Ice Guardians producer Adam Scorgie of Kelowna

Ice Guardians producer Adam Scorgie of Kelowna

Hockey enforcers meet and greet at Kelowna premiere

Don’t call Eric Godard, Scott Parker, Todd Fedoruk and Mitch Fritz a goon. They prefer the moniker enforcer.

KEVIN MITCHELL

Black Press Sports

Don’t call Eric Godard, Scott Parker, Todd Fedoruk and Mitch Fritz a goon. They prefer the moniker enforcer.

Their stories as NHL fighters hired to protect their teammates are well told in Ice Guardians, a powerful 108-minute documentary which premiered at Kelowna’s Landmark Grand Cinemas Thursday night.

“Thanks for coming out; this night is all because of Adam’s (producer Scorgie’s) hard work,” said Godard, who introduced the longtime Kelowna filmaker in front of a packed theatre.

Kelowna’s Glen Cochrane, who played for the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Black Hawks and Edmonton Oilers, was at the premiere with his wife, Joan, and two daughters, Tegan and Shelby. Fedoruk and Parker, both former Kelowna Rocket tough guys, were not at the premiere but get big air time in the movie.

Cochrane was best known for his time with the Flyers, providing toughness and carrying on the tough Broad Street Bullies tradition embodied by the likes of Dave Schultz and Dave Brown.

Fritz racked up 360 penalty minutes in two seasons  (1998-2000) with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Now living in Osoyoos, Fritz did most of his fighting in the American League before getting in 20 games with the New York Islanders in the 2008-09 season, compiling 42 penalty mintues.

Godard, at the premiere with his pregnant wife, Myrika, fashioned 111 scraps in the AHL with Louisville Panthers, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and the Omaha Ak-Sar Knights, and 119 in the NHL. He helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win the 2009 Stanley Cup and is shown hoisting the trophy in the documentary.

“My wife had a hard time believing this guy is one of the toughest guys in the NHL,” said Scorgie.

Godard speaks softly and directly, not what one would expect from a retired NHL player who broke Steve MacIntyre’s (Edmonton Oilers) orbital bone in 2008, during one of his three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, before retiring in 2012.

“If you meet him now, he’s wearing glasses and has a little boy, Otto,” said Scorgie.

Godard wasn’t a scrapper in his youth.

“I didn’t really like fighting,” said Godard, a provincial rugby player in high school.

“Ninety per cent of enforcers haven’t been in a street fight,” said Scorgie.

Ice Guardians, directed by Brett Harvey and edited by Stephen Green, tackles the tough-guy stereotype of the enforcer and adds a behind-the-scenes perspective of its role in the NHL.

The film took eight years to make and also stars legends like: Dave Semenko, Clark Gillies, Nick Fotiu, Dave Brown, Gino Odjick, Zenon Konopka, Kelly Chase, Riley Cote, Derek Boogaard and Sasha Lakovic.

Retired NHL defenceman Wade Redden, of Kelowna, and former Florida Panther scout Craig Demetrick, of Vernon, were in the house Thursday. No word on how long the after-party lasted.

Ice Guardians will appear on the Super Channel soon.