Cruising along on a snowmobile.
Shooting the puck around with his buddies.
Relaxing with family and friends he goes a long time without seeing most of the year.
Being home for the holidays was a great break from the daily grind for Thomas Chaulk.
Chaulk, a 19-year-old Deer Lake native, is in his rookie season with the Tri-City IceHawks junior A team in the United States Premier Hockey League.
Chaulk joined the IceHawks this season after spending last season honing his skills in with the Brockville Tikis of the Central Canada Hockey League 2.
“It’s great to get home for Christmas because it’s a time when all the family is around and it’s really nice to see everybody,” Chaulk said Thursday afternoon.
The stocky five-foot-eight, 160-pound left winger decided to join the IceHawks because he felt it would provide him with the atmosphere to help improve his stock in his quest to earn a college hockey gig in the United States.
His team is in the middle of the pack and in a playoff spot at the Christmas break so he’s happy with how things are unfolding for him in his rookie campaign.
He believes the league is giving him the exposure he needs.
He has been chatting with a number of officials with National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 and Division 2 teams about future possibilities so he’s convinced more than ever he made the right move.
While he’s enjoying the break, Chaulk knows it will be time to get back to business soon enough with major showcase tournaments in Chicago, Boston and Detroit penciled in for a hectic second half of the season.
It’s this exposure that Chaulk believes will be the key to where hockey takes him down the road.
“That’s where you get most of the scouts out so I’m really looking to perform there and hopefully talk to some more schools to have more options,” he said.
Chaulk keeps himself busy doing kinesiology courses online through Memorial University of Newfoundland when he’s not wearing the crest of the IceHawks.
He’s found a place where he feels like home and that’s important when all of his family and friends are miles away during a long stretch.
It’s all part of his plan to get that college hockey gig and he’s prepared to do what it takes because he understands nothing good in life comes without sacrifice and hard work.