Meet Devin Buffalo NCAA Division 1 goalie for the Dartmouth University “Big Green” he is the son of Patrick Buffalo & Belinda Lightning. Devin is a proud member of the Samson Cree Nation and is currently taking Native American Studies and Government at Dartmouth University, but his long-term goal is to help Maskwacis overcome its reputation as one of the most threatening places in Canada, but most importantly make it to the NHL. Devin grew up playing his minor hockey days in Wetaskiwin where he from an early age knew that being a goalie is what he wanted to do, and he was very good at it. At the young age of 15 Devin took his skills and became serious about his journey to the NHL by making the cut with the M-15 Minor Midget AAA team in Leduc, where he was the main starter and took the league by surprise, but most scouts didn’t look at him because they said he “was too small” but that didn’t stop him from posting numbers putting him amongst the top 10 goalies throughout the whole league. The next year Devin tried out with the Leduc Major Midget AAA team but once again his size came into play and was the last cut for the goalies, but Devin knew he had to work hard, being only 16 he took the starting job with Wetaskiwin’s Midget AA team which was a power house and finished 2nd in the league and ultimately winning the championship. His last year midget really made everything happen for him, he again tried out for the Midget AAA team in Leduc and throughout try outs every one pretty much knew he was making the team, he was much taller and better with his game and this was the year where he took the league down being top 5 in save percentage and goals against average. Devin also during the winter break got to be a part of the Mac’s invitational tournament, and throughout the rest of the season Devin and the Leduc midget AAA team won the north finals but came up short against Red Deer in the finals where Red Deer would eventually go on and win the TELUS cup. Reaching Dartmouth was a long shot for Buffalo, who was a late bloomer on the ice and truly didn’t shine until winning the SJHL rookie of the year award in Flin Flon a mining town of roughly 6,000 and an 800 mile drive Northwest of Winnipeg. The bombers were coached by Mike Reagan. Reagan first saw Buffalo when the goaltender made 105 saves and allowed only 3 goals during 2 midget games in a Calgary tournament (Mac’s Cup). That earned him a Bombers spot for the next season, when his play got him to a showcase game for the SJHL’s top performers. It was there that Dartmouth assistant John Rose first became interested, and the school offered an admissions slot a year later. Coming up in hockey any First Nations player goes through adversity and struggles primarily based because of racism, like Devin and many other First Nations hockey players racism is something that we are faced with it will always be there. Devin is a true inspiration and a great role model to look up to, he’s heard it all when it comes to racism, he always pushed to be his best and never let anything stop him from being where he wants to be no matter what some ignorant kid called him on the ice, or coach said because of his skin color, he always made it happen for himself, He says “I use that as a motivator. Yeah, I’m native and I’m going to outwork you and outshine you.” now he’s playing NCAA hockey and is attending one of the most prestigious schools in the United States, he is a hero in my eyes and every hockey player/student wants to be just like Devin Buffalo.
Story by Brendan Crier