It's been quite a week for the Howden family of Oakbank, Man.
Just a few days after watching one of his sons help to bring home gold for Team Canada at the world junior hockey championship, Sheldon Howden got a call from Hockey Canada letting him know his other son has been selected to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"It's a pretty crazy time right now," said Sheldon Thursday, a day after learning his son Quinton Howden had made the national men's hockey team. "It was hard to take in — it didn't really sink in — you know you're excited but you just couldn't believe this happened.
"To have two golds in one year would be pretty cool."
Quinton, 25, a forward who played five games for the Winnipeg Jets last season and also spent six years as a member of the Florida Panthers organization, is one of two Manitobans named to the Olympic roster.
Chay Genoway, 31, from Morden will also represent Canada on the national team, which this year is comprised entirely of players from the American Hockey League, Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and European hockey leagues.
The NHL is not participating in the Olympics this year, which paved the way for an Olympic appearance by former NHLers such as Howden and Genoway.
Genoway played one game for the Minnesota Wild during the 2011-12 season, and both he and Howden are playing in the KHL this season.
'The opportunity of a lifetime'
Quinton's younger brother, Brett Howden — who plays for the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors — just happened to be at the family's home in Oakbank taking a break after the World Juniors win, when Hockey Canada called to give Quinton the news.
Officials from Hockey Canada wanted Brett to call his brother to let him know.
"They said they wanted Quinton to hear it from a gold medallist so he'd know what they were after," laughed Sheldon. "Quinton didn't know whether to believe him or not, but then Hockey Canada came on the phone as well, he was pretty taken aback.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime — he knows that, he feels that — he's excited to go and try to do his best for Canada, he's very, very proud."
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang begin Feb. 9.
Although they just got back from Buffalo where they watched Brett play in the world juniors, Sheldon says the family will find a way to head to South Korea to see Quinton represent Canada too.
"We might have to find a banker or something — but yeah I think we'll be going," he laughed. "I can't imagine not going."
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