“The Train” is getting ready to leave the station.
Coal Harbour’s Tye Morash, an Indigenous minor hockey player from the Quatsino First Nation, is moving down island to continue playing for the Junior B Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
Only 16-years-old, Morash, who plays forward and is listed at six-foot tall and 185 lbs, said it has been a really great start to the season so far, and that getting to bond with the team and “becoming a family” has been his favourite experience so far.
“All of us got close so fast and they’re just a very welcoming team, [the] coaches and owners are amazing.”
There’s two other North Islanders on the Glacier Kings roster, Port McNeill’s Clayton Bono and Port Alice’s Tynan Klein-Beekman.
“Playing with them both is very fun,” Morash said. “Great guys in and outside of the rink, talented guys as well.”
His aunt Marilyn said playing down island wouldn’t be possible without the support from local businesses who have made very generous contributions towards his hockey career, noting both Lemare Lake Logging and the Port McNeill Shake and Shingle company donated towards his hockey costs this year.
“We are so grateful for their support, without them helping out it would be much more challenging for him to continue on with his goal of making it to the NHL,” she said, adding the Quatsino First Nation community has also been very instrumental in helping him with his hockey career over the years, especially last season when he played for the AAA North Island Silvertips.
Morash grew up playing hockey in Port Hardy, first for the house league before joining the North Island Eagles rep organization during Atom Development, where he showed an early aptitude for the game, specifically for skating fast and firing the puck.
Glenn Moore coached Morash right from the start of his minor hockey career. He remembers picking him up as an AP (Alternate Player) for an Atom Development tournament, noticing immediately he had “the crazy legs going a 100 miles an hour and already at that age he had the big shot.”
After the tournament ended, Morash joined the team as a full card player and worked hard to improve his skills. As he moved up in age to Bantam where bodychecking started to come into play, he continued to score goals and notch assists while developing into a strong power forward known just as much for gritty hits as he was for his offensive capabilities.
“I was very fortunate to coach ‘The Train’ through his Peewee and Bantam years,” Moore said. “As he became a dominant player, his skating improved tremendously, his shot only got better, and he really started to become more well rounded as a player to where we could use him in almost every situation on the ice.”
Ryan Handley has also coached him over the years for the North Island Eagles organization, and he knew Morash had all the tools right from the start to be a special player.
“Where do I start? Size, speed and a nose for the physical part of the game, Tye is your prototypical power forward and over the years has really worked on his conditioning and stamina,” Handley said. “Always a dedicated listener on the ice and took constructive advice seriously as he wanted to be that guy you could depend on … We all knew if he put his mind to it he could be an impact player at a higher level.”
It’s not only about the game of hockey, though.
Moore noted that something a lot of people don’t know about Morash is that he’s “a good hearted, kind young man. I have always spoke to being classy and I would say he definitely is. Now that he has left the Eagles’ family, I wish him all the best and I hope he finds what he’s looking for with junior hockey.”