Sports

Sockeyes fighting cancer

By Don Fennell

Published 12:33 PDT, Tue October 31, 2017

His play on the ice only begins to tell what kind of leader Tyler Andrews is.

The Richmond Sockeyes captain is the team’s leading scorer (third in the Pacific Junior Hockey League) with 30 points in his first 14 games. But it could be argued he’s playing an even bigger role off the ice.

Andrews is spearheading his team’s fight against cancer.

During the 2016-17 season, the Sockeyes wore pink socks during the month of October to bring awareness to breast cancer. They’re doing the same again this year, but taking it to the next level by also creating a fundraiser to further cancer research.

As a team, the Sockeyes have pledged to donate $10 for every goal they score, and $50 for every win throughout October and November to bring awareness to breast cancer and prostate cancer. The goal is to reach $500, and you can show your support by making a donation during the team’s home games Thursday nights, or through the team’s fundraising page at http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/IFE_BC/IFE_BC_?team_id=367196pg=teamfr_id=16335#.Wdcw1hNSyqB (copy and paste, please).

“Cancer is a disease that affects everyone, and we would sincerely appreciate if you could donate to the cause,” Andrews says. “The money raised from this fundraiser will help fund leading-edge cancer research that is improving cancer treatments, preventing cancer and saving lives; providing reliable and up-to-date information on cancer, risk reduction and treatment; offering vital community-based support services for people living with cancer and their families; and advocating for healthy public policies.”

Andrews, 20, had eight points in 14 games last season before being sidelined by injuries. He had 38 points in 44 games the previous season.

Sockeyes’ coach Steve Robinson isn’t surprised by Andrews’ efforts—either on the ice or off it.

“I never coached Andrew before this year, and I’m just getting to know him, but it’s clear he’s mature beyond his years,” says Robinson. “He’s a busy guy. He works and goes to school, yet when you see him at the rink he’s completely focused in (on hockey). He never takes a practice off, and always seems to have his head in order.”

As early as the second game of the season, Robinson saw Andrews’ character on full display. He couldn’t help but to be impressed.

With the Sockeyes trailing visiting Port Moody Panthers 4-1 late in the third period, Andrews scored three goals in under four minutes to send the game into overtime before the Panthers won it.

“He’s always been a hard-working, solid scorer but this shows when he stays healthy he can be a dynamic player who can change a game,” says Robinson. “He has a will to pursue pucks and work harder than anybody else on the ice.”

Robinson said the cancer fundraiser was Andrews’ own initiative.

“He’s not overly vocal, but clearly a heart-and-soul guy just by the way he conducts his own business,” Robinson says. “I’m very proud of him.”

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