White with Hitmen for life

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:26 PM ET

If he werent so busy, Ryan White would likely be spending countless hours watching hockey this spring.

After all, his former junior team, the Calgary Hitmen, is chasing a Memorial Cup crown.

And his future NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens, is fighting to extend their fairytale run to the Stanley Cup finals.

For White, though, living in the present aint bad, either.

Now in his second professional campaign, the 22-year-old centre is among the reasons the American Hockey Leagues Hamilton Bulldogs are just two victories away from advancing to the Calder Cup final.

(The Canadiens) have been on a great run and thats nice to see because when you parent club is doing well, its great for the organization, White said. But the best part about it is that were doing well down here and that were the only team left in the NHL with two teams playing right now, so its a big accomplishment for both of us.

Were wishing them the best of luck and were hoping for the best for ourselves, as well.

Heading into Fridays clash in the Lonestar State, White and his Bulldogs teammates lead the Texas Stars 2-1 in the AHLs best-of-seven Western Conference final series.

After suiting up for 16 regular-season outings with the Habs this winter, theres little doubt White wouldve been included among the black aces for Montreals NHL playoff push. With the Bulldogs still skating, though, the extras are busy battling for a trophy of their own.

This is the best thing that can happen to any hockey player. Its what you wish for every year, White said. Ive been pretty fortunate being on some teams that have made some runs but just havent been able to close it out, and I think this year, it just feels like we have the right group to do it.

Through 15 post-season outings, White has notched four goals and added five assists. Thanks to a pair of misconducts, the gritty pivot also leads the Bulldogs in playoff penalty minutes, with 43.

In the meantime, hes also keeping tabs on former junior teammates Martin Jones, Brandon Kozun, Ian Schultz and Michael Stone.

White spent four seasons with the Hitmen from 2004-08 before graduating to the pro ranks, and his Brandon-based parents have been flying Calgary colours at Westman Place this week.

Im a Hitmen for life, White said. Ive been watching the Hitmen all through their run and Ive been one of their biggest fans. Its been a big year for them ... Im wishing them all the best of luck in Brandon.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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