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Port Moody pro hockey player gets first point since beating brain cancer

Wade MacLeod is back in professional hockey after beating brain cancer three times.
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Port Moody's Wade MacLeod registered his first point for the Manchester Storm of the Elite Ice Hockey League in Great Britain in a game last Saturday against the Fife Flyers. It was also his first point since he was felled by a Glioblastoma brain tumour in 2018.

Port Moody’s Wade MacLeod scored his first point in more than three hockey seasons when he assisted on linemate Curtis Hamilton’s goal in the Manchester Storm’s 5-0 win over the Fife Flyers, last Saturday in Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League.

MacLeod, 34, signed a contract with the Storm last summer after overcoming a Glioblastoma brain tumour that derailed his hockey career first in 2013 — and almost ended it in 2018. That’s when the disease recurred twice within a couple of months, requiring surgery, followed by a six-month course of chemotherapy.

But MacLeod, who played Midget hockey with the Coquitlam Chiefs and had a 16-game stretch with the PoCo Buckaroos of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League before he graduated to the BC Hockey League’s Merritt Centennials, said he was determined not to let cancer determine the fate of his hockey career.

With the help of a team of health professionals, including occupational and physical therapists, as well as dietary changes and hyperthermia treatments to kill off lingering cancer cells, MacLeod worked his way back on to the ice, where he and martial artist Kai Heinonen developed a gruelling training program to get him back into game shape.

Even as MacLeod’s agent advised him opportunities for an aging minor leaguer with stints in the American Hockey League and ECHL before being forced from the game for three years were few and far between, he caught the attention of Storm coach Ryan Finnerty, a native of Alberta who was familiar with his story.

“It all worked out,” MacLeod told the Tri-City News before he left for England in mid-September to get settled before the arrival of his wife, Karly, and their two young children.

In three games with the Storm, MacLeod has registered five shots on goal.

The team has a win and two losses, and sits in seventh place of the 10 teams that comprise the EIHL, the top rung of professional hockey in Great Britain.