PICTOU COUNTY – Devan Gunn isn’t any different from other junior hockey players who had to move away from home to play, but he said he’s glad he was in Pictou County during that time.
In his third and final season with Weeks Crushers, Gunn moved away from home for the first time to play here after playing midget AAA hockey with the Cornwall Thunder and Summerside Western Capitals in the MHL. Although he hasn’t gone to school the whole time he’s been here he said that was also another major adjustment for him, similar to other players on the team.
“Last year was a big year for me going to school and it was a big step in learning how to manage myself,” he said. “You learn how to bear down and get stuff done away from the rink, which was always easier growing up with your parents around.”
When he first was traded to the Crushers he said he lived with his cousin before moving in with a billet family. Brian and Angela MacLeod have become like second parents to him, with their daughters Hannah and Hailey also being like family.
“Living with them was great from the get-go,” he said. “They took us (Gunn and Jordan McInnis) in and treated us like their own kids and genuinely care about us and how we’re doing. Having Jordan there too was great because we both grew up in P.E.I. playing against each other, but even if he wasn’t there it would be a great place to live.”
Brought to the Crushers as a third-line, shutdown player, Gunn’s role has stayed relatively the same since joining the team. He said he has been moved into different roles as needed.
Looking back he said one thing he’s constantly looked at was how Pictou County fared against Summerside. He said on the ice the first game against the Capitals was a big one for him.
“Playing them was a big deal for me because I wanted to beat them after being traded,” he said. “I wanted our team to be able to beat them and to prove to them and myself that I could compete with any of their players. Over the years I’ve wanted our team to be able to beat them and this year we showed we could compete with them splitting our regular season matchups.”
Off the ice he said that he’ll always look back at the times the team has had off the ice. He said while with Summerside that it was difficult for the team to spend time together because of their living situations.
“When I played there I lived at home over an hour away and you had guys all over the place or in Charlottetown for school,” he said. “Here we all live close by in Pictou County or are only 30 minutes away in Antigonish. It just allows you to see the guys more often than not when you aren’t at the rink, which makes us more like a family.”
Goals for: 199
Goals against: 185
Vs. CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks
Goals for: 212
Goals against: 146
Crushers lead mini-series 1-0.
Game time: 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre
On twitter: @NGNewsChris