Robert Slaney bal­anc­ing skates and school

Up­per Is­land Cove na­tive with as­pi­ra­tions of be­com­ing a med­i­cal doc­tor has lit­tle down­time

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Up­per Is­land Cove na­tive Robert Slaney is a busy man th­ese days.

Along with star­ring for the St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity X-Men in At­lantic Univer­sity Sport (AUS), he is also pre­par­ing for life as a doc­tor with a full course load.

The 25-year-old is in his sec­ond year at the school and is work­ing to­ward a bach­e­lor of ki­net­ics (sci­ence) at St. FX with as­pi­ra­tions of go­ing to med­i­cal school at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity.

Slaney’s typ­i­cal day is enough to make even the most ded­i­cated time man­ager cringe.

It starts with classes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is fol­lowed by a three-hour lab un­til 5 p.m.

Then Slaney has a half-hour break be­fore get­ting into a twohour hockey prac­tice from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“That ends just in time for me to hit the li­brary,” he said. “It’s a heavy course load.”

Such is the life of a stu­dent ath­lete.

It can be a chal­lenge some­times bal­anc­ing a high-level of ath­letic com­pe­ti­tion and school work, but Slaney makes it work.

“I’ve learned how to man­age my time,” he said.

Slaney had ex­pe­ri­ence with this sort of thing be­fore. Play­ing with the Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles of the Que­bec Maj o r Ju­nior Hockey League, school was a top pri­or­ity.

“I kind of learned to man­age my time quite a bit on the bus,” he said.

Slaney also at­trib­uted be­ing a ma­ture stu­dent as one of the rea­sons he has been suc­cess­ful on the ice and in the class­room.

“Be­ing a lit­tle older go­ing back to school makes you re­al­ize what you want to do and that you’re not 18 years old,” he said.

De­spite the heavy course l o ad , S l an e y said he has en­joyed his time at St. FX.

“It ’ s been awe­some ,” he said.

Slaney had to red shirt his first sea­son with the X- Men, mean­ing he had to sit out a sea­son com­ing from pro­fes­sional hockey.

How­ever, he did not miss out on any hockey af­ter help­ing to lead the Eastlink CeeBee Stars to the Herder Me­mo­rial Tro­phy last sea­son.

This sea­son, S laney has been mak­ing up for lost time in the AUS. As of this writ­ing, he sits sec­ond on the team in goals ( 10) and points ( 18).

The team has had “some ups and downs,” ac­cord­ing to Slaney, this sea­son , but things have been turn­ing around as of late.

The X- Men have played .500 hockey over their last six games and sit with a record of 10- 10.

“Right now, we’re sit­ting in a good po­si­tion and we’re start­ing to clear things out and get on the right path,” said Slaney.

Pick­ing things up

Slaney said there was an “ad­just­ment pe­riod” com­ing from se­nior hockey to the AUS.

“The pace is much quicker and the phys­i­cal play def initely takes a step up,” he said.

Thank­fully, this ad­just - ment pe­riod had lit­tle to no bear­ing on the reg­u­lar sea­son for the for­mer pro.

Slaney used a lengthy ex­hi­bi­tion sched­ule, which lasted roughly a month, to iron out any kinks in his game.

“By the time the reg­u­lar sea­son came around, I was pretty much back to where I wanted to be,” he said.

Gold medal ex­pe­ri­ence

Ear­lier this sea­son, Slaney was hon­oured for his play­ing abil­ity af­ter he was named to Team Canada for the FISU 2013 Win­ter Univer­si­ade in Trentino, Italy.

“That was ar­guably one of my bet­ter hockey ex­peri - ences. We went over there, and had a great group of guys and ev­ery­one came to­gethe r p retty quick” he said.

Slaney was joined by XMen team­mates Ja­son Bast and Michael Kirkpatrick, along with X- Men cap­tain and de­fense­man Josh Day.

Co­in­ci­den­tally, Kirkpatrick is Slaney’s room­mate in Antigo­nish, NS.

“We got to travel to­gether, which was pretty spe­cial ,” said Slaney.

He was named to the team in the mid­dle of Novem­ber af­ter the first eight games of the sea­son.

Canada made it all the way to the fi­nal , de­feat­ing Kaza­khstan 6- 2 in the gold medal game.

“To be able to go over there and put on that jersey and come back with a gold is cer­tainly some­thing spe­cial,” said Slaney.

Photo by Erica Roberts/St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity

Up­per Is­land Cove’s Robert Slaney is star­ring with the St. Fran­cis Xavier Univer­sity X-Men of the AUS.

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