Spotlight - Harry Fredeman

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Harry Fredeman has found a place where he feels he belongs.

The Ladner, B.C. goalie will don the Spartans blue and yellow for the first time in a regular season contest Friday, and, as the starter, he can’t wait.

After years of hockey-playing disappointment and getting cut more than his fair share, he’s finally discovered a groove. And he’s ready to prove himself worthy.

Growing up playing for the South Delta Minor Hockey Association, Fredeman was always the third wheel. With an impressive array of goaltending talent within his age group, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound puck-stopper most often found himself getting that dreaded call into the coach’s office at the end of tryouts.

He was good, but apparently not good enough.

Throughout minor hockey, he was pigeon-holed as a “B” level goaltender. He always felt he was capable of playing in the upper echelon but never got the chance.

“It was frustrating, especially when you’re younger and you can’t really see the benefits,” said the 20-year-old Fredeman. “You feel you’re getting the short end of the stick all the time.”

However, Fredeman didn’t quit.

And finally, in his third year of midget – for most kids, they’re final year of minor hockey – he made South Delta’s top squad. But even then, his team played in the league’s second tier and, as had been the case each and every previous year, he believed he was again playing below his abilities.

“I always felt that every year I was better than the level I was playing. I just thought that personally,” Fredeman said. “So I thought if I keep working hard, eventually I’ll be able to play at that level.”

Despite arriving on the upper-level scene late, it was that final year of midget hockey when he started to finally catch his break. That year, he caught the eye of local junior scouts and particularly those with the Mission Icebreakers of the Junior “B” PJHL (Pacific Junior Hockey League). By the end of his midget season, he had saw action in four games with Mission. But that was just the start.

The following year, 2009-10, Fredeman joined Mission full-time and, while commuting from Ladner and going to school at Tsawwassen, B.C.’s Southpointe Academy, he played in 30 games. That season really launched his Junior “B” career as the following year he split time with Mission and the PJHL’s Squamish Wolf Pack before eventually landing closer to home in North Delta, B.C., where he joined the PJHL-playing Devils for the 2011-12 season.

But, as Fredeman had experience many times before, he found himself in a back-up role to start the season. However, it didn’t take him long to take over the Devils starting role, and once he did, he flourished. In 30 games played, he led all PJHL goaltenders with 20 wins while posting a 2.82 goals against average, which was good for third in the league.

“It was the best year of hockey I’ve had for sure, both as a team and as a player,” said Fredeman.

After practicing with the Spartans several times last year, Fredeman – a player who exudes confidence without acting arrogant – proved himself to Trinity Western coach Dwayne Lowdermilk enough that the Spartans bench boss offered him the chance to join Trinity Western full-time this year. Fredeman immediately jumped at the opportunity.

“He does whatever it takes to get his body in front of the puck,” said Lowdermilk, who likens Fredeman’s style to that of Bill Ranford. “If he needs to roll over and grab it on the other side, that’s how he gets there. He brings a level of compete to every game and every practice. He’s entertaining to watch but he’s also very skilled.”

But for Fredeman, some things never change.

Upon arriving this fall, he knew full well he was coming into a situation in which last year’s starter, Tim Zwiers, would be returning.

On the ice, nothing has ever been given to him. Like in years past, he’ll be battling for minutes all season long. And he’s just fine with that.

“I went into the exact same situation last year and it worked out,” Fredeman said. “I’m not saying that’s going to happen this year but I’m going to go out and stop every puck I can and see what happens. I have to prove myself at this level and every level I just want to get better.”

The laid back goalie, who sometimes seems like the anti-goalie as he lacks the usual quirks of typical goalies, is taking it all in as it happens. Sure, as is the case with any goalie, he’d love to be the starter, and it may happen soon enough, but he’s just happy where he is and excited to be proving he belongs.



Last Updated: 2012-10-05
Author: Mark Janzen