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Klassen: Lessons from the farm

Saturday, December 3rd
Klassen: Lessons from the farm

As a child, there was only one thing that would keep Chad Klassen from lacing up his skates and getting on the ice ? tending to the chickens. ?I grew up on an acreage, so it was pretty much like a farm,? Klassen recalled of life in Warman, Saskatchewan. ?My parents both worked in the city, but we had our daily chores like getting the eggs from the chickens and stuff like that.? It turns out that, like in most cases, Klassen?s childhood on the farm/acreage taught him a lot and instilled in him a deep work ethic. ?Both of my parents are very hard-working people so I definitely got a lot of that from them,? Klassen mentioned. ?I think I work pretty hard and usually good things happen when I do that so it?s what I base my hockey on. Recently, Klassen has seen the fruits of his labors. In three games last week against Colorado, Klassen was plus-5 and tallied eight points (2g-6a). He was named the ECHL?s Player of the Week. In the second game of the series, he posted a career-high five points with one goal and four assists. The 5?11? forward is currently third place in the ECHL in points among rookies with 21 (7g-14a) in 18 games this season, and tied for tenth in the league overall. The weekend previous, Klassen brought Idaho fans to their feet by netting a cross from Steve Oleksy to beat Alaska in overtime. ?It was pretty exciting,? Klassen said. ?It?s always nice to get the game winner, especially in overtime. It was pretty fun.? After completing his career at the University of Alberta, where he recorded 152 points (56g-96a) in 125 games, Klassen got a head start on his professional career by appearing in one regular-season game and 11 playoff games for the Victoria Salmon Kings in 2011. During those playoff contests, Klassen netted three goals and added six assists. The transition from college to professional hockey has been an admitted adjustment for Klassen. ?It was a lot different to be honest,? said Klassen of joining the Salmon Kings last year. ?Playing at school is like playing with family. No one is going to get traded so you build more of a bond with guys on the team. Here you have guys moving out every day it seems like so it?s a lot different in that aspect.? Klassen?s on-ice adjustment, on the other hand, has appeared smooth, but not without the help of some pretty talented line mates. ?I try to stick to my game plan of working hard, trying to make plays and putting pucks on net,? Klassen said. ?I have to credit my teammates a lot, especially Rat (Kael Mouillierat) and Freddy (David Fredriksson), they do a lot of the work and I just try to put myself in the best spot possible.? Despite the Steelheads? slow start, Klassen has helped Idaho to wins in five of its last nine contests ? a trend that he hopes continues. ?Guys are getting more and more familiar with each other and starting to buy into the system and I think we are all getting more confident with one another and with the team,? Klassen said. ?I think good things are going to happen if we keep working hard.? (Story written by Media Relations Intern Jake Drzayich)

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