The B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame held their induction ceremony on Friday night, which featured a class that included Cranbrook’s own Colin Patterson, a hockey coach who grew up in the area and has deep roots in the game.
Patterson’s class also included retired NHLers Mark Recchi and Paul Karyia, along with fellow bench boss Marc Crawford, who has helmed a few NHL teams including the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars.
There was also a Cranbrook connection in the induction of the the Kamloops Blazers dynasty teams of 1993/94 and 1994/95, which featured Ryan Huska on both rosters. Huska, who was born in Cranbrook but grew up in Trail, played with the Blazers in his major-junior days, winning back-to-back Memorial Cups in those two years.
Huska is currently the head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
Rounding out the class was Nancy Wilson, a long-time coach who has led teams at the university, provincial and national levels.
Hosted in Penticton, Patterson said he had a great time at the ceremony, giving a brief speech when he was called to the podium.
“I’m privileged to be in with the group that I was inducted with and thanked all the the people who had helped me along the way and some of my old coaches and some of the things people did for me growing up,” said Patterson.
It was a friendly crowd filled with family, old friends and hockey contacts, said Patterson.
“A lot of the coaches, I’m familiar with, and family was there and friends were there,” said Patterson, “so it was renewing some acquaintances with a lot of the coaches I spent time with in coaching clinics and various programs.”
Patterson has spent a lifetime in the game, first as a player with Michigan Tech in the NCAA before moving into coaching, where he worked at various levels ranging from the Cranbrook Jr. B Colts to the Canada’s Spengler Cup team.
Patterson authored a series of lesson plans that was adopted by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association—now Hockey Canada—which became an instrumental resource for coaches to foster skill development.
Patterson was an assistant under Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill during his first tenure when the team won a Memorial Cup in 2002.
Patterson also juggled his coaching career with his day job as a teacher at Laurie Middle School, where he taught for 30 years in mathematics.
Patterson is married to his wife, Janet, and has three sons—Brad, Shane and Jeff.