Kelowna may not be that far in actual kilometres from Victoria but when you are a hockey rookie living away from home for the first time it can seem like a very long distance. Seventeen-year-old Tate Coughlin is enjoying his first year in the Western Hockey league playing with the Kelowna Rockets but adjusting to life away from the family home in Colwood is taking some time.
It helps that Coughlin is billeted with teammate Tanner Wishnowski and their billet family is great.
It also helps when you play for the Rockets, who at press time, stood atop the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) rankings.
The former Peninsula Panther finds the biggest adjustments is the speed of the Western Hockey League game and the amount of travel time the team logs.
The longest bus ride so far this year has been to Prince George. He and teammates watch movies to pass the time or try and sleep if it’s an overnight drive.
He says as well that there is definately more pressure to win.
He credits his coach last year Brian Passmore for giving him the skills to move up saying “he was a good coach for me”
The Rockets‘ veterans were a great source of information when Coughlin made the team, giving him advice on how to change his game in order to thrive in the WHL.
The right winger has potted one goal and three assists so far this year.
Coughlin made his first appearances in his hometown in a Rocket uniform Tuesday and last night with an audience of family and friends in attendance. Coughlin received an assist on a goal in the second game, a 5-3 win over the Victoria Royals.
The former Belmont student was using his free time in Victoria to catch up on everything he was missing while playing in the Okanagan.