Former Port Alberni hockey player Gerry Fitzgerald had a chance to suit up for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild last week.
Gerry, one of three Fitzgerald triplets from Port Alberni who played in the BCHL, was invited to the Wild’s training camp and played a preseason game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday, Sept. 20.
Although he didn’t make it onto the scoresheet, the 25-year-old saw a bit of ice team playing against some NHL stars.
“It was pretty exciting,” said his mother, Janet Fitzgerald. “I’m sure he was nervous. It was pretty nerve-wracking for me to watch.”
After graduating from college last spring, Fitzgerald suited up for 16 games with Minnesota’s AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild, notching eight points along the way. He signed a contract for the 2018-19 season this summer.
Fitzgerald earned the opportunity to try out with Minnesota after competing in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament earlier this month. The Wild took third place in the tournament, and Fitzgerald was Minnesota’s best offensive producer, leading the Wild in points over the weekend.
Fitzgerald and his brothers, Myles and Leo, all played minor hockey in Port Alberni before joining the British Columbia Hockey League. They all attended Bemidji State University in Minnesota on hockey scholarships, playing together for the Bemidji State Beavers.
Myles and Leo are now playing for Ferencváros TC, a Hungarian ice hockey team in Budapest.
“They’re doing really well, too,” said Janet. “They all played in the BCHL together, then went to school together. Now they’re kind of split up.”
Gerry Fitzgerald has now returned to the Iowa Wild. Training camp opened on Sept. 24, and the regular AHL season starts on Oct. 5.