Bouma family cheers on NHLer’s debut

Paul Bouma holds up a jersey from Lance Bouma who was recently called up to the Calgary Flames.

Paul Bouma holds up a jersey from Lance Bouma who was recently called up to the Calgary Flames.

A Calgary Flames game against the Los Angeles Kings may not get much attention here in Canuck country.

But members of the Bouma household watched with delight on Feb. 5 as young Lance Bouma took to the NHL ice for the first time with the Calgary Flames.

Paul Bouma, owner of Bouma Meats in Ladysmith, is Lance’s cousin.

Lance is a former Vancouver Giants player.

Recently called up, Lance, from Calgary, now plays centre with Calgary.

The 20-year-old has worked hard to get where he is, Paul said.

“We’ve been following his career since he was 15-years-old,” he said of the family.

“When he was called to the Vancouver Giants, we’d go over every year to watch him play.”

Paul said when Lance was playing on the Flames’ farm team in Abbotsford, the family would get together to watch.

“It was on Sunday mornings on CBC and my brothers and I got together to watch and cheer him on.”

Paul worked with Lance’s father in Alberta for a few years, before moving back to Ladysmith.

Paul said Lance was always a good player, but being drafted was a highlight for the family.

“It was the icing on the cake,” he said.

Paul said Lance’s determination was apparent from an early age.

“The chances are really slim,” he said of playing in the NHL, “but the more he played the more confident he looked.”

Paul said it looked good for Lance when he was playing with the Giants.

“He worked his way up to captain of the Giants,” he said.

For now, Paul said the family will keep close tabs on the rookie player to see how far he will go.

“We’re hoping he stays on the team [Flames] because he comes to Vancouver this Saturday [Feb. 12].”