Cain Franson on the ice during the 2017 USports All-Stars series. (Vivid Eye Photography)

Cain Franson on the ice during the 2017 USports All-Stars series. (Vivid Eye Photography)

Cain Franson of Sicamous a USports All-Star once again

Franson will play against Canadian Junior team prospects in Victoria

Cain Franson of Sicamous is hoping for a repeat performance in his second season on the USports All-Star team as they gear up for their annual series of games against the Canadian National Junior team.

Franson, a fifth-year University of Calgary student, called playing in the 2017 series against the Canadian junior squad in Niagara Falls a surreal experience.

Victory with the Canadian hockey community watching helped create the surreal feeling as the USports side won both of their games against the juniors.

The 2018 series against the Canadian Junior side will be a three-game event held at the Q Centre, the home of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies.

Games between the cream of the USports league and the younger players vying for a spot on the World Junior squad will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14.

Franson said that, as with last year’s series, there will be little time for the players from various university teams to gel into a cohesive squad before taking on the national team prospects.

In 2017, Franson said the coaching staff of the USports team wasted no time getting the team together the first night they arrived in Niagara Falls for a team dinner and game film session followed by an on-ice practice to start working out the kinks immediately. He said he expects a similar routine this year.

He said an effort is made not to over-complicate things due to the short prep time available to the team and the simple systems set up by the coaching staff paid dividends in last year’s games against the World Junior prospects.

Related:Cain Franson optimistic about future with Canucks

Franson won’t be among strangers on the All-Star team. He will be joined by three other players from the University of Calgary Dinos Hockey Team and the rest of the All-Star roster which will be made up of players he has faced off against in USports league action.

As for the competition he will be facing in the series against the Team Canada prospects, Franson said the fact much of his teammates are older and therefore have had a chance to develop more in size and strength, is an advantage for them. He added that a little more strength and size is no reason to count out the World Junior hopefuls.

“Those are phenomenal hockey players over there, they got chosen to potentially represent Canada. You’ve gotta be doing something right to have that honour and that invitation,” Franson said.

“They’re a great team and it’s three games that are really tough; it’s really fast-paced hockey.”

Franson said both sides know they are facing serious competitors, particularly after the USports All-stars victories last year.

Being selected for the All-Star team has thrown Franson’s academic year a bit of a curve ball as the series falls right in the middle of exam season.

Franson, who will be graduating in the spring with a sociology degree concentrating on criminology, said his professors have been very accommodating.

As the All-Star series will be held in B.C. this year, Franson says he is expecting a cheering section to be in the stands for at least some of the games. He said his parents are thinking about making the trip if they can get the time off work and a few friends from Sicamous and another living in Victoria will be coming to watch him play.

After graduating from university, Franson says he hopes to keep his skates on the ice by playing pro hockey, possibly taking advantage of offers he has received from Danish, Norwegian and French teams before joining the workforce.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
Donors who gave $1M to Central Okanagan grads want to send positive message

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read