By Kyle Jahns
(Originally published in the Kindersley Clarion, June 24, 2015)
When Marc Dubeau puts his mind to something, it seems like he’s more than likely to achieve it. The former Iron Horse Kindersley Klippers centre has accepted a scholarship to American International College and will play hockey with the Yellow Jackets, an NCAA Division I team.
When Dubeau, of St. Lina, Alta., received the call from AIC in mid-May he was caught off guard. He was planning on putting his hockey career to the side and attending the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
AIC expressed interest in having Dubeau play for them. Shortly after, they offered the 20-year-old a scholarship.
“It definitely caught me off guard because I hadn’t talked to them at all until that day. Usually things like that don’t happen so fast, but there’s a school that was interested in me and that was nice,” Dubeau said.
But it was no surprise to Chris Forsman, who served as the Klippers assistant coach last season. He had been making some calls to college teams and soon discovered AIC was needing a player. He told the college that Dubeau was hands-down one of the best players still available.
“He’s just a really humble kid. Every day you’d walk in the rink and he’d be the first guy on the ice. He’s been like that ever since we’ve known him at 17 years old,” Forsman said.
Dubeau’s always been a hard worker. A lot of that had to do with his less traditional hockey path. Dubeau never played ‘AAA’ hockey. When he joined the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL in 2012, he had to learn to play a 200-foot game.
The Klippers kept a close eye on Dubeau while he played in Alberta. On Oct. 2, 2013, the team cut a deal with Bonnyville to bring Dubeau to Kindersley in exchange for defenceman Troy Gedny. During his first season with the Klippers, Dubeau racked up nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 53 games played.
Everything started coming together for Dubeau during the 2014-15 season. He spent the offseason prior training harder and skating more. He also started to grow into his 6’5” frame and became one of the biggest players in the SJHL last season. Dubeau always liked the idea of earning a scholarship to play college hockey, and his stand-out season last year helped him earn it. Forsman said he became a player that could out-muscle guys for pucks, get in front of the net, shoot, and pass.
Dubeau was a cornerstone in Kindersley’s offence last season. His steady offensive contributions led to a 42 point season (18 goals, 24 assists) and an additional 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 10 playoff games. But his most impressive feat during the season was having the SJHL’s longest point streak. Dubeau had at least one point in 17 consecutive games last season. During a stretch of hockey from Nov. 29 – Jan. 23, Dubeau had nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points.
“I wanted to make a change during the offseason and give it my all this last year. It definitely worked out points-wise, and now the scholarship came too. It’s exactly how I intended it to be,” Dubeau said.
Dubeau was also a quiet leader on last season’s team.
“He grew as a leader this year. He didn’t say much, but when he says something everyone stops and listens because he has a presence being 6’5” and 215 pounds. You can’t say enough good things about him,” Forsman said.
Dubeau is also a talented student, which made AIC’s decision in bringing him on board very easy. Dubeau plans to major in chemistry and minor in biology once he heads out to Springfield, MA., at the end of the August.
AIC and the Klippers have a good relationship. It is the second year in a row that the college team has recruited a Kindersley Klipper. Dubeau’s former Klippers teammate Giovanni Bombini just completed his freshman season with the Yellow Jackets and will be a familiar face on the team.
Dubeau thanks his parents for helping him get to this point in his hockey career, along with his coaches, teammates, and everyone else who has helped him along the way.
Forsman believes Dubeau is in for some of the best years of his life, and is proud to have coached Dubeau. He also thanks the AIC coaching staff for bringing on board another Klippers player.