University of Lethbridge Pronghorns’ goalie Garret Hughson is in third season with the club and is soaking in every minute of being a student-athlete after bouncing around junior before playing close to home.
The Foremost native began his career playing minor hockey in the village, winning an atom provincial championship, before moving on to playing pee wee ‘AA’ in Taber for two seasons.
“I think it was pretty special,” he said of playing hockey in his hometown.
“Especially when your younger with a little more kids involved. Coaches were really good and it was kind of a big thing on a weekend. The rink was sure packed. You knew the old guys were watching the young guys and knew everyone and knew who you were.”
He would then go on to play bantam and midget ‘AAA’ in Medicine Hat before heading to Washington State to play with WHL’s Spokane Chiefs for three-and-a-half years beginning in the 2012-2013 campaign. Hughson would then finish off his junior career with a brief stint with Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires to start the 2015-2016 and ultimately the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits.
“It was a little fast,” he said.
“(I) played three years in Spokane and I kind of thought I’d stick their for my 20-year-old season and it didn’t work out. We had four 20s and we’re only allowed to keep three and as a goalie it’s a little bit tougher.
“I was kind of excited to get a fresh start in Windsor. It was a little different getting out there. It was nice to get home close to Brooks and make a run at championship and end off the junior career.”
Now in his third year studying a General Management Degree with an Agriculture Enterprise minor at the University of Lethbridge, he has become adjusted to becoming a student-athlete.
“School’s is just as important,” he said.
“Now that I’m in my third year, I kind of realized that. I think my first year I’m more I just wanted to play hockey. I’m a pretty competitive guy and take hockey very seriously. As the years have gone on I’ve spent some more time studying and focused on getting my degree.”
The Pronghorns are sitting in a playoff spot with a sub- .500 record (7-11-2) in the Canada West men’s hockey eight-team loop and are looking forward to hosting the nations best university teams in the University Cup in March.
“It will be important for us to make the playoffs and make a wave there,” he said.
“We’re excited about it. I think it’s a little bit different coming in the way we are and hosting. It’s always in the back of your mind.”
On playing in the CIS.
“It’s a great hockey league,” he said.
“We don’t necessarily get the fans of the WHL. But the calibre of play and the players in it, it’s really good.”
He currently sports a 7-10 record.