Categorized | Features, Sports

Peigan Cowboys set to honour fallen teammate

The Peigan Cowboys on Saturday, Feb. 12 will honour a popular teammate who lies in a coma in Pincher Creek Hospital.
The team will retire the No. 14 jersey worn by Corey Smith prior to their Ranchland Hockey League game against Kainai Chiefs.
“Corey is a great guy,” Cowboys coach Tyrone Potts said. “He’s really good in the (dressing) room, positive, a fun guy.”
The 33-year-old Smith was a star forward for the Cowboys from 1999 until 2007 when he was stabbed in Lethbridge.
Smith went into a coma from which he has not yet woken. No one was ever convicted of the crime.
“Corey was a first line guy on our team,” Potts said. “He could fight, hit, drive to the net and he was a goal scorer.”
Ranchland Hockey League commissioner and former Fort Macleod Mustang Jason Hueppelsheuser agreed.
“What I remember of Cory as a player was gritty, but respectful,” Hueppelsheuser said. “He was always very classy on the ice and off the ice. I can remember the crowd always getting excited when he made rushes at the old Brocket arena, and he was a huge impact player in the RHL.”
The Cowboys and Smith’s family are hopeful the all-around athlete will recover.
“We have always believed that he would wake up one day and be a part of our lives again,” Potts said.
The Cowboys will retire Smith’s No. 14 prior to their final regular season home game at Pincher Creek Arena.
The sweater has been framed and will be presented to Smith’s family prior to the game, which gets under way at 8 p.m.
A former Athlete of the Year in the Piikani Nation, Smith started playing hockey at Brocket at the age of five.
When he was 13 Smith enrolled at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Sask. playing two seasons for the famous Hounds.
At the age of 16 Smith was invited to try out for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Smith later attended St. Michael’s Residential School in Duck Lake, Sask., where he graduated from Grade 12.
In addition to playing for his home town Cowboys, Smith was highly sought after by other teams for tournaments in Canada and the U.S.
“Corey was committed and came to play hockey every night,” Potts said. “He always believed we could win a championship.”

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