Ju­nior play­ers find their own way to en­joy time on the road

More op­tions avail­able than play­ing cards, watch­ing movie or star­ing out the win­dow

StarMetro Edmonton - - SPORTS - Kyle Cicerella

Saint John Sea Dogs cap­tain An­thony Boucher has trav­elled from arena to arena in the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League long enough to re­al­ize how im­por­tant it is to make good use of time spent on the team bus.

The 20-year-old for­ward, who’s in his fourth sea­son in the league, and his Sea Dogs will travel more than 18,000 kilo­me­tres this sea­son on the roads, mak­ing a stop in all 18 QMJHL cities at least once to play a to­tal of 34 away games.

At times it can feel long, but it doesn’t have to be wasted time.

“I’m get­ting used to it, for me now a three-hour bus ride is a short trip,” Boucher said. “I’ve been learn­ing to use the time to my ad­van­tage, work­ing on school stuff (he’s tak­ing CEGEP, pre-univer­sity cour­ses), read­ing, sleep­ing, some re­cov­ery.”

“He just plows through home­work and it sets the tone with the younger guys,” added Sea Dogs gen­eral man­ager Trevor Ge­orgie.

Saint John will have two road trips through Que­bec this sea­son, a six-game stroll in Novem­ber at 2,700 kilo­me­tres, and a five-game trip in Jan­uary at 3,500 kilo­me­tres — in­clud­ing a 1,700kilo­me­tre drive from RouynNo­randa, Que., back home.

The play­ers are typ­i­cally al­lowed to do their own thing on the Sea Dogs bus, with most choos­ing to chat or lis­ten to mu­sic. Tech­nol­ogy has led to many more op­tions than sim­ply play­ing cards, watch­ing a film or star­ing out the win­dow into the night.

Boucher be­lieves his ed­u­ca­tion is a top pri­or­ity and is of­ten study­ing on the road, with his lap­top, wifi and data sup­plied by the team to help him ob­tain his school goals. Read more on how play­ers han­dle their time on the bus at thes­tar.com/hockey

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Saint John Sea Dogs cap­tain An­thony Boucher uses his time on the road to do home­work for his pre-univer­sity cour­ses and give his body a chance to re­cover.

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