By Ron Rauch
Victoria Times Colonist
VICTORIA, British Columbia – It is not often that a professional hockey player can sleep in his own bed and enjoy mom’s home cooking while on a road trip.
“I was thinking about that on my ride over on the ferry,” said Victoria’s Sean O’Connor, who plays for the San Diego Gulls in the ECHL.
“It is kind of a strange feeling to come home and play road games.”
Monday’s final game of the series against the Victoria Salmon Kings will feel a lot like a home game for the 23-year-old O’Connor. Game time is 7 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena.
“My sister arranged to get 100 tickets for tonight’s game and my family will also have the use of a box,” said O’Connor, who played two years in the B.C. Hockey League with the Victoria Salsa.
O’Connor, the third round pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers, has made an immediate impact with the Gulls. In his first 10 games, playing on a line with locked out NHLer Curtis Brown of the Chicago Blackhawks and Max Birbraer, O’Connor has collected seven goals and four assists. He has also had brief stops in the American Hockey League with San Antonio Rampage and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.
“There is a real good group of guys to play with in San Diego,” said O’Connor. “There are a lot of skilled players on the team but I still like to do a lot of banging and create room for myself.”