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Josh Shears only has to drive 40 minutes down the highway for a road game against the Western Kings.
However, he boots it across the island for a six-hour drive for home games.
That is because the 17-year-old Deer Lake resident is a forward with the Tri Pen Osprey of the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League.
The team is based out of Bay Roberts.
Shears, a product of the Deer Lake minor hockey system, didn’t make the cut for the Western Kings two straight seasons so he looked for a game elsewhere.
A year ago, he travelled to central Newfoundland to suit up with the Central Ice Pak.
Long drives in cold, blustery weather more often than not isn’t something a player wants to do, but Shears knew that was the journey he had to take if he was going anywhere in the game.
“I have the passion for the game and I’m going to do what it takes, so I didn’t mind because I knew it was going to work in the long run. So it was worth it,” Shears said Monday.
Instead of getting ticked off over not making the cut, he decided to use it as fuel to drive his passion for the game and continue forward with his desire to find a great opportunity.
“It just made me work 10 times harder,” said Shears.
He believes he has been rewarded for his commitment.
He has committed to being an effective two-way forward for the University of Jamestown in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in the fall of 2019.
Shears will graduate from Elwood High School in June and the plan is to study mechanical engineering at the North Dakota university while trying to become a regular with his teammates.
“It’s exactly what I was looking for. It worked out pretty good,” he said.