Colorado Rubber

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Colorado Springs native, Rampage, Krivo alum Barr finding success with NA3HL’s Bighorns


All it took for Gavin Barr was a simple phone call.

A Colorado Springs native, Barr played the 2022-23 season for the Colorado Rampage 18U AAA team and was tendered by the NCDC’s Boston Jr. Bruins, only to wind up this season with the NA3HL’s Helena Bighorns.

“On my drive back home from Boston, I received a call from (Helena coach) Damon Hanson and the rest is history,” said Barr. “I am very grateful for the opportunity that Coach Damon and the Bighorns owners have given me. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I wasn’t meant to be in Boston. I am loving Helena.

“From the moment I got to Helena, everyone has been so welcoming. My teammates are amazing, and we have such a good bond. I continuously feel supported by my teammates, coaches, and the owners. Helena has a winning mindset and culture. All the way from the fans to the owners. The team receives so much support from the Helena community with the same goal in mind, winning the Fraser Cup. Helena is truly an amazing place, and it comes with the best fans in junior hockey – a packed house every Friday and Saturday night for game time.”

And although he loves to be in his home state of Colorado, living in Montana hasn’t been a huge struggle for Barr.

“It feels like home when you are always surrounded by mountains and in a great city like Helena,” Barr said. “This has been my first time living with a billet family, and I am so grateful for my billet parents Doug and Jen. They make me feel like I am part of their family. I am also lucky enough to live with my billet brother Garrett Bogan, who has been like an older brother to me. Garrett is also from Colorado Springs, and I have been fortunate enough to play hockey with him since we were young.”

Growing up, getting immersed in hockey for Barr was a way of life.

“My aunt and uncle owned a couple of Skate City facilities in the Denver area, which started my love of skating,” said Barr. “I began playing roller hockey at the age of four in Colorado Springs. I always enjoyed watching my cousin Brenden play ice hockey, and I gave it a try when I was seven and fell in love. I have been grateful enough to have traveled to so many great cities within the U.S. and Canada playing hockey and have met some amazing people along the way.

“I am a huge Avalanche fan. I got the opportunity to skate with the Avalanche during warmups when I was 10, which is a memory I will never forget. I will always enjoy watching the Avalanche take a run at the Stanley Cup.”

Once he delved into competitive hockey, Barr started with the Rampage, playing Mites when he was seven years old.

“After my first season of Mites, I ended up playing for the Krivo School of Hockey Elite,” Barr said. “While playing for Krivo, I lived in Colorado Springs and commuted up to Denver usually at least four days a week for a 6 a.m. practice. I ended up playing for Coach Andrei until I was 11. At that point, I was given the chance to come back and play for the Rampage again from 12U AAA up until the end of my first year of 18U AAA.

“I have been fortunate to have some amazing coaches throughout the years who have made a huge impact on my hockey progression. Coach Andrei Krivokrasov helped me become the skater I am today and instilled in me that hard work is not optional, which is something I live by every day. CJ Yoder has coached me on and off since I was four in both roller and ice hockey. I still feel I learn so much from CJ even to this day, as I have now been lucky enough to be a teammate with CJ on his pro roller hockey team, the Colorado Springs Thunder. Pat Bingham, who coached me during my 15U and 16U seasons, as well as during summer training, taught me truly how to become a better 200-foot player and has been a mentor to me. Additionally, Andrew Sherman, the owner of Colorado Rampage, has given me so many great opportunities and has helped me become the best version of myself. I feel that I am truly blessed for everything that Andrew has done for me over the years. With my move into junior hockey, Coach Damon continues to push me every day to be a better player while also being completely supportive with my future goals.”

Looking back on his youth hockey days, Barr said his years growing and developing will never leave his memory.

“My time in Colorado was great, and I will never forget the time I have spent with Krivo School of Hockey Elite and the Colorado Rampage,” said Barr. “I have made so many great memories and friends during my years playing hockey. One of my most memorable moments was winning Silver Sticks with Krivo in Sarnia, Ont. More recently, winning the regional tournament in 2023 with the Rampage advancing us to nationals was a great way to end my first 18U season.”

Approaching the stretch run with the Bighorns, Barr said he has started to look at the near and not-so-near future.

“A short-term goal for me would be to win the Fraser Cup with the Helena Bighorns this year and bring a banner back to Helena,” Barr said. “My long-term goal is to continue to play hockey in my future and eventually play NCAA Division I college hockey.”

Photo/Steve Robinson

— Matt Mackinder

(February 8, 2024)

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