Bisons’ sniper shoots film, not pucks
Hockey: UFA’s Mason McCarty misses Mac’s with injury
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 06:00 am
The UFA Bisons top scorer found himself shooting film rather than goals at the Mac’s Midget Hockey tournament.
Mason McCarty was sidelined with a wrist injury suffered just prior to the tournament and as a result he was wearing a suit and tie and recording the Bisons’ game against the NE Vancouver Giants on Dec. 30 at the Max Bell Arena.
“It wasn’t very fun watching, I always want to be playing and helping the team out,” McCarty said. “That’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
The Blackie native is the team’s leading scorer and is sixth in the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League with 30 points (16G, 14A).
Although he missed the Mac’s, McCarty had one of the biggest thrills of his young career when he suited up for the Red Deer Rebels in November.
McCarty was drafted by the Rebels in the Western Hockey League Bantam draft in the fourth round in 2012. He played his first regular season game with the Rebels in November 2013 against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the ‘Bridge.
“It was a good hockey experience,” McCarty said. “I played a fair amount and it was a real eye-opener.
“It showed that it’s not that far away, it’s just on the fine details. Hopefully I can get those fine details down, maybe I can have success at that level.
“The game is all about puck movement, you can’t try to stick handle, you have to move the puck, shoot, make the pass and you have a split second to make that decision.”
The game re-united McCarty with his former Okotoks Bantam AAA Oiler linemate — and Highwood High School classmate — Conner Bleackley.
“Conner’s the captain with Red Deer and he told me he was happy to see me there,” Mason said. “He’s a great guy on and off the ice.”
The Rebels head coach Brent Sutter also had some kind words for the Blackie forward, but also recommended McCarty keep pushing the iron.
“I thought he was happy with my play and he told me he liked my compete and skill levels,” the five-foot-10, 165-pound McCarty said. “He told me I have to get stronger and that would make all the difference.”
The one game in the Dub means McCarty is no longer eligible to play NCAA hockey.
However, playing college hockey south of the 49th, wasn’t in his plans.
“I have always wanted to play in the Western league, I thought it would be better for me,” he said. “I think the NCAA is a good route for some players, but the Western league fits me better.”
Although the NCAA route has been eliminated, the WHL offers scholarships to schools when their careers in the league are over.