Gidney thriving in Miramachi
Nick Gidney’s leap of faith to head east for his final season of junior hockey has paid off big time.
The 20-year-old Thorold native is enjoying a solid season with the Miramachi Timberwolves of the Maritime Hockey League after three productive years with the Thorold Blackhawks.
“I am happy,” Gidney said. “We’re pretty much the only junior league playing right now so it’s good to get going.
“No one has been playing. It’s tough for them not playing any hockey this year. COVID just sucks and I’m just happy we’re playing.”
Helping Gidney make the transition was former Blackhawk Spencer Blackwell, who leads the Timberwolves in scoring and previously played in the league with Truro Bearcats. Another ex-Blackhawk, Welland native Nicholas Rubino, is also a member of the Timberwolves.
“I knew it was the right choice. My buddy (Blackwell) was coming out here and he said it was a great league to play in and I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” Gidney added. “New Brunswick is awesome and it’s a whole new experience being out here and just learning new things.”
Gidney, Blackwell and Rubino are all housed by the same billet family, further easing the transition.
“We hang out 24/7 so it’s been good,” Gidney said. “I do enjoy it, especially with three guys. We do a lot of things on our own and we do have a great billet family that makes us all our dinners and pre-game meals so it’s been awesome.”
Miramachi is a small town of about 17,000 located in northern New Brunswick, 140 kilometres from Moncton.
“They like their hockey here,” Gidney said.
On the ice Gidney has a goal and three assists in 22 games.
“They used me quite a bit in defensive situations more because we have some real good offensive defencemen on the team,” Gidney said. “I’ve been more of a defensive defenceman this year than in other years.
“I love the role and always have.”
The Timberwolves are 10-10-2 after 22 games and Gidney said the level of play in the league has been outstanding.
“It’s been really good. Since there have been no other leagues playing, a lot of top guys from other leagues came to our league after Christmas,” Gidney said. “We’re going to be in playoffs soon and we’re getting excited for that.”
Gidney has fond memories of his time in Thorold.
“It was awesome. I didn’t know what to expect but it was a great time and I’ll always look back on it and never forget it,” he said.
Gidney is taking courses online from Brock and has aspirations of playing university hockey next season.
“I have been thinking about it. I haven’t talked to many schools but hopefully will talk to some more in the next few months. That’s definitely my plan and we’ll see what happens.”
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