Andrew Antle had some anxious moments waiting to hear if he had earned a roster spot with the St. Stephen’s Aces.
However, he had a calming feeling come over him once he got the good news.
The former Western Kings star and last year’s provincial major midget hockey league top scorer, is one of the happy rookies suiting up with the Aces for the 2018-2019 season.
“It was a long time waiting. It feels pretty good,” Antle said Tuesday from St. Stephen. “I came up here hoping to make the team and play here this year and it worked out for me so that’s good.”
The speedy forward spent three seasons with the Kings and that experience helped him become a better player and a better person because he learned valuable life lessons like how to be accountable, how to be a good teammate and the importance of having a strong work ethic.
Antle knows he will have to work his butt off to earn valuable minutes with his new team. As one of 13 forwards with the Aces, he realizes somebody has to be a healthy scratch every game.
Turns out, he was the odd man out for the season opener, but he knows his chance will eventually come so, for the time being, he just keeps working away.
Antle knows he has to be patient in his desire to be an impact player sooner rather than later.
He also knows he must adjust to a hectic hockey schedule that sees him join his teammates for a practice every day of the week while he tackles online courses in math and sociology at both Grenfell Campus and Memorial University of Newfoundland in his long-term goal of being a physical education teacher.
Being away from home and getting settled into a new community with new teammates takes time for anybody who is making the transition from major midget to junior and it’s no different for Antle.
He’s just going to do what he can to help the team and focus on being a better player as the season progresses.
“I just have to do the little things right, get better and hopefully work my way up the lineup for more minutes,” he said. “It’s a whole different game up here. You’re not guaranteed anything up here. At home, you’re guaranteed things. but up here nobody knows you and you’re not guaranteed anything so you have to work for it more.”
The Aces, who also have former Kings forward Liam Smith on board for his rookie season, will be in action this weekend with a home game Friday night against the Summerside Western Capitals and a road game Saturday night against the Edmundston Blizzard.