I’ve always been fascinated with college hockey since I was a kid, especially admiring the big NCAA rinks, compared to small Saskatchewan barns. Visuals is our first impression for everything and the relation could be made for the hockey world. After juniors I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to continue my career overseas in the Czech Republic. Knowing nothing of the language or culture, I hopped on a plane and learned as much as I could while waiting in airport terminals for my next flight.
Sick to my stomach from airport food, travel sickness and nerves, I arrived late at night and was expected to be on the ice less than 12 hours later. Now that may not seem to crazy, but when you’re hyped up to the media and team before you step on the ice you really have to be prepared to be good or be gone.
That’s when you get your “one skate,”
Up until this point, all their visions of me were strictly from video and now I was thrown on a larger ice surface, with bigger, faster and better players. I remember seeing people in the hallways just staring at me as I walked out for my first practice as I probably stood out like classic tourist. As soon as you step on the ice you immediately feel the extra pressure as the feeling of coaches and teammates scrutinizing your every move is inevitable. This “one skate” is going to be everyone’s first impression of you and there’s no replacing that once it’s done….