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Cook contributes on ice, in community

After playing only four games last season – and those coming in front of a limited number of fans, Virden Oil Capitals forward Colin Cook is thrilled to be back on the ice and in the community.
Colin Cook
Colin Cook

It is the 20-year-old’s third and final season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. What excites the Brandon product about this campaign?

“Being able to play in front of a full rink will be a nice change from last year,” Cook said.

Last season the 6-foot, 173-pounder had three assists in four games as Virden posted the MJHL’s best record before the campaign was cancelled. Cook is pointless through three contests this season.

“He is a great skater and shoots the puck really well,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “He can play a physical game and be a hard player to play against.”

Cook is an important contributor to the Oil Capitals organization in ways that do not show up on scoresheet.

“Colin is a very respectful person who works hard and cares tremendously about his team,” Ramsey said. “He loves volunteering, and he is a great role model for our younger guys.”

Last season Cook was named to the RBC Manitoba Junior Hockey League Community Ambassador Team in recognition of his efforts to give back to the community. One player from each MJHL team received the honour. Shortly after it was announced, Cook told this reporter that one of his favourite community activities is going to schools in Virden and Elkhorn for I Love to Read Month. Last season the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the activities Cook and his teammates were able to do in the community.

“This year we are planning on being more involved with the community now that more restrictions are lowered,” Cook said, “It’ll be good to get out in the community and volunteering again.”

Cook developed his game in his hometown of Brandon. One of his coaches there was Ramsey. The Oil Capitals tabbed Cook in the fourth round of the 2016 MJHL Draft. He was pleased to be able to play just down the Trans-Canada Highway from where he grew up.

“Playing close to home is great,” Cook said. “My family is able to come out to more games.”

He said the support from the community in Virden has been great. As well, he has appreciated living with the family of Perry Meikle and Tara Forster-Meikle for all three of his junior hockey seasons.
“They have treated me very well throughout my time in Virden,” Cook said. “I wouldn’t want to stay anywhere else.”