WHLer shows love with tattoo

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

With the kind of numbers Ryan Howse has been putting up, you could probably cut him some slack if it went to his head a bit.

But spend five minutes with the young man, and it becomes obvious that’s never going to happen.

The Chilliwack Bruins superstar is as grounded as a 19-year-old can possibly be.

He’s got a tattoo on the inside of his forearm that says ‘sacrifice.’

And while that’s a catch-phrase for hockey players, it has a special meaning for the Calgary Flames draft pick.

His mom successfully battled breast cancer right before he moved away when he was 15.

He plans to incorporate the names of his mom, dad and brother (Roxanne, Jason and Dryden) into the design, along with the breast cancer ribbon and the phrase ‘hope and faith.’

“When I look at this every day, it reminds me how tough things can be at times, but if you work through it you can get through anything and accomplish anything,” Howse said.

The tattoo is a testament to his family’s commitment to each other.

“(It’s about) all the hard work they’ve done to get me where I am,” he said. “It’s not just me. Sometimes people think it’s about the player, how he got there and accomplished so much, but the person who’s there knows who played the biggest parts.

“It was my family. They’re waking up a 6 a.m. and driving me to practice. They’re buying my equipment. They’re putting the money together to let me play.

“When my mom was going through the hard time, it was tough to see. Dryden was five years old, and if he would have lost his mom and me to hockey, I don’t know how he would have turned out.

“I don’t even know if I’d be here right now. I probably would have stayed home. It shows how strong my mom is and she did a good job and so did my dad.”

Howse has also done a great job on the ice.

The Prince George product piled up 14 goals and 23 points in the first 13 games of the season.

“I think I’ve surprised myself,” he said. “It was a pretty strong start to the season. I’ve got a lot of help from my two linemates (Czechs Roman Horak and Robin Sudek).

“They’re from the same home town and played a lot together. They’ve made me a better hockey player.”

The Vancouver Giants found out just how good when he scored a hat-trick against — in 59 seconds!

“It seemed the puck just came to me every time and I had that chance,” he said. “I think it was a little lucky, but you’ve got to be lucky sometimes.”

You’ve also gotta be good to be lucky.

Howse was recently named t Team WHL for the Subway Super Series against the Russians, where he’ll play in his home town.

A good performance there could put Howse on Team Canada’s world junior squad.

“It’s in the back of my mind, and I’m trying to prepare myself for that tryout if I get that opportunity,” he said.

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca


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