Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
LDS Hockey Player Gets Second Shot at Pros
WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH -- John Shockey, the Cleveland Lumberjacks
defenseman, received a Utah hometown welcome while playing one of
four games for the Grizzlies, even though he never lived in Utah.
Shockey, a Lethbridge, Alberta native is a member of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The southern part of Alberta is
predominately Mormon, but Salt Lake City is the home of the LDS
Shockey was traded by the Idaho Steelheads of the West Coast Hockey
League and was forced to leave the Grizzlies one game before Utah
returned to the E Center. He found his way to Utah through Minnesota
and Cleveland. "I was born to be a hockey player and a Mormon,"
"People ask if I'm a good Mormon. I tell them I try my best," Shockey
said. Willing to serve a mission for the church, Shockey sacrificed
two years of his hockey career by serving full time in the Sydney,
Australia mission. "I looked at some of my friends who had gone, and
I felt maybe it was something I needed to do. I told my general
manager and he told me if I did it, I would never be able to play
hockey again." "I took that as a bit of a challenge. For someone to
say you can't do something you believe in is wrong," Shockey said.
Dubbed in Idaho as the "Stormin' Mormon" upon his return, Shockey had
four goals, 10 assists and 244 penalty minutes in 62 games with the
Steelheads in the 1998-1999 season. His impressive season earned him
a 25-game contract with the Lumberjacks. "This is another opportunity
to prove myself," Shockey said of his second stint in the IHL. "I
plan to make the most of it."
Shockey keeps faith in himself
Cleveland OH Plain Dealer 22Oct00 S2
By Brett Prettyman: Salt Lake Tribune
Lumberjack returns to hockey after Mormon mission