Daniel McCarthy heading to Ontario to patrol crease for Stallions

Dave Kearsey
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Colemans Western Kings’ Daniel McCarthy is seen between the pipes during practice Wednesday at the Pepsi Centre.

CORNER BROOK  Daniel McCarthy knows it will be a huge adjustment to pursue his love for hockey away from the comforts of home, but he’s ready to see where his pillow-stacking ability can take him.

McCarthy said goodbye to his family today as he ventured to explore the next chapter in his amateur hockey career. He boarded a flight to Ontario where he has been recruited to play for the Kanata Stallions of the Canadian Central Hockey League.

“I miss hockey so I can’t wait to get back at it,” McCarthy, son of Corner Brook’s Kevin and Joanne McCarthy, said last week after a deal was struck with the team.

“I’m nervous, but I can’t wait to get up there and see what it’s all about,” he added. “I know it’s going to be a tough level of hockey to play at and where I haven’t played much lately it’s going to be even tougher.”

McCarthy was a tower of strength between the pipes for the Kings in the march to the provincial crown, finishing the regular season with an 11-3 record before going on a spectactular playoff run where he won eight out of 10 games to give the western boys the crown.

He hasn’t had such a hectic training regime since graduating from minor hockey, although he has been playing some hockey in a less intense environment a couple times per week while pondering his hockey future.

He knows the team will expect him to be stop pucks when called upon, so he knows a lot of work awaits him as he hopes to get back into the groove of competitive hockey once again.

“I’m going to have to work hard when I get up there to get in game-ready shape, but it’s like anything you put the effort in,” he said. “At least I’ve been on the ice and when I get up there I’m going to be on the ice every day so I don’t think it will be much time and I will be back ready hopefully at the top of my game.”

He’s expected to join his teammates for practice as soon as he arrives and league play resumes Jan. 4 so he will be a busy camper trying to get adjusted to his new digs and new teammates.

Of course, there’s also the challenge of moving away from his family and friends. He has some idea of how it will be, but he’s looking at the big picture of why he’s going in the first place.

“It’s going to be tough, no doubt,” he said of being away from his close family and friends. “I’m going to struggle for the first little bit, but I think you’re up there for one reason and that’s to play hockey and that’s what I want to do, so I just have to keep that in the back of my mind that if I work hard something might come of it, and if not then you can always come home.”

He plans on working hard and making the most of the opportunity presented to him.

“I think I’ll be alright,” he said.

It might be a little tougher on mom and dad to see him leave. But, they fully understand that it’s something he wants to do so he just wants to get it on and see where it all leads.

Organizations: Stallions, Canadian Central Hockey League

Geographic location: Ontario, CORNER BROOK

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