Airdrie hockey star reflects on first pro hockey season
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 10:23 am
Airdrie native Ty Rattie is glad to be back home after his first season in the world of professional hockey.
However, the 21-year-old would of have liked his year with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves to last a little longer, after the team was knocked out by the Toronto Marlies in the second round of the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs on May 16.
“It was disappointing to not be able to go for the Calder Cup title,” Rattie said. “But at the same time, our team had a very successful season as we won the Midwest Division, and I personally felt that I progressed as a player.”
“Now that the season is over, it’s great to be back in Airdrie to see my family and friends once again,” he added. “I wouldn’t want to come back to any other place.”
In the playoffs, the Wolves were pushed to the limit by the Rochester Americans, before winning the best-of-five series in the fifth and deciding contest on May 4 by a score of 4-2.
After that tightly contested series with the Americans, Rattie and the rest of the Wolves were no match for the Marlies, as it was swept aside in four straight games.
“That series with Rochester was a back-and-forth one,” Rattie said. “We really stuck together as a team, and since we knew that the fifth and the final game was going to be in our home rink (the Allstate Arena) in Chicago, we really liked our chances to advance.”
“Toronto was a really good team that didn’t have many weak spots, and they also had a really good goalie in Drew MacIntyre,” he added. “They caught us after we had a real tiring series, and they took advantage of us.”
Rattie, who led the Wolves in scoring during the regular season with 48 points in 72 games, had three points in nine playoff games during the post-season for the affiliate club of the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) St. Louis Blues.
However, the six-foot, 185-pound right winger noted that a lot of his time on the ice was spent doing the little things to help the team succeed.
“If it’s scoring goals, setting up plays, or blocking shots, I will do anything to help the team succeed,” Rattie said. “The point totals may not show that, but I was doing everything that I could to help to contribute to our success.”
“Having had that experience of having long playoff runs in the WHL (Western Hockey League) with the Portland Winterhawks, I feel like that helped me a bit entering this post-season,” he added.
“However, the difference between junior hockey and pro hockey is big, and I had to approach it a little bit different to hold my own.”
Rattie is now focused on his off-ice training before heading to the Blues training camp in September, as the second-round pick of the team in 2011 tries to make the NHL as a full-time player before the start of the 2014/15 season.
“My biggest focus will be on weight training,” Rattie said. “I’m at 185 lbs. right now, and I would like to be at around 190 lbs. before I head down to St. Louis in late August.”
“After having a brief taste of the NHL for two games in April with the Blues, I’m even more motivated to be with the Blues on a permanent basis,” he added. “I want to be there right from the start next year, I’m working my hardest to make that happen.”