Andrew Burden is shown in this undated photo. — Submitted photo
CORNER BROOK Andrew Burden knows his work ethic will determine how much success life will bring no matter what he does.
His work ethic has certainly helped him progress as a hockey player as evident by his being named to the Newfoundland and Labrador Under-14 male hockey team participating in the 2013 Atlantic Challenge Cup in Moncton, N.B. over the Thanksgiving Weekend.
“Andrew is a very smart player, he has a great work ethic and makes good decisions,” his coach, Wally Bray of St. John’s, said of the left-winger who is entering the bantam division under the Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association system this season.
Burden, along with Adrian Ward of St. Anthony, are the only two players from western Newfoundland named to the provincial Under-14 male team heading to Moncton with hopes of upsetting the top teams in Atlantic Canada under the microscope of dozens of scouts at the Red Ball Internet Centre in Moncton.
“I feel really good being able to represent my province in such a big tournament,” Burden, son of Corner Brook’s Scott and Daphne Burden, said earlier this week on lunch break at G. C. Rowe Junior High School.
Sixteen teams, in four age divisions, will compete for the opportunity to raise Chally — the Altantic Challenge Cup Trophy.
Heather Richards of St. Anthony, named to Team Atlantic’s representative for the 2013 national women’s hockey championship, will suit up for the provincial Under-17 female squad that also includes St. Anthony native Brooke Noseworthy and Springdale’s Emily Edison.
A trio of girls from the Northern Peninsula — Kaylee Gerrow of Rocky Harbour, Jessica Gould of Sandy Cove and Alyson Moores of Flower’s Cove — will wear Newfoundland’s colours in the Under-15 female tournament showcase.
The Atlantic Challenge Cup is the culmination of the High Performance Programs in each of the four Atlantic provinces. The program at the provincial level provides players with an opportunity to develop, learn and challenge themselves as they strive for excellence.
All action will take place at the Red Ball Internet Centre — which features four regulation-size National Hockey League ice surfaces. Fans unable to attend games can watch all tournament games on live webcasts by going to the official tournament website (www.atlanticchallengecup.ca).
Just being a part of the team should provide a good experience for the young players with a trip to New Brunswick and a chance to meet some new friends part of the rewards for their hard work over the past year.
However, Burden wants to do what it takes to make himself a better player.
He believes he can one day play hockey at an elite level, but it won’t come from resting on his laurels and plans on keeping hockey high on his priority list.
“It’s pretty much my life. Most things I do revolve around hockey,” he said.
When the puck drops in Moncton, Burden could play a key role in helping shut down an opposing team’s top line, according to Bray, but nothing has been finalized just yet.
No matter what happens, Burden has his own mindset.
“I need to play good in my own end defensively. That would be the biggest thing and I have to score a few goals,” he said, noting he views himself as a playmaker.
He is well aware of the high calibre of the teams he will play against, but he got a better feel for what to expect when his team took on the provincial Under-15 male team in an exhibition game two weeks ago that ended in a 6-0 loss.
“Their size was the biggest advantage they had. They were all strong and had really good shots,” he said of the game.
He said players will have to be on their toes and adjust to the speed and strength of the opposition at this level of hockey.
“We need to move the puck well — pass it around,” he said.