By Breanne Massey
A 20-year-old goaltender from Grand Forks who led the Penticton Vees to the BC Hockey League playoff victory this season has been recruited at the national collegiate level.
Kaeden Lane is joining Northern Michigan University this fall as a student athlete in the NCAA Division 1.
Lane was named playoff Most Valuable Player with a 1.53 goals against average and a .937 save percentage in the BCHL playoffs.
Fred Harbinson, Vees head coach and general manager, said Lane and the team have been ultra-focused this past season.
“Each and every day, they came with a plan to get better. They didn’t wait until game night to bring that kind of intensity,” Harbinson said. “They educated themselves about their opponents, and personally made sure they were ready to go.”
Harbinson says the strongest athletes stay in the present moment, and conduct regular self-assessments.
Lane said the first game in playoffs – the Vees’ only loss – forced him to re-evaluate the way that he was playing and make changes to focus on continuous improvement.
“Obviously, I’m not the biggest guy at 5’11, so that makes it a lot more difficult to play professional hockey in some peoples’ eyes, but I just want to keep getting better every day, and I think if I can get one per cent better in all aspects of my life — not just in hockey — every day, that will eventually compound into something bigger,” he explained.
Lane, who lived in Grand Forks until Grade 8 and is back in the community for training, is eager to return to school this fall to keep his mind and body active through the pursuit of studying sports science.
“I’m a big believer in playing other sports and taking time off. I’m taking June off, which is key mentally to doing well,” Lane said.
“I’m doing that, and then I’m going to be training in Penticton this summer and I leave in August.
“I think so many kids nowadays end up playing hockey 12 months of the year, and by the time they’re 18, they don’t really love hockey anymore because they’ve been doing it for eight years straight, so I think it’s good to take time away from it and to do other things.”