Ean Messier, sixth pupil of Swanton, will be the next Patrick Kane, if not better.
“Ice hockey is definitely my passion,” Messier told The Messenger on Thursday. “I really want to play professionally.”
Messier sat down with the Messenger to talk about his hobby this week, which he said he’s been playing year-round and for about eight years. He plays center and defensive positions and wears the number 88 on his jersey in honor of his idol, Kane, who plays for the Chicago Blackhawks.
“He’s got an amazing backhand shot, and that’s definitely my signature shootout,” Messier said. “I got a lot out of it watching it.”
Hockey is Messier’s favorite sport and he plays for Dynamo Hockey Club in South Burlington. His team plays tournaments in Vermont and Canada, and he said Canadian players are as good as their stereotype suggests.
“Yeah, every time we go to a Triple-A tournament up there, we get crushed,” Messier said with a laugh.
Messier put on his first pair of skates at age two and has been tearing up the ice ever since. He can’t get enough of it, he says, and when he’s not in the rink, he still dreams of hockey while on thawed ground.
Especially when it comes to Dynamo’s rival team: the Twin City Gladiators of Auburn, Maine. Their ranks are fierce, Messier said, and matches can get physical.
“We’re usually beaten by them, and we almost beat them once when we only had eight skaters on the ice,” he said. “We go back and forth… Once during a tournament, one of their players just dropped his gloves and started punching one of our players. It was quite funny.
When summer comes, Messier turns to baseball and golf for his weekend activities, while dreaming of returning to the rink, his skates and his team.