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‘Batman’ & ‘Forty’: Ahead By A Century

Whaler captain Chris Fortems (left) with team alternate governor Rob Rose and alternate captain Bryce Margetson. The two players received commemorative backpacks for playing 100 regular season games for the Pod.

Pod’s Chris Fortems, Bryce Margetson mark 100 games each

CENTENNIAL ARENA – Since the Whalers joined the Pacific Junior ‘B’ Hockey League (PJHL) in 2018, only three young men have played in 100 regular season games with the Pod.

Two of those veterans reached that century achievement in October 2022: alternate captain Bryce “Batman” Margetson, a defensive stalwart, and captain Chris “Forty” Fortems, a top-notch scorer.

Before they laced up to receive adulation from the Centennial faithful, Fortems and Margetson spoke with Alistair Burns, the team’s Community Relations Coordinator, for a question-and-answer session on Oct. 29.

Alistair Burns: Gentlemen, congratulations on your accomplishment of playing 100 regular season games for this franchise – the second and third players to do so. When you started here four years ago, did you ever believe this was a possibility?

Whaler captain Chris Fortems (left) with team alternate governor Rob Rose and alternate captain Bryce Margetson. The two players received commemorative backpacks for playing 100 regular season games for the Pod.

Chris Fortems: I definitely thought it was – I think it’s been great that it’s been with one team, the White Rock Whalers. And that I’m proud that has been.

Bryce Margetson: I didn’t think so, but I’m very glad that it was with this team, and it couldn’t be with a better team.

Chris Fortems: Mr. Consistent

Burns: Chris, how did you react when you were named captain for this – your final season in Jr. ‘B’?

Fortems: I was pretty ecstatic. I mean, I’d been here for three years and I was an alternate captain last year, so it meant a lot to come back [and to be] named captain.

Burns: Let’s talk about your consistency in scoring. In your rookie season, you tied for the scoring lead in points. As of last night (Oct. 29), you were tied for this season’s PJHL scoring lead with 30 points. What has been the key in being so consistent on the scoresheet?

Fortems: I think it’s just all about working hard and playing with your teammates. Having good communication with them all the time and being with the guys – that helps a lot.

Burns: You and your linemates – Zac Sherwin and “Big Goal” Cole Svendson – according to my tally, all three of you have totalled 60 points so far during October alone. Why are all three of you so in sync on the ice?

Fortems: We’re all pretty good friends off the ice and [on the ice] we communicate a lot. We’ve played together before – that helps a lot.

Chris Fortems has been an outstanding scorer for the Whalers since his first season, when he tied for the league lead in points by rookies.

Bryce Margetson: Dark Knight Rises

Margetson received his nickname last season when he was thrown out of a game in Centennial. When his game misconduct was rescinded, the “Batman” legend was born as he hurriedly switched from his suit back into his hockey gear.

Bryce Margetson loves the challenge of battling against the opposition's top line every night.| Photo courtesy of Jody Harris Photography

Burns: Bryce, in your skill set, where have you improved over these last four years?

Margetson: I think it’s been more in my strength and [being comfortable] on the ice. I’m more comfortable, I’m more controlled and I’m able to see the ice a lot better this year.

Burns: Take me inside the mindset of a defenceman who logs heavy minutes every night. You’re usually paired against the other team’s top line. The scorers either want to hit you into the boards or dance around you for a goal. How exactly do you deal with this pressure?

Margetson:  I love it! I take it on as a challenge. I want to be out there when [the opposition’s] best line is out there. I want to be the guy that’s not letting them put the puck in the back of the net.

Burns: You really enjoy meeting the younger fans; you give them a big smile, high-five. Why are these interactions so important to you?

Margetson: As a little kid – I’d be the same little young hockey player looking up at the big guys on the ice going ‘Oooh, aaah.’ I thought it would be nice to give back to them since they’re coming out to cheer for me. It’s awesome.

Burns: We chatted earlier this season – and I know you were joking – but did you honestly believe that changing your Whaler number from 24 to 7 would mean that the referees wouldn’t remember: ‘Oh, right! That’s Bryce! He chats a lot.’?

Margetson: [Chuckles] Yeah, well I thought it would work a little bit but not so much this year. It’s a work in progress. We’ll keep it at that.

Burns: Let’s end with your favourite memory so far as a Whaler?

Margetson: All of last year with the group of guys that we had. It was so surreal – and honestly beating Delta in the second round was the biggest accomplishment we could have had. Didn’t make it all the way, but that’s what this year’s for.

Burns: Your hope for this season?

Margetson: Oh, we’re winning the ‘chip’ [Ray Stonehouse Cup]!

This interview has been condensed and edited.

INTERVIEW with Chris Fortems and Bryce Margetson on their 100 games as a Whaler