Adam Powell spent three seasons in a Chiefs uniform beginning in 2001. In his third and final season he was team captain and scored 54 goals. In part one we’ll talk to Adam about his days in a Chiefs uniform. Part two will follow next week and will key in on what he’s been up to since graduating from the Chiefs program.
JB: Take us back to 2001 and tell us how you ended up in a Chiefs uniform.
AP: I got extremely lucky, that’s how I ended up in a Chiefs uniform. I had attended Global Sports Showcase in Langley for the two years leading up to the Chiefs main camp at Twin Rinks in Sardis. Roy Henderson must of really put in a good word to Chiefs General Manager and Head Coach Harvey Smyl and Assistant Coach Dean Kletzel because I felt WAY out of place at camp. This team was stacked with great players, and great people. Guys I looked up to and still do, Jeff Barlow, Bobby Henderson, Gabe Gauthier, Jeff Tambellini, and many more cruising around making the game look easy. I just got lucky, showed some toughness, fought Dan Mahe (TOUGH SOB) and made the roster. I will never forget how great Mahe was in teaching me how to fight and protect myself Chilliwack is and always will be the most influential time in my life. The love that city has for its hometown hockey team made me a hockey fan for life. Harvey and Dean and all the players along the way, I will NEVER forget Chilliwack.
JB: That team was one of if not the best team the Chiefs have had. At what point did you realize it was a team that had a real shot at winning a championship?
AP: Honestly not to sound cliche, but pretty much right away. We had SUCH a tight knit group. Everybody did everything together, and we scared the crap out of other teams. I recall this team never being out of a game. If we had a lousy start, or a bad first half of a game, we would scare the other team and use our skill to come back and win. That first line was deadly (Jeff Tambellini, Gabe Gauthier, David Van Der Gulik), and if the other team had a shut down line for them, Micah Sanford and Kaleb Betts would do the rest. It was scary how good that team was, and we played in front of the best fans in the world, in the best barn in the world. We knew how to win at home, and we knew how to win on the road. Not to mention the great leadership we had. Jeff Barlow was a world class leader, and really groomed Bobby (Captain), and myself (captain) on how to lead the right way. Chilliwack had such a great culture that was instilled into all of us. I coach youth hockey these days, which takes a great amount of leadership. I have used Jeff and Bobby’s names in speeches numerous times when talking to my players about leadership. Every great team must have great leadership, and we had that covered. Plus we had guys like Shawn Germain. Talk about a player who would giver EVERY second of EVERY shift. Who could forget when he blocked a shot with his ear almost fell off. Man, these feelings are giving me goosebumps.
JB: Everything went smoothly until the league finals against Vernon. You fell behind 2-0 in the best of seven series. You managed to come back and win four straight to capture the league title. What happened between games two and three that triggered the come back?
AP: We never panicked. We knew we had games at home to get back in the series, and we fully believed in ourselves. I also remember Harvey telling us he wouldn’t pick any other 20 guys in the country to be in this spot with. We just had a strong team belief. We never worried, never got caught up in big or small situations. We had 20 winners, with winning mentality’s. That goes a LONG way in hockey.
JB: Two years after playing a third and fourth line role you were named team captain and led the team with 54 goals. What or who do you credit with your ability to advance that far in two years?
AP: I credit the Chiefs organization. They breed winners. If you’re willing to work hard, learn from great coaches like Harvey, and pay your dues, you can ultimately have success. I WANTED to be as good as I possibly could for this team and all they had done for me. I have to give a lot of the credit to my host family Lynn and Elaine Nickles. They made me feel right at home, and like I was part of the family. When you’re comfortable off the ice and can focus with just being a hockey player, the chances of succeeding really enhance.
I would be stupid to not point out the obvious person to give the credit too, and that’s Tyler Burton. He was my linemate that year and we had an amazing connection. He could find my stick anywhere on the ice, and to this day he is the smartest player I have ever skated with. That kid could see the ice, and where the play was going, faster then anybody else. I was the benefactor of being on his line, and I will always be thankful for Tyler. He has an amazing family as well, and we bonded many many times.