University of Toronto student prepares for Toronto Maple Leafs – .

University of Toronto student prepares for Toronto Maple Leafs – .

By day, he is a university student and goaltender for the University of Toronto men’s hockey team. By night, or at least for one night, he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I keep remembering little details every now and then,” Alex Bishop told CTV News, “saying, oh, that was really cool, or it was really cool – but I think it was. will definitely take a few days. “

The morning after his NHL debut, Bishop admitted he still hadn’t sunk.

“It’s not really something to sit at home and say, ‘Oh, maybe I can sit on an NHL bench tonight.’ It just doesn’t go through your mind. “

Bishop first heard about the potential opportunity on Friday morning through a message from his coach. The Leafs ‘Petr Mrázek was sidelined with a groin injury, and the Leafs’ salary cap limits prevented them from calling a backup goalie until Sunday.

On Saturday morning, he was on the ice, training with the team he grew up idolizing.

“It was surreal for sure,” Bishop said, adding that the players “were all very, very nice, super welcoming.”

As for taking photos of the professionals he usually watches on TV, Bishop said it’s not as intimidating as you might think.

“As soon as you step on the ice, it’s just hockey – just different players and different shooters. I tried to look at it that way, but at the same time try to soak it all in and say I’m here that’s really cool. “

But he admitted that was another story when it came time to step on the ice at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night as the Leafs faced the Ottawa Senators.

“Even as you walk towards the bench, there are fans to your left, fans to your right, the cameras flash, the horns go crazy. It’s something you’ve seen on TV, and even if you’re at the game, you hear it, but experiencing it firsthand is indescribable. “

Bishop spent the game sitting at the end of the bench, never taking the ice. But he says it suits him very well.

“I don’t think it could have really worked better. I was able to be there the whole game and didn’t have to be there, so at best. “

Bishop says he enjoyed everything about the night, including the chance to experience things most fans never see.

“You just kind of have to be around the squad and see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes on game day – what they do to prepare, and then obviously have a seat on the pitch for a NHL game is certainly nothing to complain about. . “

It was a once in a lifetime experience for a longtime fan of the team. Something was passed on to him from his father. Bishop says the Leafs got tickets for his mom, dad and sister to watch the game. They also received Leaf jerseys with his name and number on the back.

Barring another series of unfortunate events for the Leafs, the former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League player will once again don the University of Toronto Varsity Blues jersey. “We are a real and strong team,” said Bishop. “I think we have a good chance of doing a good way this year, so hopefully we can. “

As for the next step for Bishop: mid-sessions, he has one Tuesday and another Thursday, although he admits he usually crams in for mid-sessions, so his brief NHL career doesn’t did not interrupt his studies too much.

It will be a busy week for Bishop and he says he will probably never forget.

“It’s really not lost on me that it’s like… an opportunity that not many people have. So I was very lucky to be able to do this. ”


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