Hoon hangs with Habs

Vernon Viper equipment manager/trainer Gord (Hoon) Cochran celebrates long-time friend Carey Price's wedding.

Vipers’ trainer Gord (Hoon) Cochran had to be summoned to the dance floor at Carey Price’s wedding in Kennewick, Wash. last Saturday night.

He’s not sure if he was talking hockey with Montreal Canadiens’ d-men PK Subban or Josh Gorges at the time, but he soon got the message.

“All of a sudden, I heard my name on the mic telling me it was time for the first dance,” laughed Cochran, who served in the all-star net detective’s wedding party at a nearby winery.

Price tied the knot with Angela Webber of Kennewick, whom he met while he was playing for the WHL Tri-City Americans.

“It was a great wedding,” said Cochran. “Pricer and Ang are both laid back and the wedding was just like they are. I had a good time. It was kind of a bummer for Pricer since he had to catch a 5:15 flight to Calgary Sunday morning.”

Price looked fine in TV clips of the Team Canada orientation ball hockey sessions in Calgary, smiling and taking everything in stride. He has attended a few Viper practices in the past thanks to an invite from fellow Williams Laker Cochran, and spent time team roping at Louis Estates on Westside Road.

“We’ve been good friends since we were 10 in The Puddle,” said Cochran. “We played some hockey together.”

Hoon, who has good hands, wasn’t about to snag the garter at the wedding.

“I wasn’t going to catch that,” he laughed. “It was coming towards me and I took a stutter step to get out of the way.”

Brian White and Travis Moen, both of the Canadiens, were also guests. D-man Keaton Ellerby of the L.A. Kings was the best man. Ellerby, a former Kamloops Blazer, is Price’s second cousin.

Cochran said Price is getting a quality lady with some smarts.

“I think she’s still taking some courses. She went to Washington State and I believe she got a business degree.”

Price spent two days in late July helping former Tri-Cities’ teammates Olie Kolzig and Stu Barnes raise big money in their golf charity Desert Bash at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland, Wash.

Kolzig, who now lives in Kelowna, co-founder Barnes and Price were the only celebrities in the tourney, which scaled back on high profile players to cut expenses and put more cash into the Carson Kolzig Foundation, which helps fund the Responding to Autism Center in Kennewick.

Price donated $5,000 in the raise the paddle event and his Montreal hockey getaway was the big-ticket auction item, selling for $4,500. A total of $60,000 was raised.

Semeniuk works for Dinos

Vernon teenager Liam Semeniuk perhaps had the coolest part-time summer job.

The Grade 11 VSS Panthers’ runningback spent 11 days as the equipment assistant for the CIS University of Calgary Dinos at their McMahon Stadium training camp.

“This was my third year and I just do whatever needs to be done,” said Semeniuk, whose uncles, Todd and Art Dulaba, were fabulous football players back in the day. “I film practice and otherwise just hang out and fix helmets, shoulder pads and jerseys.”

Liam, who turns 16 in November, stays with longtime family friend and recently retired U of C sports info director Jack Neumann.

“(Head coach Nill) Blake is really happy with Liam’s professionalism on the practice field,” said Neumann. “He works really hard out there.”

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Semeniuk flew with the Dinos for their preseason game last Saturday afternoon in Quebec City against the defending Vanier Cup champion Université Laval Rouge.

“They lost 32-3,” said Liam. “They only have two returning guys on defence, but they have some good rookies coming in.”

Semeniuk plays centre in hockey, where he soon begins his second year in Midget. He doesn’t have a chance to study just the Dino runningbacks during practice.

“I just take it all in. I’ve got to know some of the players and they all treat me good. The linemen are massive and they eat a solid amount. You’ve gotta be quick on your feet to play that position and they are very fast.”

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