From the Hauser to the Pacific-Northwest: Green and Gold can be spotted everywhere
The Prince Albert Raiders have had some company on their road trip through the US Division the last couple of weeks. A handful of players’ parents have made the trip down to Washington State and Oregon to see their sons in action.
We were able to catch up with Eric Johnston’s parents, Neil and Charisse, to talk about how the trip has been for them.
“It’s been fantastic for us,” Neil said. “Charisse flew in to Seattle and I was in Kamloops for work, so I met up with my brother-in-law in Kelowna and we drove down on Sunday. We caught up with the guys in Seattle (on Tuesday) and we’ve been with them ever since.”
It’s not the first time that the Johnston’s have followed the team out west either.
“We followed the team through the BC Division last year. We made all the games except for Victoria and Vancouver. This year it’s our first time travelling through the US. We love the hockey and we love to watch the boys play. I know that they like to see the fan support while we’re there. The parents make it where they can, where it makes sense for them, and we were very fortunate that we had some vacation time to use up, and we came down here.”
The time spent on the road is beneficial for the players who get to spend more time bonding with each other, but it’s also a chance for parents to catch up with each other as well. This road trip has been a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect with each other.
“It’s a chance for everyone to socialize in different environments. The different arenas are great and all the different things going on. We got to catch up with some of the people we met at the parent-billet weekend back in Prince Albert, and we had the chance to meet parents that we haven’t had the chance yet to down here. It’s been really good that way.”
The Johnston’s, being the parents to Raider captain Eric Johnston, have seen their son come a long way in his hockey career. They say they’ve been fortunate to see Eric play on some great teams, just like the Raiders.
“He was fortunate enough as a young guy coming through to be captain, and he’s had some really good coaches and people that understood what it took to lead a team. He’s had some really good mentors throughout the years. He played a lot of football as well, which was really good in that aspect. He really got to learn what some of those leadership skills were, and we’re very very proud as parents.”
Travis Peardon, the father of Raider forward Cole Peardon, has also been on the road for the road trip, travelling with his wife Shannon. The two of them have been along for every game on the road trip, including the Raiders’ 4-2 win in Lethbridge which started the trip off. He shared how the trip has been for the two of them, as the road swing draws to a close tomorrow night in Wenatchee.
“It’s been awesome for us,” he said. “It’s been great to watch Cole play hockey with the Raiders, and this is kind of like a vacation for us too, so it’s been very enjoyable.”
The Peardon’s are from Outlook, Saskatchewan, so joining the team in the United States has been a very long road trip so far. Travis says the miles on the road have all been worth it to watch Cole hit the ice.
“We left Saskatchewan and pulled in to Lethbridge and just kept going, kept following the team. We haven’t missed a game Cole has played all season, actually. It’s been really exciting just to see him mature as a player. He’s become a lot more confident, and to be able to put his skill to work, it’s been something that has made us very proud of him. It’s been great to come on the road too and watch him play, and watch the Raiders play so good.
“We’ve gotten to know some of the parents over the last year, but spending time on the road with them has been special. We went out for supper with some of the other parents, and we all sit together at the games and it has been great. I think at one game there must have been about 50 Raider fans there, so it has just been awesome.”
The Raiders wrap up their seven game road trip tonight in Wenatchee against the Wild. Puck drop is 6pm Sask time.