The following column appeared in this week's edition of Connect Weekly:
Oil Barons defenceman Sam House was riding into the 2012-13 season with about as much momentum as he could.
The mid-season acquisition from the Calgary Canucks ended last year’s playoff run with perhaps his best performances of his junior A career, having taken a noticeable step forward in the league final against Brooks.
A productive off-season led head coach Gord Thibodeau to single him out as one of the most improved players on the team when pre-season began.
His pre-season performances lived up to the hype. He was a faster, stronger, smarter, more physical defenceman whose shifts were always ones to watch.
But then, in the penultimate pre-season matchup, with the very same Brooks Bandits that ended the MOB’s prior season, House had his pre-season ended and regular season delayed with a collarbone injury.
He’s now missed more than a third of the AJHL season, unable to even practice with the team he was looking forward to taking a much greater role with.