When reporters arrive to the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team’s bench for media availability times, it’s the closest they come to the masked student-athletes.
What were once just names and numbers as seen from the press box, far above the ice of the Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena, now become real faces, heavily breathing the cold air of the rink.
Of the 27 total players that practice hard each day, 20 make the roster on a typical game night.
[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]But the seven skaters that don’t slot into the lineup on a regular basis work just as hard during a morning skate as the 20 that do.
For a full season and then some, sophomore forward Logan Mick was one of those seven skaters. And despite not being a regular for the Bobcats, he took a similar route to the Division I level as his teammates.
Well, for the most part, that is.
For those that possess elite skill, once youth hockey is over, players usually step up to the junior hockey level.
If you come from a location that isn’t necessarily hockey-centric, like Bobcats like junior captain Chase Priskie, a native of Pembroke Pines, FL, it means leaving your family as a teenager to find more suitable competition.
Mick was born and raised in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. A city in which Canadian junior hockey doesn’t just thrive in, but extends out into the bordering cities as well.
It was no coincidence that Mick spent his childhood there either.
His father Troy Mick, current President and General Manager of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, has been with him throughout his hockey career every step of the way.
“He’s always been my No. 1 supporter and he’s the one that got me into this whole thing,” Logan Mick said. “He obviously had a past, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and I was lucky enough to have him as a father figure and role model.”
As a junior hockey player himself, Troy earned three-consecutive 100-plus point seasons and finished sixth amongst the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks’ all-time scorers (353 points in 201 games played) before being drafted by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins in 1988.
Although he signed a contract, seven subsequent knee surgeries essentially ended his professional career as a player. However, with no desire to leave the game he grew with, Troy became a junior hockey coach and front office personnel, splitting time in primarily the BCHL and WHL, before ultimately ending up in Salmon Arm, a team that has feeds NCAA programs’ countless players.
Logan was eventually one of the many Silverbacks to play college hockey, but he didn’t use his father in Salmon Arm as a platform to advance in his junior hockey career.
“I tried out for the Vernon Vipers when I was 16…he was with Salmon Arm at the time and I kind of told him, ‘I want to do this myself now,’” Logan said. “I still lived with the guy, so I went home to him every night, but just getting another coaching perspective to see if there were any other ways to further develop my game, grow up and be a man a little bit, so I wanted to do that.”
Logan spent two full seasons playing for Vernon, which meant playing against his father in Salmon Arm — a city roughly 45 minutes away by car — on a relatively frequent basis.
“It was definitely fun and it was actually pretty emotional the first time we played against each other,” Logan said. “We have such a passion for the sport and lining up against a role model you’ve had all of your life, it’s not easy, but at the same time, it was a fun little rivalry. We got to chirp each other a little bit, but, as soon as the puck drops there’s not a lot of friends out there.”
After his time in Vernon, Logan was eventually traded twice. First to the Merritt Centennials and then a month later, he was acquired by his father’s Silverbacks in the 2014 offseason.
He suited up for 25 games with the Silverbacks, until a hip injury forced Logan out of the lineup for the rest of the season. As a result, Salmon Arm had to make a move in order to acquire someone that could contribute to the team.
And as the general manager, Troy had to make one of the toughest decisions of his hockey career.
“[It was] probably one of the most emotional days, probably of my life,” Troy said. “To have a chance to acquire your son and also trade your son, not many people have the chance to go through that. You have to trade your son, but you know it was for the right reason.”
[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Troy shipped Logan off to the Langley Rivermen, before he eventually ended his junior career with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits.
While it may seem as though Logan experienced a fairly normal time playing Canadian junior hockey, his hometown’s commonality of hockey met an atypical path back in minor hockey.
When Logan was in sixth grade, the Mick family decided to move to Bucerias, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
“It was a full year off,” Logan said. “They had some plastic ice over there once in a mall. That was the first time I skated on that.”
But the move was not for wrong reasons.
“I’ve been in hockey since I was two years old and never really had a break,” Troy added. “It was tough, but we all agreed it was kind of good for the family to be together, and even though he knew he was a first-year Pee Wee, and that he wasn’t going to play hockey, [Logan] was okay with it.”
While Troy was a real estate agent during the Mick’s time in Mexico, 11-year-old Logan thought of the one-year move away from hockey-crazy B.C. as more of a vacation.
“As much as I enjoyed it down there, I’m definitely happy to be back and playing the sport I love,” Logan said.
[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Now a 21-year-old sophomore at Quinnipiac, Logan has that opportunity in Hamden.
However, through his freshman season and nine games into his sophomore campaign, Logan couldn’t find a spot on a relatively stacked team.
While he played in just six games for the Bobcats and registered two points in that time, he worked hard at earning his spot and patiently waited until that time would come.
“Last year at Yale he recorded two assists, which was a huge game to kind of burst onto the scene,” Priskie said in early November. “I think with [Logan], he’s just got to stick to the process because it’s going to work out. We don’t know when exactly…but he’s going to be a part of this team on the ice too.”
And the following week, on Nov. 11 at Union, he had that chance to prove his worth for the first time in the 2017-18 season.
The 5-foot-11-inch, 175 pound ball of energy was slotted in the struggling Bobcats’ lineup to bring much-needed vitality.
“Logan brings physicality, work, emotion and passion and he can really shoot a puck,” associate head coach Bill Riga said in Quinnipiac’s first practice following the Union game. “He really had to work hard for his chance and now — he had a pretty decent game the other day.”
Since that game in November, Logan has suited up in 14 of the following 16 games for the Bobcats and has already doubled his points total from last season with three goals and one assist during that time.
[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“I came here to play hockey and freshman year I didn’t really get that opportunity,” Logan added. “But I improved my game and found holes [in the lineup] where I can be successful. It’s been awesome and I feel like I’m doing pretty good.”
Although he may have waited longer than he hoped for to find his consistency within the lineup, there isn’t all that much the Logan would change about his unique journey to a top college hockey program in Quinnipiac.
He knows what it takes to stick with this role moving onward into his collegiate career.
“There’s definitely no worse feeling than seeing your 20 brothers out there, going to war and you’re in the stands with no impact on the game really,” Logan said. “I used that as motivation… Now I feel like I have a solidified role in the group and hopefully I can keep bringing that energy, and keep bringing that passion to every game.”