Former Forward for the MnJHL Ice Hawks focuses on his skills and studies at UMASS Dartmouth - Junior Hockey News
Published: Tuesday, 7 Feb 2012
By: Amanda Marie Liesinger
Shaun Walters, a Minnesota Junior Hockey League Rochester Ice Hawks alumni, has continued his playing career
with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Corsairs. Playing every game
(20 GP) this season so far, the freshman forward (Plymouth, MI) has 3 goals and
5 assists. Shaun played three seasons with the Ice Hawks after high school
starting in the 2008-09 season, playing a total of 146 games with 109 goals and
99 assists. In contrast to other players who may have started through a family
influence, at four years old Shaun was inspired by the characters of The Mighty Ducks movie to start skating.
He attended a small school and there wasn't a high school hockey program until
his sophomore year. Shaun was actually one of the players that helped build the
program and since then it has become a huge success. "I'm really proud of
that," he says. |
Another proud moment for Shaun was his first season with the Ice Hawks: "We had
this great playoff series against the Granite City Lumberjacks. During the last
game we were tied 1-1 at the end of the first period. At the end of the 2nd
period we were down 4-1 and pulled through with a 'never day die' attitude. We
won in overtime to win the MnJHL Championships."
A teammate of Shaun's got him in contact with UMASS Dartmouth and he built a
working relationship with the coach. The coach and Shaun were in constant
contact before he was accepted to play in the 2011 season, discussing the
Corsairs' program and success with returning players. "College hockey was something I always
wanted to do." He advises other players to keep their options open but when it
comes down to it, make the right decision for yourself. "Make sure you like the
campus and the coach. If this is something you want to do, do everything you
can to pursue it. So far, for me, it's been worth it."
Even with his continued college career, Shaun remembers the feeling of
uncertainty the summer after he graduated high school. He was unsure he was
going to make a junior team. Even at the beginning of his first season with the
Ice Hawks he played every other game. He dedicated himself and after the second
half he focused on getting power plays and played every game. He continued to
work his strength as a down and dirty player: "I'm not afraid to play in front
of the net and I'll do what most players don't want to do. I'm not one of the
prettiest players but I get the job done."
He also credits his parents for being a huge source of motivation. "They taught
me to keep my goals in front of me and work as hard as I can to achieve them.
They are the most supportive people in the world and a big factor in allowing
me to play junior and college hockey."
He advises players trying out for a junior team again to keep their options
open. "You want to be in good contact with the coach and hopefully he's already
seen you play. When you're at tryouts, do everything to stand out. Do
everything the coach asks of you even if it's playing every position."
Since he's been at UMASS Dartmouth Shaun sees the differences between junior
and college hockey. "In junior hockey there is a lot of down time. The main
purpose of your life is to play hockey. In college, school comes first. I spend
more time on a schedule and focus on what my priorities are. You really have to
grow up and tell yourself that you have to be responsible." His goal in the
long term is to continue to push himself to approve his talent and skill. He
doesn't want to look back at his four years and regret the time he spent there.
With his education, Shaun is focusing on a Business Major and will decide his specific
It's definitely on the ice where Shaun feels the most comfortable. "It's not only
the camaraderie with teammates and the friendships that I've developed, the rink is also
a place to forget about the pressures from school work or elsewhere. It's about
going out there and doing what I love."
In his free time Shaun also enjoys golf,
fishing, and water sports. View his profile with UMASS Dartmouth or check out
his stats from the 2009-10 or 2010-11 season with the Ice Hawks.
posted Feb. 7th, 2012 - 3:08pm
Dan Foss says:
Funny how it was his teammate who put him in contact with the college coach. Thought that was the job of the team he was playing for to help market him to the next level. Typical Ice Hawks story....three year player, does all the work himself. Tragic.
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