By Garrett Fabris
As the weather gets colder, leaves change color, and the days get shorter, it gives way to one of the most important seasons of the year; hockey season. Well, at least that’s true for Eugene Generals’ goalie, Chris Pritchard.
Hockey season has been Chris’ favorite season since he was about six years old. While living in Corvallis, Oregon, he and his family would travel up to Portland every Wednesday so Chris could learn the fundamentals of hockey.
From this young age, Chris developed a love and passion for the sport. His family stood behind his passion, which led them to move several times over the course of Chris’ childhood to support his hockey dreams. From Corvallis, to the Oregon coast, then settling down in Tualatin, Oregon, his family continuously supported his dreams and gave him the best opportunity to succeed.
Once in Tualatin, Chris joined the Portland Junior Winterhawks’ ice hockey team. While he was playing for the Winterhawks, Chris discovered his true fit within the team. He recalls being about 12 years old when a close friend let him play goalie during a playoff game. While playing goalie and feeling the immense pressure that came with the position, Chris developed a craving for the pressure. This pressure forced Chris to play to the best of his abilities and he realized that he could thrive under these conditions. After this initial experience, he changed his position from forward to goalie.
As Chris progressed through his hockey career, he stuck with the goalie position. While Chris was getting older, his skills got stronger and by the time he could not play for the Portland Junior Winterhawks anymore, because he aged out of the program, he was ready to try out for other junior hockey teams within the area.
Tryout after tryout, Chris was struggling to find the right fit, not only for his hockey skills and abilities, but personality and team culture as well. He searched for an environment that would aid him in his hockey journey and allow him to grow as a player, and as an individual. Chris then tried out for the Eugene Generals hockey team. He felt comfortable and confident around head coach, Justin Kern. The front office staff also played a large part in his decision; the staff made him feel welcomed and appreciated. That’s when Chris knew this would be the right fit for him.
Soon Chris announced that he would be joining the Eugene Generals for the upcoming 2013-2014 season. This began a great relationship between Chris and the Generals.
Chris is now heading into his third and final season with the Eugene Generals. He believes that if he can work hard enough, he will secure the starting goalie position for this upcoming season.
Although he is focusing on the present, he is looking ahead to his future and where the next stop will be on his hockey journey. He wants to join a collegiate team regardless of the division or club status. His goal following the end of the season is to intertwine a college education with the experience of playing college hockey. Chris believes by doing so he will find the most success in his future as a hockey player and young man.