Blueliner coming out of retirement
Hockey: Max Mowat back with Oilers
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 06:00 am
A sober second thought has returned one of the Okotoks Oilers’ favourites back to the dressing room.
Blueliner Max Mowat completed his comeback trail to the Oilers less than 10 months after post-concussion issues forced his premature retirement from Junior hockey.
“I love the game, I love the guys here and I just wanted to come back and play hockey,” said Mowat, who made his season debut on Friday. “It felt like I never left. As soon as I got back to the rink it felt like nothing changed.”
Change was a daily battle for the Vernon native in the wake of calling it quits.
Mowat, who suffered two concussions in his only season with Okotoks and three major head injuries overall, endured post-concussion symptoms for several weeks after returning to the Okanagan last winter.
“I wasn’t feeling that great for about two or three months,” said Mowat, who would experience nausea, headaches and other post-concussion symptoms through exertion. “Then I started to work out in my home gym, putting workloads on really slowly and started eating healthier.”
After getting over creeping doubts in his mind over the end of his playing days, Mowat’s love for the game was re-ignited at work and at play in Vernon.
“Over the summer I was training pretty hard. I was going on the ice with my buddies going on the OTR (Okanagan Training Rink) and I train kids playing hockey so I was always on the ice,” he said. “I felt good, confident and felt no symptoms at all through the summer.
“The toughest adjustment getting back is just getting the timing right and the only way to do that is to get into games as soon as possible.”
The five-foot-11 rearguard registered three assists in 23 games last year with the Oilers prior to running into pervasive post-concussion symptoms.
He made quite the impression on his teammates.
“He’s a great kid and was well thought of by all the players that were here last year,” Oilers head coach/GM James Poole said. “When I talked to a few kids about (his return) they were excited knowing what he brings as a player and as a person. He fits into our environment really well.”
Since receiving medical clearance to return to the ice, Mowat has registered two assists in two games for the Oil.
Before playing for Okotoks, Mowat spent two seasons with his hometown Vernon Vipers in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). As a Junior A rookie, he won a silver medal with the vaunted Vipers at the RBC Cup in 2011.
In his Junior swan song, the 20-year-old defenceman is eager to pick up some more hardware, perhaps of a different colour this time.
“The team last year had a great run with Brooks and taking them to Game 7. Nobody thought they could do that,” Mowat said.
“I believe this year they have the team to do it and can go pretty far.”
For more information on Mowat and the Oilers go to okotoksoilers.ca