Grizzly and Billet-mate Form Unique Friendship

There’s an obvious bond between Olds Grizzlys players when they take to the ice.

They support each other and have each other’s backs at all times.

And one member of the Grizzlys squad has made a strong, special bond off the ice with a fan and housemate.

Austin Kernahan, a six-foot-four forward on the team from Calgary, billets at a home in Olds owned by Michelle Hassard.

Now in his third year with the Grizzlys, Kernahan started coming to the house in his first year with the team when former Grizzly Sean Davies was billeting at the home.

He admits he was constantly raiding Hassard’s fridge and hanging out on her counter when he came over, but he also formed an “instant connection” with Hassard and Chad Jehn, who also calls Hassard’s house home.

Jehn, 25, lives with Down syndrome and as he and Kernahan spent time together, they developed a unique way of communicating with each other as, at the time, Jehn was only communicating through sign language or other non-verbal methods.

“When I first came in it was a struggle to understand but now I know pretty much everything he’s talking about,” Kernahan said. “There’s a lot of stuff that I’ll get that most people won’t.”

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