Episode S1E28. The Jason Wood Interview.
In today’s show I talk to former Streatham Braves, Medway Bears, Peterborough Pirates and Cardiff Devils netminder Jason Wood.
Jason now lives in Penticton in British Columbia, Canada and works as a firefighter in downtown Vancouver.
We’d scheduled the interview for 4.30pm UK time / 8.30am Vancouver time, Jason had just finished a night shift and to my surprise decided that he’d jump in his car and we’d do the interview while driving the 260 miles home to Penticton.
To say our interview “had it’s moments” could be an understatement as you’ll hear in the Podcast.
Jason started his goalie career as a 9 year old playing for an impressively good Streatham Braves team, not only were they the 1986 Wembley Junior Champions but the team also went a whole season undefeated. Jason faced just 100 shots and didn’t concede a goal.
At the tender age of fifteen Jason decided to take a step up from Junior to Senior hockey by signing for the Medway Bears, he spent 2 years gaining valuable experience with the Gillingham club before being enticed up to the Midlands to sign for the Peterborough Pirates by coach and former NHL “Iron Man” Gary Unger.
Gary had promised to take Jason to Canada, and a summer season at the highly renowned Okanagan Hockey School, was a chance not to be missed.
A season later and Jason was back in Canada once again, his father had decided to move over there and Jason went with him – only to return to the UK after just 6 months due to problems obtaining Canadian citizenship.
This was the summer of 1989 and on return to the UK, Jason called John Lawless, the Cardiff Devils coach, to ask for the chance to get some ice time.
After a short but impressive period, John not only gave him the ice time but also offered him a contract to become back up to his former Streatham mentor, Jeff Smith, goalie for the 1989 – 90 season.
Jeff departed after two years, giving Jason the chance to step up and become an integral part of many of the great Devils teams of the Nineties.
The honours came thick and fast, including:
League Champions: 1989-90, 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1996-97
Autumn Cup/B&H Cup: 1993-94
Playoff Champions: 1989-90, 1992-93, 1993-94
Jason also played 5 times for Great Britain in the 1991-92 Junior U20 World Championships.
However nothing lasts forever and the 1996 – 97 season proved to be a nightmare as a fall out with the Devils ownership limited his ice time to next to nothing, eventually leading Jason with no choice but to take legal action against the club in order to obtain his wages,
The following season after 10 games for the Kingston Hawks injury struck and he was forced to retire at the age of just 27.
After two years with the South Wales Fire Service Jason decided to move permanently to Canada, he became a firefighter with the Fire Department in Delta, a suburb of Vancouver and two years ago gained his Canadian citizenship.
These days Jason also works for a health and wellness company, Usana Health Sciences, you can find Jason’s Usana webpage here.
Shout out time
In this episode I give a shout out to Scott Plews and his brand new Gloves Off Clothing website.
I can tell you that there’s some really good quality gear for both kids and adults.
You may recall that I interviewed Scott in episode 15, to hear his interview, click the link here: Scott Plews Interview
Scott, I wish you all the very best in your new venture.
If you’re enjoying the Podcasts I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating, preferably a 5 star rating and a review on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.
Reading your reviews gives me a great boost, it’ll also help the Podcast get found by others.
You can read other reviews and even leave one yourself by following this iTunes link.