Essentially the most profitable males’s hockey program in Alberta Faculties Athletic Convention historical past has added an unlikely new participant this season.
Rintaro Mashio grew up in Tokyo, Japan, the place he additionally performed hockey. Mashio developed into an achieved participant, however he give up the game as an adolescent after dropping his ardour.
“Principally my dad taught me about hockey,” he stated. “The rationale why I give up hockey is my dad was somewhat bit too strict.”
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The 21-year-old moved from Tokyo to Edmonton earlier this 12 months to review English at NAIT. He additionally determined to lace up his skates once more and start enjoying shinny throughout the spring and summer season.
A NAIT alumnus was at these video games too and was impressed with Mashio’s capacity.
The previous Ook contacted NAIT head coach Scott Fellnermayr, encouraging the bench boss to look at Mashio on the shinny video games.
“(He) stated there’s a man I ought to come take a look at,” Fellnermayr recalled. “Clearly I used to be somewhat skeptical. (I) pushed it off just a few instances.”
Ultimately, Fellnermayr relented and got here to look at Mashio. Impressed, the Ooks head coach invited the younger man from Japan to a tryout, the place Mashio earned a spot on the defending ACAC championship staff’s roster.
“He’s battling, getting below sticks and doing issues the suitable method, so I simply determine he’s most likely going to develop,” Fellnermayr stated.
“I’ve by no means performed on a such a great staff, so I actually like (it),” Mashio stated. “I can practise with good gamers and (we will) hold pushing one another.”
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Pushing to get higher is one thing the first-year Ook does very effectively. He’s impressed his coaches and teammates together with his work ethic.
“He takes benefit of additional ice. He’s all the time engaged on issues on his personal time,” Fellnermayr stated.
“After I give free time on the finish, he’s engaged on one thing very diligently.”
“I don’t suppose I’m going arduous. I simply wish to get higher and in addition catch as much as them,” Mashio stated.
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Mashio has been working arduous on and off the ice. Studying a brand new language and a brand new tradition shouldn’t be straightforward, however the brand new NAIT student-athlete is starting to slot in, with the assistance of his teammates.
“We crack jokes with him and we tease him somewhat bit — simply to get him concerned and whatnot — and he’s been good about it, and he’s all the time laughing,” Ooks ahead Nick Leyer stated.
“He’s very visible. He sees a drill demonstration (after which) he tends to do it appropriately,” Fellnerymayr stated. “If you happen to simply discuss to him, typically issues are missed, however his effort is all the time there and he all the time involves coaches to get readability on issues.”
The kind of impression Mashio will make for the Ooks is unsure, however what is definite is he’ll recognize and work for each alternative he receives.
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