and these games and all of the home games this season when you visit