Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tyler Soy of the Victoria Royals (8) works with Kolton Dixon (23) and
goaltender Partik Polivka to keep the puck from Chase Souto (12) and Cole Ully
of the Blazers on Saturday at Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops.

(Murray Mitchell / Kamloops Daily News)
It was getting late on Saturday night and the Victoria Royals were preparing to head to a postgame meal.
Before enjoying a repast, Tyler Soy was enjoying the moment.
And why wouldn’t he?
On Friday night, Soy, a Surrey native who will turn 16 on Feb. 10, had scored his first WHL goal as the Royals dumped the Giants 6-2 in Vancouver.
The next night, he got to play in a hack-and-whack chirpfest as the Royals went into Kamloops and beat the Blazers, 5-4.
Soy, who attends the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton and was the eighth overall
Tyler Soy, the Victoria Royals' first selection
in the WHL's 2012 bantam draft.
(Victoria Royals photo)
selection in the WHL‘s 2012 bantam draft, took a fairly regular shift and saw some power-play time, including late in the third period, in what was his fourth game with the Royals.
Soy’s story, however, involves more than hockey.
In 2004, his mother, Sandy, was diagnosed with complete kidney failure due to complications from lupus. There was no warning. None.
For the next six years, Sandy spent every night hooked up to a cycler — a machine that allows the user to undergo peritoneal dialysis while at home.
For more than six years, Sandy performed this nightly ritual.
Once a month, an order for supplies would be placed. A few days later, a truck would show up and everything would be unloaded, included boxes and boxes of fluid, all of which is used in the dialysis process.
“Our whole garage was full,” Tyler said. “We couldn’t put the car in there any more.”
Sandy’s husband, Michael, told me via email that “we became used to the routine . . . Tyler had to grow up very fast . . . as he carried boxes, re-filled supplies and watched every night as his mom connected to a machine that kept her alive . . .“
All the while, the Soys were searching for a kidney for Sandy. Due to difficulties finding a donor, it took more than six years before a match was found.
“The doctors basically told us not to get our hopes up,” Tyler said, “because her blood type was so rare. . . . and then to be able to finally get her a transplant meant so much to all of us.”
In October 2010, a donor was found through the Living Donor Exchange registry. An anonymous donor would give up a kidney for Sandy. At the same time, Michael would donate one of his kidneys to an anonymous recipient.
“As the other half of the ‘exchange’ partnership,” Michael wrote, “I was honoured to donate a kidney to an unknown patient . . . on Nov. 9, 2010.”
The very next day, Sandy received her ‘new’ kidney.
After more than six years, the Soy family looked upon all of this as a miracle.
“It showed me how strong they are,” Tyler said of his parents. “For my dad to give up one of his kidneys so my mom could get one is really special.”
Speaking of special, Mom and Dad were in the Pacific Coliseum on Friday night when Tyler scored his goal.
“It was a dump-in from centre that bounced the right way and went in,” Tyler said with a laugh. “That was something special.”
In years to come, he will have shown a burst of speed down the right side and the shot will have gone top shelf.
“Oh yeah,” he said, still grinning. “For sure.”
One night later, Soy played fairly regularly and even saw some power-play time, including late in the third period of a one-goal game, as the Royals won a chippy affair in Kamloops. Mom and Dad were in the stands for that one, too.
“It was a pretty rough game,” Tyler said. “High intensity . . . I don’t mind.”
And then it was back to Vancouver so that he could catch a plane to Penticton on Sunday.
You can bet, though, that he will be back in Victoria.
If you haven’t filled in your organ donor card, please do so.
The Tri-City Americans will be adding G Troy Trombley to their roster for the remainder of the season. He returned to Melville, Sask., on Sunday to get this car and is expected to rejoin the Americans on Wednesday. He had been with the SJHL’s Millionaires before Tri-City G Eric Comrie was injured. . . . G Evan Sarthou, a third-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft, will join the Americans and be on the bench in support of starter Luke Lee-Knight, for tonight’s game against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Sarthou, from Black Diamond, Wash., plays for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings of the Tier 1 AAA Elite League.
In Portland, F Todd Fiddler scored three times as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Winterhawks, 5-2. . . . Fiddler now leads the WHL in goals (33). Fiddler, 19, went into this season with 35 goals in 144 regular-season games. He now has 68 in 191 games. . . . Portland has followed a 14-0-0 stretch with two straight regulation-time losses and one in a shootout. The three losses came in a four-day period. . . . These teams will meet again Wednesday and Friday in Spokane. That’s interesting because Monday’s game featured a multi-fight situation at 19:27 of the third period. Penalties handed out included six fighting majors. As well, Portland F Keegan Iverson drew a match penalty for attempt to injure. . . . If you were there or watched the video, you’ve got to think that Portland F Joe Mahon, an 18-year-old from Calgary, will be getting one of those “What were you thinking?” phone calls from WHL disciplinarian Richard Doerksen. Mahon has one goal and 102 penalty minutes in 28 games. . . . Spokane F Mike Aviani added two goals, giving him 23. . . . F Blake Gal played in his 300th regular-season game, all with the Chiefs. He is the ninth player in franchise history to get to 300. D Brenden Kichton played in No. 300 earlier this month. . . . Portland F Brendan Leipsic had his point streak snapped at 14 games, while Kichton had his stopped at 11 games. . . . Spokane was without F Alessio Bertaggia, who apparently suffered an arm injury in a 4-3 OT loss to the visiting Tri-City Americans on Saturday. . . . Among Portland’s scratches were F Taylor Leier (ill) and D Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed).
F Brendan Leipsic, Portland


From WHL Facts (@WHLFacts): “20 — With the 5-2 victory, @chiefshockey have snapped Portland’s 20 game win streak in the Memorial Coliseum (including playoffs)”
And then there were these two tweets that showed up back-to-back, in this order, on my Twitter timeline last night:

From Portland F Chase De Leo (@Dels9): “Almost time for the bachelor. #Excited”

From Brandon Wheat Kings scout Mike Fraser (@MikeFraser29): “At least with NHL hockey back on TV, there is less Bachelor talk on Twitter. That’s a good thing.”

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