GAME DAY: SWIFT CURRENT AT VICTORIA, 7 p.m. Radio: The Zone, 91.3; TV: None
Dave Lowry doesn't show his emotions overtly.
But even the stoic Lowry allowed that tonight will be a "special time" as the first-year Victoria Royals head coach tries to figure out ways to defend against his own son.
That's hardly an easy thing to do, considering Adam Lowry is the six-foot-five captain of the Swift Current Broncos and a third-round draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets.
As unique as the situation is, there is also a regular work-a-day aspect to tonight's Western Hockey League game at 7 inside Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
"It's a game between two teams that are beginning to be in the middle of their respective playoff battles," the senior Lowry noted.
Swift Current was 12-15-5 heading into Friday night's late-finishing game in Vancouver against the Giants, while Victoria is 15-13-1.
Yet there is no denying this is more than just your average WHL match-up - beyond being the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night.
"This is for bragging rights in the family," Adam Lowry said by phone from Vancouver.
He was preparing yesterday afternoon for the Giants, but his dad's Royals weren't far from mind.
"We're both excited by this," admitted the younger Lowry, who said the first two games he circled when the schedule came out was the opening game of the season and tonight's game against the Royals.
Adam and brother Joel Lowry used to hang around the rinks, scooting onto the ice after practice ended, during dad Dave's 19-season NHL career. They have practically been raised in the game.
Told he wasn't good enough for the WHL brand of junior hockey, Joel Lowry came to play two seasons for the Victoria Grizzlies of the B.C. Hockey League and excelled at Bear Mountain Arena. He showed his detractors wrong by being taken in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Kings in the same 2011 NHL draft as his more heralded brother Adam and is now a sophomore skating for Cornell in the U.S. collegiate NCAA. Dave Lowry monitors the progress of both sons.
"Dad watches my games on webcast and gives good feedback," Adam said.
The whole family is athletic, and you don't have to go far genetically to see why. Dave was a career NHLer, and his wife, Ironman athlete Elaine Lowry, is an avid triathlete, the latter making the family's move to the Island a fit in more ways than one. Elder daughter Sarah Lowry played NCAA and CIS volleyball at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and University of Western Ontario while younger daughter Tessa plays hockey in Victoria.
"Athletics runs in our family - and not just hockey. We were surrounded by all kinds of sports growing up," Adam Lowry said. "That environment instilled a work ethic in all of us."
Adam Lowry returns to the Memorial Centre after captaining the WHL team and scoring a goal last month in the Subway Super Series game against the Russian juniors. But it wasn't good enough to earn him an invitation to the Canadian camp next week for the 2013 world junior championships in Russia.
That was considered among the more glaring omissions on the 37-player Canadian team invite list.
"I'm disappointed, I'm not going to lie," said Lowry, who had a hat trick in Wednesday's 6-5 loss in Kelowna and who has 14 goals and 36 points in 32 games this season.
"But there are a lot of great players in Canada. And a lot of guys who never played in the world junior tournament went on to have long NHL careers. I'll just use it as motivation to help my club team."
That's just what the Royals need to be worried about tonight.
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