In his two years as a Swan Valley Stampeder, Fort McMurray, Alta. defenceman Quintin Sudom notched 27 goals and 79 assists for a total of 106 points in 130 games played.
Impressive numbers for a blueliner, if it wasn’t for a mid-season injury in early 2019 that had him sitting out of 10 games, Sudom was on track to smash many long-standing team records for defenceman scoring. Although, he did manage to top defenceman scoring in the playoff records.
After the Game 7, final playoff round defeat in April 2019, Sudom had to make some choices about what he wanted to do with his future. It was the University of Alberta – Augustana campus that called to him and last fall he became a Viking, playing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
“Quintin was one of our top recruits,” said Vikings Head Coach Blaine Gusdal. “We knew he brought a lot to the table – having been the Defenceman of the Year in the MJHL. “Having come from Manitoba originally, I have a lot of contacts and know a lot of the coaches. He came highly regarded. “He performed exactly how we were hoping he would,” Gusdal continued. “He played in every single game – exhibition, league and playoffs – and he quarterbacked one of our power plays.”
For his efforts in his first year on the team, Sudom was not only named Rookie of the Year for the men’s hockey team but also took the Male Athlete Rookie of the Year for all sports in the school’s athletic department.
“When we look at our team Rookie of the Year it’s, for the most part, based on on-ice performance as voted on by their peers,” said Gusdal. “We had 24 players on the team with five first-year rookies and Quintin’s performance was solid. “When it comes to the all-sports award, the coaches and athletic staff look at the entire picture – what they do in the community, what they do around the campus as leaders and how they do academically. That’s all on top of the athletic performance. “Not only on our team but in our league he was comparable to the other top rookies,” he continued, noting that Sudom played in our top four consistently this season, seeing a lot of ice as a rookie. “Quintin held a 3.9 GPA and was academically on the Dean’s List. He kept himself very busy balancing hockey and school while also spending time in the gym, volunteering and fundraising. He did everything asked of him and more while never missing a practice. He’s both a coach’s dream at the rink an administrator’s dream at the school. He had an exceptional year all around.”
As fans of the Stampeders already know, Sudom didn’t boast or show off his successes.
“He’s very quiet about it and that’s where he garners so much respect from his peers and the coaching staff,” said Gusdal. “Quintin is always wanting to push himself to get better and he expects the same from his teammates. He’s a leader but he does so through a high standard of example and expectation.
“He does his business and he’s very unsung so I was very happy to see Quintin awarded the Rookie of the Year for all sports.”
Looking to recruit quality character guys for the team each year, Gusdal says that the hockey team has had a good run on winning this award.
“Every year we have two or three of these first-year players that are solid, all-around people,” he said. “Quintin was surrounded by some really good rookies so he had some competition right on our team and within the department. “These guys are coming in at 21 instead of right out of high school and they are ready for school and to get started at the next phase of their lives.”
While adjusting to college hockey, Sudom put up six goals and five assists for 11 points during the 28 game season.
“The guys that go on to play university hockey are all the top ones from junior so the guys are bigger, faster and stronger,” said Sudom. “But, it’s been an easier adjustment than I thought it would be and I’ve been able to compete at an even level. “Adding in school work was a bit of an adjustment as well at first but it wasn’t too difficult once I got the hang of it and I enjoy it a lot.”
Sudom is taking a Bachelor of Management Degree with a major in Economics but still found time to do everything expected from a school athlete, including spending time volunteering in Camrose where the campus is located.
“With us being students and having to also balance school work it’s a bit harder to get into the community,” he said. “But, we manage to help out with minor hockey whenever we can and helping the community as a whole. “With all the stuff we did in the Swan Valley it came almost naturally to help in the community here – reaching out to minor hockey and visiting schools,” continued Sudom. “Although we have less time now, we still got to open practices and got the kids out to skate. I really like the skates with kids and just being able to see the looks on their faces. They idolize us older hockey players and it’s really fun to experience that.”
While the team Rookie of the Year award was nice to receive, Sudom felt it could have gone to a number of guys on the team and he just happened to be the lucky recipient. The all-sports award was a bit more of a surprise.
“That one was definitely a surprise,” he added. “I worked really hard throughout the season and it’s nice to be recognized individually but, for me, the goal is to win a championship. “We came so close in Swan River and it was awesome to be part of that. Now, I’m trying hard to be on the winning side.”
Finishing fifth in the regular season, the Vikings lost in game three of the quarter-finals of playoffs, which were not completed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“It was not as good as we hoped,” Sudom said. “With a shorter season of only 28 games, you can’t give up points in this league and every game means something. You can’t take any games off. “Personally, I think it was a great start but I think that I can be a top player in this league. With the adjustment it was a slow start but after I got comfortable my confidence grew. I think in the coming years I can see even more success.
“We need some secondary scoring on that team and I think I can provide that on the back end for the power play.”
Recognizing that he didn’t get where he is alone, Sudom recognized his parents – Dawn and Jason – who have been his biggest supporters through his entire hockey career.
“They come down to see me whenever they can,” he said. “My dad has been a big inspiration to me and is one of my best supporters.”
Story Credit Danielle Gordon-Broome – Swan Valley Star and Times