‘An exciting time’: Whiteclouds return as Winnipeg prepares to take on the Golden Knights

The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies outside Canada Life Centre in downtown Winnipeg Monday as the Jets take on the Vegas Golden Knights, but there will be Whiteclouds inside the arena too.

The Sioux Valley Dakota Nation family would usually don Jets colors. But in a turn of events, they’re support remains focused on 26-year-old Zach Whitecloud, a defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Whitecloud’s father, Tim, has been Jets fan since before his son’s signing to Vegas in 2018. He said he continues to remain loyal to his city.

“I’ve always supported our home province’s team,” said Tim. “So yes, it’s a little conflicting — and I’m not the only one. There’s quite a few friends and family who are feeling the same way, but it’s an exciting time.”

Tim Whitecloud says he’ll be inside Canada Life Centre on April 24 to cheer on his son, Zach, who plays for the Vegas Golden Knights. Credit Tim Whitecloud

His son will be part of the squad taking on a Jets team fighting to stay within the first round of the playoffs. He noted that seeing Whitecloud play professional hockey is something that has kept the family together.

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“I think it’s unfortunate we meet in the first round here but that’s the way hockey goes and may the best team come out on top,” said Tim.

Whitecloud is one of five Golden Knights players, who are from Manitoba. The others are Mark Stone and Nolan Patrick from Winnipeg, Byron Froese from Winkler and Keegan Kolesar from Brandon.

Twitter-verse was quick to comment on the Manitoban, following three games that have pitted the Canadian team in a battle to stay alive in their first playoff bout since 2018.

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Seeing his son play makes Tim proud, but he said he worries about the injuries he could be hit with. After suffering a lower-body injury two weeks ago in a bout against Dallas, Tim worried Whitecloud would not face off against the Jets. But with everything dusted off, Whitecloud will return to play in his fourth game this post-season.

Read more: ‘Whiteout’ tradition leaves impression as Jets look to even playoff series

As for Tim, he said he has no plans to join the Whiteout parties in the streets.

“I think I’ll stick to my own thing. I don’t know if I want to get in with that Jets crowd. I’ll be wearing my Vegas Golden (Knights) jersey,” he said. “We’ll bump shoulders and elbows with them in the arena.”

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