Liam Frigault moved from Saint John to Stephenville to pursue a career as a power line technician at the College of the North Atlantic.
His focus was on education when he moved to the airport town earlier this year, but he decided to take his hockey equipment with him just in case there was a chance to shoot around the puck while he was attending school.
Hockey was big in his life when he finished his major midget hockey career with the Saint John Vitos of the New Brunswick major midget hockey program two years ago. He had a couple of tryouts with Junior A teams, but nothing materialized so he played with the Southern Sting in the New Brunswick Junior C league last winter to keep himself in shape and connected to the game.
His arrival in Stephenville has him reconnected to the competitive side of the game.
When he learned there was a Stephenville entry in the west coast senior hockey setup, he decided to attend an open tryout. Coaches of the franchise saw enough of the crafty five-foot-five centre to name him to the roster out of camp.
Life as a Jet has been tough when you look at the standings, with the team having only one win at the Christmas break, but Frigault has been really happy with how things are going with his new team.
“I couldn’t ask for any better. I love everybody on the team. It feels like we’re just a group of brothers,” Frigault said Monday while waiting for a flight home to Saint John from Deer Lake Airport.
Frigault has played against bigger and stronger players throughout his major midget career, so coming into a league that had a reputation for a quick pace and lots of heavy hitting, he wasn’t too worried about holding his own.
But he said he had to adjust to the fact that he was playing against grown men for the first time. It had nothing to do with their size, but more about the experience they had on their side when it comes to being smarter with the puck because they’ve played the game for so long and know when to dish it off and when to hold onto it.
“Your mind moves faster than your feet,” he said.
The Jets picked up two points in the first win of the year, with a 4-3 overtime win over the Corner Brook Royals Friday at the Stephenville Dome.
Frigault had two goals in the win and considered the victory a big confidence booster for the team.
He was pleased to see the team get a win before the Christmas break and he was even happier to see the Jets ice a full team for the first time this year.
He’s looking forward to seeing family and friends during the holidays because he hasn’t seen them in a couple of months, but he plans to keep on top of his physical conditioning by going to the gym every day and getting in a couple of skates during the break.
“I just have to stay away from too much ham and turkey,” he said with a laugh.