During this year’s Ontario Ball Hockey Association (OBHA) Summer Provincials, we sat down with one of the Edmonton Savages’ defensemen, Zack MacArthur about his experience during the Nationals, and where he’d like to go from here.
Stick Skillz: How long have you been involved in ball hockey?
Zack MacArthur: I’ve been playing ball hockey since I was about four years old. I actually used to play with New Tec Xtreme, who I ended up playing against at Nationals [with the Edmonton Savages] this year, which was a good experience.
SS: How did it feel playing against a team that you had played with for some time?
ZM: It was crazy. I knew 16 of their 19 guys, and their coach had coached me my whole life. I definitely really wanted to win that game, but we ended up tying with them.
SS: So you had a bit of inside knowledge then.
ZM: Yeah, exactly.
SS: What is it that got you into ball hockey initially?
ZM: Where I grew up, when you start playing ice hockey, you start playing ball hockey, so I just kind of jumped in there. All the kids in my hometown played ball hockey, and they took it pretty seriously.
SS: So you have a bit of an ice hockey background then?
ZM: Yeah, I played AAA in Simcoe, and played Junior for a few teams and then I played college in Alberta, and then I kind of gave it up.
SS: Would you say you play more ball hockey now than you do ice hockey?
ZM: Oh, for sure.
SS: What is it that keeps you drawn to ball hockey vs. continuing to play ice hockey?
ZM: At this point, it’s just the lifestyle. I’ve been playing it my whole life, and I enjoy it more. It’s a better work-out, and I meet a lot of people through ball hockey. The community is huge in Edmonton and it’s a great atmosphere.
SS: Can you elaborate a little more about your experience playing for Edmonton at the Nationals this year?
ZM: With Edmonton, we went to Vancouver last year and took bronze which we were very happy with. We went back this year and Montreal Red Lite was not there, and they’re a very good team as most people know, so we knew that this year was our time to win it, and we took advantage. We put a very good team together this year.
SS: So where do you see yourself going with ball hockey now?
ZM: The ultimate goal is to play for team Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to play Junior and Edmonton, so I’d like to play again. That’s the goal – keep playing. I’m 24 so I think there’s still time.
SS: What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received in your sports career?
ZM: Sticking with it. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, especially in hockey, there’s politics, but I think you just have to deal with the bad stuff and try to focus on the positives.
We’d like to thank Zack for talking with us, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.