He wanted to play in the post-season this year because it was his final year of eligibility.
That reality came through when the Miramichi Timberwolves earned a berth in the playoffs a few weeks ago.
Now he’s in the thick of battle in the MHL final against the Truro Bearcats, with the best-of-seven series deadlocked at two games apiece heading into Game 5, which was played Monday night at the Miramichi Civic Centre.
The Timberwolves registered back-to-back sweeps to punch their ticket to the championship final.
McKay was sidelined for the first-round sweep of his former team, the St. Stephen County Aces, because he had shoulder surgery, but he returned to the blue line for Game 1 of a second-round matchup against the Summerside Western Capitals that also ended with Miramichi winning in four straight games.
“It’s definitely a dream come true, but I just have to stay composed and don’t get too anxious,” McKay said of the playoff run that he envisioned since he graduated from the Western Kings major midget hockey team.
The 21-year-old Deer Lake native has played a regular shift and some penalty-kill minutes since his return to the lineup and figures his role as a shutdown defender won’t change for the balance of the series.
“I’m starting to feel back to normal and getting my strength back,” he said.
Two of the three games, if the series goes the distance, will be played in his team’s barn, so he’s confident the Timberwolves can win the series.
“We just have to work hard and stick to the basics,” he said.
He’s happy to be in the limelight right now. It’s a stage he has wanted to be on for a long time, and he hopes it will be a memorable ride.
Timing of injury couldn’t have been worse for Lucas McKay