There was a point during the summer when Regan Doig felt his hockey career may be over.
But after being accepted in RDC and as the summer wore on all that changed.
“I was debating if I’d play hockey again, but I was already accepted in RDC and I heard the team (Kings) may be short (of bodies) and decided to talk with Trevor (head coach Keeper) and it all worked out.”
Keeper talked with Doig at the end of his Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season with the Battleford North Stars.
“I watched a lot of games the top junior teams played and that includedBattleford and with Regan from Olds we talked at the end of his season. At the time he indicated he was looking at Lethbridge and not playing hockey,” Keeper explained. “I kind of let it slide and then he showed up at the Gary W Harris Centre and talked about coming out.
“He hadn’t been on the ice during the summer, so he was a bit behind … got off to a slower start, but by the third week we had a couple of injuries, he got in and played well.”
Regan has played five games and scored once, but he’s not overly concerned with his stats.
“I don’t really look at my stats … I’m don’t consider myself a goal scorer I’m more of a team player. I love killing penalties, and playing an intense game and working the corners. If points come that’s great but team success is most important.”
Keeper likes everything about the six-foot-one, 185-pound forward.
“He worked hard in practice and the guys took notice,” he said. “He’s not afraid to forecheck, get into the corners first and take a hit to make the play. He skates good, is competitive, gritty and feisty.”
Regan has showed that style from the time he took to the ice and doesn’t plan on changing.
“I play hard-nosed game and I’m willing to get into the dirty areas. That’s the way I play and I’m not going to change no matter what league I play in.”
Regan grew up in Hanna, playing competitive hockey in Brooks and Medicine Hat.
“I played bantam AA in Brooks, then AAA bantam and minor midget in Medicine Hat,” he explained. “When I was 16 we moved to Olds and played two years with the Red Deer midget AAA Chiefs. I loved Red Deer and the city and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back here and go to school.”
Doig played two full seasons with the Okotoks Oilers in the AJHL before being traded to the North Stars.
“I enjoyed my two years in Okotoks, but going into my 20-year-old season I talked with the coach and asked him what my role would be. My first two years I was on the fourth line, used as a penalty killer and checker.
“He told me I’d have the same role, so I asked if I could be traded and fortunately I was sent to Battleford.”
All the North Stars did was win the SJHL title before losing to Portage in the Anavet Cup.
“I got an opportunity to play a more offensive role in Battleford, got more playing time, got more confidence and grew as a player which definitely helps me here.”
Regan couldn’t be happier in that he decided to join the Kings.
“It’s different than junior for sure,” he said. “I junior you have a lot of time on your hands … you’re kind of bored, but here you have a schedule with schooling, practices and games … it’s good.”
Doig is the only rookie forward with the Kings.
“I’m playing with a lot of older guys and that’s 10 times easier than junior. The guys know what to expect and they help me get through everything and the communication is way better.”
The ACAC is also highly competitive
“I followed it a bit when I was in junior, but once you get here you realize how high end it is … it’s been a lot of fun.”
One of the reasons Regan decided to attend RDC was to get into the Justice Program, which he will next year.
“It’s a two-year program, but I could stretch it out a bit more … we’ll see,” he said.
With the midget Chiefs Doig played in the old Arena, and admits he loved it.
“One of my favourites, but this (Gary W Harris Centre) is super nice and with everything in one place after school I can come work out and then go to practice. It’s a nice fit.”
The Kings, who sit second in the ACAC with a 6-1-1 record, one point back of NAIT (7-1-0). They travel to Lac La Biche today and Saturday for a twin bill against Portage. They return home Nov. 22-23 for two games against Briercrest.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org