Perseverance pays off with pro contract
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/06/2022 (342 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Matthieu Gomercic is a 24-year-old hockey player from Winnipeg who recently graduated with a degree in kinesiology from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, where he also played hockey for the Ridgebacks.
He’s now enjoying his life playing professional hockey, after finishing the 2021-22 season with the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL.
“University was a great experience for me,” said Gomercic, who was one of the 13 survivors of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
“I was able to set up my classes so that my school day was done at about noon. After that I could relax a bit and focus on hockey. The last two years of classes were interesting with everything being online.”
Matthieu had quite a remarkable Christmas last year.
“My goal going into last (season) was to try to play pro,” he said. Mid-December we got an email saying that due to COVID and restrictions that we might not be playing (university hockey) until February. There was so much uncertainty. A lot of guys started looking at their options.
“I reached out to my agent. Our plan prior to that email (had been) to wait until the end of the season. It was December 24th that I spoke to my agent and we signed a pro contract with (the Gladiators) on December 26th.”
Matthieu is now enjoying part of his off-season at home in St. Vital with his dad Rob, mom Joanne, and sister Danica.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mom and dad and all the sacrifices they made,” he said. “They wanted to see me succeed in what I wanted to do and they did everything possible to allow that to happen. I am forever grateful to my mom and dad.”
At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Matthieu is quite a presence on the ice.
“I play centre. I emphasize a two-way game. I use my body well to protect the puck. I am a good skater and have a pass-first mentality. My goal now is to try to enjoy the game. I want to enjoy the last few years and see wherever it takes me,” he said. “Outside of hockey I was fortunate to know what I wanted to do as a career with my kinesiology degree. I am ready for life after hockey when it comes.
Matthieu is enjoying life, playing a sport he loves and has a great family circle around him.
He would like to offer this to young athletes:
“Enjoy the sport you love. There can be times of frustration, but stay positive and dedicate yourself to being your best.”
Westwood's Sports Heroes
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.