From suiting up on the Wolverines back end as an 18-year-old, to becoming a billet parent this past season with his wife and kids, Shane Auger has now come full circle as a Wolverine.
The Russell, Manitoba native spent three seasons with the club before moving on to play four years at the NCAA Division III level with The College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Although there are not many junior players that have the luxury of getting to play in front of friends and family at every home game, Auger was lucky enough to get the best of both worlds while playing for the Wolverines.
“To me, it was the perfect set up, I didn’t have to change my routine,” Auger said of getting to play in Waywayseecappo. “I was able to work a part-time job as well. There’s no argument that it was the best spot for me and my development in junior. When they (Waywayseecappo) came into the league, it was something that when you’re growing up and playing in minor hockey, you watch these guys and you see them in school or on the street, they were guys to look up to.”
“As I evolved and started playing with the Wolverines, it was a cool experience because you go play the game and the next day you see some fans and all of a sudden you’re having a 15-minute conversation about the game. You can tell that they’re really passionate, you weren’t just doing it for yourself, you’re kind of doing it for the community. It was really cool how the fans take an interest in you.”
Auger added that he was thankful for the opportunity he was given during his early days as a Wolverine, which seemed to pay off in the long run.
“I was able to come in as a rookie and get some important minutes. On some of the more established teams, I would have likely been a healthy scratch. I was able to get a leg up on guys that were in the same situation as me because I was able to get those important minutes and really see my game develop.”
“As far as Wayway goes, it’s a great choice and a place where if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
In 153 career games as a Wolverine, Auger scored 32 goals and 68 assists. And while the team might not have had much success, Auger’s personal success translated to earning himself a scholarship to play Division III Hockey for the Saint Scholastica Saints.
Auger was fortunate enough to be joined by Wolverine teammates AJ Tucker, and Kyle Luschinski who had also committed to play hockey at Saint Scholastica.
“It kind of made the jump a little easier because I had guys that I played with for two or three years and all of a sudden we were going to the same school. We shared the experience together, we all came from Wayway and I think it helped us all.”
“I would say it’s one of the best times I had in my life,” Auger said of his college experience. “You go down there to go to school and you play hockey and meet so many new people who are all in the same situation as you. It helped me grow as a person. I met my loving wife Kati who was crazy enough to want to move back to Russell, Manitoba with me.”
After playing 75 games over four seasons at the collegiate level while earning his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance, Shane made the move back to Russell with Kati to start a family.
And, after setting down some roots of their own, the Auger clan made the decision this past season to become billet parents, something Shane says they were always considering.
“We have kids that play hockey and it was a cool experience for them. Jaymes (Knee) comes home and all of them want to play mini-sticks and he was kind of like a big brother to them which is always great to see as a parent.”
“I felt like I helped him a little bit. If he had questions or if I watched a game and felt something I could say that would help, I felt experienced enough and Jaymes was willing to listen so I would share my thoughts, it was a lot of fun,” Auger concluded.
Last season, Shane’s wife Kati was also the Wolverines fitness coordinator.