Like many others from the Prairies, Josh Roach’s parents got him into hockey at a very young age. Since then, Roach has played on teams like the Humboldt Broncos and the Flin Flon Bombers in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, before joining the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
Thus began Roach’s now 20-year-long hockey career. Making his way from the SJHL to university sport in 2013, Roach brought 16 years of hockey experience with him when he joined the Huskies hockey program. Roach is a third-year education student at the U of S, but since it’s his fifth year at the university, this will be his last year of eligibility with the Huskies hockey team.
Roach explains that the experience of playing as a U of S Huskie has been great so far.
“It was an adjustment, becoming a student athlete, but the support offered through the team and university helped ease the transition,” Roach said, in an email to the Sheaf.
Over his five years on the Huskies hockey team, Roach has had some notable moments, including winning a Canada West Championship and attending the National Championship three times. Roach’s other successes include winning two league championships — one while playing for the Humboldt Broncos and another while playing for the Huskies.
Roach notes that the team has been doing well this year, with nine wins and three losses so far.
“The team got out to a hot start, and I personally have experienced some success. It has been a great team effort thus far, and hopefully, we can continue to build on our start,” Roach said.
Roach himself has obtained nine goals and 14 assists in his 12 games this year, helping immensely with getting the team to where they are now in the season. With these nine goals, Roach has already exceeded the amount he scored in previous seasons — with a half-season left to go.
Roach is not only hitting some personal bests but is also leading the Huskies in scoring by a wide margin. Second place in scoring is split between Logan McVeigh and Michael Sofillas, who have five goals apiece.
The U of S Huskies have acknowledged Roach’s achievements this year, having named him the Huskie athlete of the week three times already this season — for the weeks of Oct. 10, Oct. 16 and Nov. 20.
During the week of Oct. 10, Roach made two goals and three assists, helping the team stay undefeated in their first two games of the season. The week of Oct. 16, he obtained six points in two games, securing two wins against Lethbridge. Most recently, in the week of Nov. 20, he scored a pair of goals in a 4-0 win against the Alberta Golden Bears.
Roach acknowledges some of the role models in his life who got him to where he is today in his hockey career, including his Huskie hockey alumnus father.
“My role models have definitely been my parents,” Roach said. “The early mornings and countless sacrifices they made in order for me to pursue hockey [have] been unbelievable, and without their dedication and support, I would not be where I am today.
The next men’s hockey games will take place on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 at Mount Royal. The Huskies’ next home game will be on Dec. 1, against Regina, and the puck drops at 7 p.m.
Photo: Jessa Robb