Former St. Lawrence University forward and 100-point man Mike McKenzie is navigating through the American professional hockey ranks. He currently plays in the ECHL for the Florida Everblades.
He is keeping a journal of his pro life and has agreed to let me share it with you each Sunday. These words are his own. If you would like to ask Mike question about his life or his writing, e-mail them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com) and I will pass them along. You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcKenzie11.
Read other McKenzie Journals: Nov. 28-Dec. 2, Dec. 6-9, Dec. 12-18.
Fan question: What is it like playing with Clarkson alums like Matt Becca who were your college rivals for four years?
Answer: It has been great so far. Any hockey player will tell you that on the ice, enemies are made, but 99% of the time they are great guys off the ice, and it is more of an on-ice thing than a personal issue. That is true for Matt Beca, Phil Paquet and Shea Guthrie, who all played for Clarkson and were enemies of mine during my time at SLU. Bec's and I actually have been playing on a line together as of late and have found some great chemistry. Unfortunately Shea is no longer on our team but he and Phil are both good guys. The Clarkson/SLU rivalry can be heated at times, and we still take small jabs at one another, but overall it's a lot of fun playing with them.
Dec 27, 2010
Time to get back at it after a nice little Christmas break. I went home for 4 days, which felt like a short time, but I suppose it is better than not being able to go home at all. While at home I spent a lot of time with my family and was surprised to find out most of my aunts, uncles and cousins read all this, which is awesome, so if they are still reading: Hey everyone, miss all you guys.
Everyone was suppose to meet in the Philly airport this morning and then take a bus to Reading, PA, all together, but due to the big storm that hit the area, a lot of the guys' flights were delayed or cancelled so today was a bit of a mess.
Luckily for me, my flight was only delayed 5 hours which is peanuts compared to what some other guys had to go through. I am not going to lie, there were a few moments during our landing I was a bit worried, but I'm now in Reading, safe and sound and ready to start the second half of the year. By the way, the hotel I'm staying in is really creepy. It is old-school and feels like it would be in a horror movie. I will be sleeping with one eye open tonight. ha ha.
Dec 29, 2010
I should be at practice right now, but unfortunately I woke up today and felt like death. I went to practice, but I could barely even get my gear on because I felt so sick, so I was driven back to the hotel and now I'm posted up in bed for the rest of the day. It sucks to be sick regardless, but it's even worse when you are on the road. Hopefully it doesn't last too long and I don't have to miss any games. I doubt I will, though. I've played through worse sickness than this before. That is one thing my dad taught me (forced me? haha) to learn.
He always said, “Being a pro is being able to play when you are not feeling your best or 100 percent.”
He used to always say that to me when I wasn't actually a pro, so now that I am, I sure as hell better do it.
We had a great comeback overtime win last night, and I scored the tying goal late in the game which is always a good feeling and a nice way to start the second half of the season.
It's time to try to sleep this flu off, hopefully by my next entry I'll be feeling in tip-top shape. Later people.
Dec 30, 2010
I guess that feeling better thing was wishful thinking because this thing has not gone away at all.
I still managed to play tonight (I'm a true pro now, Dad). It was a decent game, but we lost in the last couple minutes. We fell behind again and had to play catch-up, and that is not a good trend to be getting into. Even though I felt like junk, I managed to play a solid game. It is really amazing what the human body can handle. A few hours before the game, you feel like you can barely make your way out of bed to get to the rink, but once you get mentally focused, block that feeling out and mix some adrenaline in there, you can battle through it. I believe that is mostly a mental thing and the human body can be pushed so much further than we actually care to do most of the time.
Right now we are on the bus traveling to Trenton, NJ, for our last two games of this roady. The bus we're on is pretty sick. It has these huge comfy seats almost like first-class airplane seats. It is only a short ride, though. Being on such a nice bus sometimes makes ya wish the ride was a little longer, just kidding. I will never wish anymore travel upon myself.
That's all for tonight folks.
Dec 31, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! No New Year's partying for this guy. Game tonight and tomorrow. Spending New Years on the fourth floor of the Marriott in Trenton, NJ. Let's just say this will not be a New Year's I will remember forever. Let's see if I make it to midnight even. Doubtful.
Jan 1, 2011
No New Year's partying, but a win against Trenton for da boys and a goal and an assist in the third period to go with it. Call me crazy, but I will take that night every time over a night on the town for New Year's.
For those wondering I did make it to midnight, but only lasted about two minutes after that.
What would New Year's Eve be without a fire alarm in the hotel at 1am, one hour into my slumber? At first I was pretty pissed and grumpy, but after seeing all the drunken people trying to get up and down the stairs, I'd say it was well worth the hassle of having to get up and go outside.
One more game tonight then back to Florida tomorrow. Catch ya'll later this week from the sunshine state.