Tag Archives: Coventry Blaze

Behind The Mask #8 | Brython Preece: Coventry Blaze

Brython Preece. Known to his teammates as Preecey or Giraffe and to some fans as Dave…  the Welsh goalie is 19 and embarking on his first professional season with the Blaze, backing up Canadian Kevin Nastiuk.

Photo: Scott Wiggins

I’ve never met another Brython so I just had to ask about the pronunciation of his name. The y is more like the i in Britain. His middle name, in case you were curious, is the very easy to pronounce Mark. His brother James also plays hockey and used to play on a two way deal with the Blaze from the Telford Tigers, he got the middle name Tomas, which isn’t pronounced like Thomas. Just to make things interesting!

Following his brothers footsteps took him to the family run Ontario Hockey Camp. He liked the way the academy was run but says it was very much a case of being thrown in at the deep end. From being away from Mum and Dad for the first time to simply traveling and maneuvering an airport on his own, he says it was the first time he had to be responsible for himself. While out there, he not only spent time on the ice training but came away with a whopping 8 A-levels, studying PE, the single sciences as well as a few others. English was his favourite and he has enjoyed reading some of the English classics. Getting up in the morning for classes and keeping his bedroom tidy were two of the hardest things he had to learn to do as he claims to be one of the messiest people, but the school was run in such a way that if you didn’t go to classes, you didn’t get to go on the ice so lay ins weren’t an option.

Surveying the ice; Coventry’s Brython Preece

When talking to Brython about playing goalie, he had fond memories of the early days of playing in the Cardiff Academy. He always wanted to be a goalie and his parents still have his first pair of tiny pads. He says he wasn’t always the tall kid and that when he was younger he was actually quite small and so he’s deceptively quicker than his height might suggest as his growth spurt never really changed the way he played. He still plays like the small kid, even now he’s 6ft 5! When asked about the way fans have come to perceive goalies as being ‘weird’ he laughed. 

“I don’t get why they think we’re weird or crazy.. We wear full face masks, more padding and don’t fight. We’re the sensible ones.” 

I asked about how his relationship had developed with Nastiuk and whether the older goalie had given him any advice. “Not so much advice, I mean not in the beginning anyway. It was more support from a guy who had been where I am now 10 or so years ago. He knows what I’m dealing with and can be there for me in a way most of the other players can’t.”

He thinks it’s extremely important for a young talent to have the direction of a goalie coach. He explains that the job of a goalie specific coach isn’t quite the same as a coach for the rest of the team and not only encompasses the mechanics of actually playing the game but also covers development on a more personal level as well. “The work is there but it isn’t such a pressure or a strict relationship and it’s far more relaxed. Which really helps.” Brython goes on to discuss the mental side of being a goalie. “If you’re playing your absolute best and someone scores on you, it makes you angry and annoyed but if you know you’re not playing your best, you can laugh it off and think, well you got one, but you won’t get any more.”

Brython Preece and Kevin Nastiuk. Photo: Scott Wiggins

When the time came to set foot onto the ice in his first professional game, I asked him about his thoughts when he was on the bench. “Everyone said I looked really confident afterwards. I just treated it like any other game. I got into it and acted like there was no pressure… If I worried about it or got too much pressure on myself then in goal, you notice it. If there’s no pressure on myself then I can only do what I can do.”

Despite being 6ft 5, Preece shows he can be lightning fast on ice. Getting tall didn’t change his style.

Brython is so far enjoying his first season within a professional team and was surprised with how well he has kept up. Talking to him, I can tell he has a stellar work ethic and a will to  succeed. He is an asset to the Blaze and a player we can all depend on to always do his best. It was such a pleasure to sit down with Brython and I look forward to seeing him on the ice more during the season.

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This article was first published in the November 2017 edition of the Coventry Blaze’s match night program OnFire and has been reproduced here with permission from the editor Stu Coles now the program is out of print. 

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Stewart: “Every game is a playoff game.” 

Brian Stewart is what some might call a veteran goalie in the Elite League. If you look through the lists of import goalies who come and play here, most only last a year and some, not even that. Following some of the interviews with the Elite League goalies this season, I can definitely see why that is the case.

Continue reading Stewart: “Every game is a playoff game.” 

Meet Fleetwood Mac Jorgensen on National Puppy Day

A little while ago now, I asked some of the Coventry Blaze players about their furry family members and Jim Jorgensen was kind enough to share some photos with me of his adorable French Bulldog Fleetwood Mac. 

Baby Fleetwood, isn’t he adorable?! (Photo Credit: Jim Jorgensen)

So of course I asked Jim about this adorable little cutie! 

This photo is the first time that I had ever seen who would become Fleetwood Mac. We were playing in France that season and my coaches wife drove me to the breeders. She was my translator! Alekz was still back home so I had to send pics and obviously we both fell in love with him instantly. So Fleet is an authentic French Bulldog, but sadly left France before he learned any French. 

Do you have any furry companions? Share some of their baby pictures today with the hashtag #nationalpuppyday 

Them Over There | Getting to know the Sheffield Steelers Zack Fitzgerald (#OnFire Repost)

Zack Fitzgerald, or Fitzy as he’s so often reffered to as, is a player who divides opinion. Some fans love him (particularly those in Orange!) and some cannot stand him. To look at his stats he doesn’t look like much. Two goals this season so far and not quite as penalty minutes as his fellow Steeler Guillaume Desbiens, some might argue that he’s simply there to rile up the opposition and cause them to make mistakes.

Continue reading Them Over There | Getting to know the Sheffield Steelers Zack Fitzgerald (#OnFire Repost)

Scorch the Dragon back on the job! 

Following a disastrous incident with a bubble ball during last weeks first period break action Scorch the Dragon has resumed his duties tonight at the Skydome tonight against the South Wales rivals, Cardiff Devils.

The incident involved the poor Dragon being stretchered off the ice after he was hit and couldn’t get up. Following speedy treatment by the emergency responders on site, Scorch was sent home to rest up and recover.

But tonight folks, he’s back! All be it a little bruised and battered, but in good spirits regardless as he warms up the crowd at the Skydome arena. What a warrior!

Keep it up Scorch! Get well soon!

Feature Image courtesy of the Coventry Blaze Facebook Page. 

#OnFire | A Year of writing for the Coventry Blaze

It seems strange to me to think I’ve been writing for OnFire now for nearly a year. I remember seeing an advert online posted by the Coventry Blaze on Facebook asking for writers for their match day publication.

Continue reading #OnFire | A Year of writing for the Coventry Blaze