Joel Ward dropped the phone.
It was Dec. 16 and he was watching his Baltimore Ravens like any other Sunday when Doug Currie, his coach at the University of Prince Edward Island, called. The news was unbelievable: Ward’s college teammate and close friend Drew Power died in a house fire.
“He was a teammate of mine, he was everything,” Ward said. “He was a teammate, he was a roommate, I lived with him, he was a brother, he was a cousin, he was a friend, he was everything. An unbelievable guy.”
“This dedication to the season that he’s made, am I surprised? Not at all,” said Currie, who now serves in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island. “And I know it was a real setback for Joel because Drew and Joel had quite a connection and they had a lot of fun together. I’m not surprised. This is so typical of Joel and just his time here in the province of Prince Edward Island and the friendships and the connection that he has made.”
“We shared a pretty good bond right off the start because both of our fathers passed away at a young age,” Ward said. “I just kind of bonded that way of kind of sharing stories a little bit. That was kind of our glue, I guess you could say, of losing our dads at a young age.”
When Currie got the news of Power’s death in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Ward was one of the first people he thought of. He remembered the friendship they cultivated during one season as teammates.
“We just had a lot of fond memories,” Ward said. “He loved hockey. He was playing senior hockey over there on the Island. He loved the game, loved every bit of it. He’d still send me messages that he scored two goals in senior hockey. His sense of humor was pretty good. He would always tease me about playing his senior hockey and me playing up here [in the NHL], there’s not that much of a difference.”
That was part of what made Power beloved in the community, that he kept trying to play hockey somewhere, somehow.
“It would be an ongoing chirp for myself and some of his buddies, kind of chirping him about still living the dream and stuff like that,” said Maxwell, who coached with Power at Holland College and was friends with him since high school. “Some of us in our 30s now, we had some good, decent careers and we moved on to different stages of our life. Every year he would say, ‘OK I think I’m done,’ and he just wouldn’t give it up. He loved the game more than anyone.”
One thing Ward emphasized was how much Power loved Charlottetown. Not long before his death, Power graduated from the local police academy and was beginning a career as an officer. Currie said Power was a good police officer because “he could relate to people.”View Entire Story
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