By Jadon Frank
All-around student-athlete is bringing hard work and leadership by example to the Briercrest hockey team this season.
Jacob Baribeau, who hails from Dorchester, Ontario, is bringing a large resume of experience, both athletically and academically, to Briercrest this fall.
Baribeau began his junior hockey career in 2009-10 playing a handful of games for the Thamesville Trojans of the Southern Ontario Junior D Hockey League (SOJHL) as an underage player before playing his first full season with the Port Stanley Sailors in the SOJHL where he had his best season with 43 points in 36 games. He then moved up to play in the Greater Ontario Junior B Hockey League (GOJHL) for the Strathroy Rockets. He opted to end his junior hockey career in the 2012-13 season with his newly revived hometown Dorchester Dolphins back in the SOJHL, where he had a career high 17 goals.
Harold Lang, Vice-President of the Port Stanley Sailors of the SOJHL has nothing but praise for his former leading scorer.
“Jacob came to us in his first year of junior, as a rookie on our team,” Lang said. “Jacob was our leading scorer, and on the top line as a rookie. He was going from minor to junior, so (he) was a 17 year old playing against 20 year olds. There was growth physically and mentally. Jacob showed leadership right off the bat, not afraid of competition. He never gives up and will go through the wall for self and teammates. He wanted to win.”
“He is very personable, but is very intense on the ice,” Lang continued. “He won’t quit; go, go, go. He is a great all around person. Very level headed and very gifted talent wise. Maybe not standout physically but will give everything he can on the ice. Jacob is who he strives to be. (He) will do what is asked of him, on the ice and in the community, whatever the situation, whether putting lights up in the harbour or collecting canned good in the Dickens Day Parade. No one would have anything bad at all to say about him.”
Baribeau has also shown great success academically. He graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School, where he received the honours award for achieving an average above 80%. He was a multi-sport athlete at the school, also playing high school baseball and badminton.
Baribeau is a versatile player, having played every position except goaltender during his minor hockey career that began at the age of six in his hometown. His favourite hockey moment occurred during his final year of minor hockey for his hometown.
“My favourite moment was winning the OMHA championship when I was 16,” he explained.
He received several special recognitions at the conclusion of his junior career.
“I won MVP of Dorchester Dolphins this year and the Donald Sanderson Award, awarded to me by the OHA,” Baribeau said.
The Donald Sanderson Award is reserved for a player in the Ontario Hockey Association that exemplifies leadership on and off the ice, as well as a strong academic record.
In an interview with Jacob Robinson of the London, Ontario newspaper the Londoner this spring, the 5’ 9” forward described how amidst the busyness of a hockey career he has always had a focus on getting an education.
“The way I see it is your mind is everything. You can have an amazing body, amazing strength and amazing ability but if you don't have the mind to be able to utilize that body, then really you're nothing,” Baribeau explained. “I recognize that hockey is an avenue which will open up a lot of doors for me but it ultimately is not going to be a career for me so I need to use (the game) as a tool ... Education has always been the focus for me and hockey has been on the side and an avenue in order to open up new doors.
“It's neat when people start to see that and recognize that maybe you are a little bit different and you do stand out for the standards that you decide to keep.”
Though Baribeau’s original educational plans did not involve Briercrest, he is pleased with his change of direction.
“In November 2012 I had been accepted and planned to attend the University of Waterloo for engineering, but God changed those plans and lead me to Briercrest instead,” Baribeau explained. “I plan to study business and hope to become a business owner in either the construction or automation field. It will be a lot of fun just getting the whole bible college experience; from dorm life and the hockey team to the academics and spiritual growth.”
Lang is excited to follow Baribeau’s progress at Briercrest.
“Briercrest is lucky to have him, he is the kind of guy to build a team around,” Lang said. “He is a person who people will follow and is a great example to his teammates.”
2013-14 Briercrest College Men’s Hockey Recruiting Class
G Marco Emond • 5-10 • 1st • Valleyfield, QC/Bloomington Blaze (CHL)/Fayetteville FireAntz (SPHL)
F Ricky Seidel • 5-9 • 1st • Bartlett, IL, USA/Alexandria Blizzard (NA3HL)
F Jacob Baribeau • 5-9 • 1st • Dorchester, ON/Strathroy Rockets (GOJHL)/Dorchester Dolphins (SOJHL)
F Taylor Epp • 5-10 • 3rd • Moose Jaw, SK/Portage College (ACAC/CCAA)
F Stephen Langford • 6-1 • 1st • Fort Collins, CO, USA/North Bay Trappers (NOJHL)
G Jameson Shortreed • 6-4 • 1st • Emo, ON/Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL)
RW Brett Lafond • 5-10 • 1st • Leask, SK/Waywayseecappo Wolverines (MJHL)
LW Kendrew Friesen • 6-3 • 3rd • Waldheim, SK/Winkler Flyers (MJHL)/Briercrest (ACAC/CCAA)
F Joachim Hånberg • 6-0 • 1st • Sweden/Rimbo IF (Swedish Division 2)
F Tim Murphy • 5-10 • 1st • Otterburn Park, QC/HC Lidköping (Swedish Division 2)
D Micah Abbott • 5-11 • 1st • Three Hills, AB/Three Hills Thrasher (HJHL)
F Tyler Medeiros • 5-5 • 1st • Winnipeg, MB/Lundar Falcons (KJHL)
F John Crawford • 5-11 • 3rd • Taber, AB/ Briercrest (ACAC/CCAA)
F Josh Anderson • 6-3 • 1st • Dundurn, SK/Martensville AA Midget Mauraders (GSHL)
F Luke McGuire • 5-11 • 1st • St. Thomas, ON/Port Stanley Sailors (SOJHL)
D Matt Landers • 6-0 • 1st • Balgonie, SK/Midget AA Prairie Storm (SSMHL)
D Ryan Sylvester • 6-0 • 1st • Winnipeg, MB/West Central Rage (PJHL)/North Winnipeg Satelites (KJHL)
D Austin Warkentin • 6-2 • 1st • Calgary, AB/Bow Valley Div 1
G Connor Dobberthien • 5-9 • 1st • Edmonton, AB/West Central Rage (PJHL)
F Tyler Broomer • 6-2 • 1st • Edmonton, AB/Applewood Cree (MHL)
F Ryan Mueller • 6-2 • 1st • East St. Paul, MB/Selkirk Fishermen (KJHL)
F Joel Stevens • 5-7 • 1st • Heriot Bay, BC/Campbell River Storm (VIJHL)
D Mark MacKinnon • 6-4 • 1st • La Salle, MB/Pembina Valley Hawks AAA (MMHL)
F Grayson Schmidt • 6-1 • 1st • Winnipeg, MB/Winnipeg Monarchs AAA
D Nick Kehler • 6-1 • 1st • Chilliwack, BC/AAA NHTC Warriors
D Justin Steenhof • 5-10 • 1st • Smithers, BC/Smithers Storm (Midget AA)
F Josh Grimm • 6-2 • 1st • Hodgeville, SK/Southern Rebels (PJHL)
D Craig Zylstra • 6-3 • 1st • Chilliwack, BC