From Sault This Week
By Randy Russon
Chase Muswagon has ventured approximately 1,200 miles from home to enroll in the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Technician program at Sault College and play for the varsity Cougars men’s hockey team.
Hailing from The Pas, Man., the 21-year-old Muswagon is settling into his first year of student life at Sault College.
Muswagon recently arrived in Sault Ste. Marie with his parents, Diana and Ernest Muswagon, following a 21-hour drive from The Pas. He said he is already “loving it” in the Sault.
“It seems like a really great little community,” Muswagon told Sault This Week. “I have already met a lot of really nice people and I am loving it at school and getting back to playing some hockey.”
A six-foot, 180-pound, right-hand-shooting defenceman, Muswagon is coming off of a 2021-2022 season in which he helped the Dryden Ice Dogs to a third place finish during the Superior International Jr. Hockey League regular season and through two rounds of the playoffs. Regular season and playoffs included, Muswagon had one goal, six assists, seven points and 59 penalty minutes in 40 games while enhancing his reputation as a defensive defenceman and character individual.
Muswagon said he “loved playing in Dryden. It became a second home to me and my billet family became like a second family.” Muswagon also said he learned a lot about hockey from Dryden head coach Kurt Walsten.
“I loved playing for Kurt,” said Muswagon. “He is a great guy and he has a lot of hockey knowledge that he passes on to his players. It was a great experience playing for the Ice Dogs and playing for Kurt.”
Charly Murray, who is the head scout and recruiter for Sault College, which competes within the Division 2, American Collegiate Hockey Association as the only Canadian school, made a point of recruiting Muswagon for the 2022-2023 season.
“We are just so pleased to have Chase, who seems like a solid young man from a very supportive family. I take pride in my indigenous recruits who graduate from Sault College to solid future careers while having played the game we love at the same time,” Murray relayed to Sault This Week. “A prior example of a young indigenous man who played for us as a forward and recently graduated is Alex Paul, who has become a police constable. Alex, as you know, played (four seasons) with the French River Rapids of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.”
Meanwhile, a former teammate of Muswagon’s in Dryden is also enrolled at Sault College and will play for the Cougars this season. He is forward Pineshish Whiteduck, another indigenous lad who made the Cougars as a walk on after attending their tryout camp in early May of this year. He is studying Business at Sault College.
A 21-year-old from Maniwaki, Que., the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Whiteduck totaled two goals, seven assists, nine points in 28 games, regular season and playoffs included, for Dryden during the 2022 segment of the ’21-‘22 SIJHL season. A shutdown forward with energy and speed, Whiteduck was acquired by Dryden from the Espanola Paper Kings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League at the Jan. 10 trade deadline.
“These are two young men who we did our homework on and came highly recommended to us,” Murray said of Muswagon and Whiteduck. “From the hockey end, I am confident that both Chase and Pineshish will be among our key players this coming season as we hope to bring another ACHA championship to Sault College. And you and I both know that the Dryden Ice Dogs have a very good reputation as an extremely reputable junior A program that is always at the top or near the top of the standings out there in the Superior league.”
Notably, Muswagon and Whiteduck became good friends while playing together in Dryden and are now roommates in the student residence at Sault College.
(Originally published at https://www.saultthisweek.com/sports/local-sports/chase-is-on-at-sault-college-muswagon-travelled-1200-miles-from-his-home-for-school-and-hockey)