The Alberta Junior Hockey League and Viterra are proud to recognize one volunteer from each member team through the Viterra AJHL Volunteer Profile during the 2015-2016 season. At the end of the regular season, one volunteer in both the Viterra AJHL North Division & Viterra AJHL South Division will be presented with the Viterra Salute to Service Award recognizing their service and commitment to the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
- Name: Bryan Watt
- AJHL Team: Lloydminster Bobcats
- Role: Goal Judge
- Number of Years Volunteering: 20 years, 10 as billet and 10+ as goal judge
- Why I Volunteer: It’s the way I was raised, to help out. Have played, coached, reffed and this is a fun way to stay involved in the game.
- Occupation: Receiver at Sobeys
- Favorite AJHL Memory: Multi overtime game (51 min 12 sec) back in 2000 vs. Ft Mac
- Favorite AJHL Player: Present – Evan Tschumi Past – Ryan Waldner
A tribute from the Bobcats:
This year, the Lloydminster Bobcats would like to recognize long time goal judge and former billet Bryan Watt in the Viterra Volunteer Profile.
For the last 20 years, Bryan Watt has been a valuable member of the Bobcats and Blazers organization, serving for ten years as a billet and for over ten years as goal judge. He has always been a low-maintenance volunteer who has been willing to commit his personal time for the good of the team, and has stayed on through some trying times in the organization’s history.
“It’s the way I was raised, to help out,” said Watt on why he feels it’s important to commit time and energy as a volunteer. “I’ve played hockey, coached hockey, and officiated hockey, so this is a fun way to stay involved in the game.”
Working as a receiver at the Sobey’s grocery store in Lloydminster, Watt is able to strike a balance between his career and his personal interests which draw him to the rink on many nights every winter. Over his 20 years with the Bobcats and Blazers, the memory that stands out the most in his mind happened over 15 years ago.
In 2000, the Lloydminster Blazers found themselves facing off against a tough Fort McMurray Oil Barons squad in the AJHL’s North Division semi-final. The Oil Barons ended up winning the series 4-1, but three of the games were decided in overtime. One particular night in Lloydminster, the two teams battled for 51:12 before a puck went in off of a Blazers defenceman to give the Oil Barons the win. That night, current Edmonton Oilers goaltender coach Dustin Schwartz made over 70 saves for the Blazers before being beat in the third overtime period, in what currently stands as the fifth longest overtime game in AJHL history. Watt remembers that series well, as Blazers leading scorer Travis Barnes was ineligible to play due to NCAA restrictions after turning 21 in the spring, but the team gave the Royal Bank Cup hosts all they could handle.
Over the years, Bryan has seen many players come through Lloydminster, playing for both the Blazers and the Bobcats, but his favourite player from the past is Ryan Waldner. Waldner was a member of the Blazers during the time of that Fort McMurray series, and scored 23 points in 60 games that season to go with 119 penalty minutes. Waldner billeted with Watt for his three years before being traded to Spruce Grove. After going to the Saints, Waldner found himself in another marathon game that took 79:40 of overtime before the Camrose Kodiaks scored to win game 5 of the AJHL final by a score of 6-5. This stands as the longest overtime game in AJHL history.
Currently, the player that stands out the most to Watt is Evan Tschumi, who committed to Colgate University prior to this season as a stellar campaign as a 17 year-old last year. Watt will continue to watch Tschumi and the rest of the Bobcats from one of the best seats in the house as they continue their push towards the RBC Cup in Lloydminster this May.
The Bobcats organization would like to thank Bryan Watt for his many contributions to the team over the years, and look forward to having him on board into the future.