© Star file photo
Colemans Western Kingsā 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 heās 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.
āI miss hockey so I canāt wait to get back at it,ā McCarthy, son of Corner Brookās Kevin and Joanne McCarthy, said last week after a deal was struck with the team.
āIām nervous, but I canāt wait to get up there and see what itās all about,ā he added. āI know itās going to be a tough level of hockey to play at and where I havenāt played much lately itās going to be even tougher.ā
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 hasnāt 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.
... When I get up there Iām going to be on the ice every day so I donāt think it will be much time and I will be back ready, hopefully at the top of my game. Daniel McCarthy
āIām going to have to work hard when Iāget up there to get in game-ready shape, but itās like anything you put the effort in,āāhe said. āAt least Iāve been on the ice and when I get up there Iām going to be on the ice every day so I donāt think it will be much time and I will be back ready, hopefully at the top of my game.ā
Heās 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, thereās also the challenge of moving away from his family and friends. He has some idea of how it will be, but heās looking at the big picture of why heās going in the first place.
āItās going to be tough, no doubt,āāhe said of being away from his close family and friends. āIām going to struggle for the first little bit, but Iāthink youāre up there for one reason and thatās to play hockey and thatās 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.ā
He plans on working hard and making the most of the opportunity presented to him.
āI think Iāll be all right,āāhe said.