CAMPUS EDITION — SPORTS BABE OF THE DAY: Shayne Rover, Defenseman, York University Lions, @shaynerover on Twitter
22-year-old, 208 lbs, 6’3” defenceman, Shayne Rover just completed his first year with the York Lions Hockey Team. Previously a 2nd round draft pick in 2008 with The Niagara Ice Dogs in the OHL Priority Selection, Shayne played 5 straight seasons with The Dogs, including partaking in 4 playoff runs and bringing home the Eastern Conference Championship Cup to Niagara. While on The Dogs team Shayne was known for his fantastic attitude and willingness to help the team in any way he could, this made him an extremely popular player throughout the organization as well as the community. Now you can find Shayne on the ice as he stands out with his powerful hard-hitting defensive play, blocking shots and shooting pucks.
21 QUESTIONS WITH SHAYNE ROVER
1. Drafted by The Niagara Ice Dogs in 2008, what was it like being a part of such a phenomenal organization for 5 straight seasons? What was it like being Eastern Conference Champs?
Being a part of the Niagara Ice Dogs was amazing. It is a great organization in a great region. I got to play for some amazing coaches, play with unbelievable players, and form relationships I intend to maintain forever. I was treated so well by so many people and it was an honor to be able to win the Eastern Conference with and for that organization
2. Each player makes their own path towards pro ranks, you’re taking the University route, playing in your first year at York University, what is your favourite memory this far?
My favourite memory so far this year was being selected by my coach, Jim Wells, to be on a Toronto Selects team. We played the Canadian World Junior Team in a pre-competition game. It was a great privilege to go against the young men that represented our country so well in Malmo and to do it with some of my York teammates made it that much better.
3. How old were you when you started playing hockey? Who/what influenced you to first lace up?
I’ve been on skates as long as I can remember, and playing in a league since I was 3. My dad had to pull some strings in order for me to be allowed to play with older kids since there was no hockey for kids so young. My dad, Al, was definitely the biggest influence on getting me into the game. Along with seeing the big smile on Mats Sundin’s face after a goal. Seeing how much fun he was having, how could I not want to play?
4. Right now what is your greatest achievement in both your career and life?
It’s hard to point at one moment as the greatest in my career and life. I’ve been fortunate to be involved with some awesome people. The thing I am most proud of is being a part that Eastern Conference Championship team. Looking back and seeing all the fantastic players on that team and being able to say I was a vital part of a team involving so much talent makes me very proud.
5. Almost every guy in hockey has a pregame routine what is your and what is your go-to pregame meal?
I try to keep my pregame routine fairly basic and superstition free but I always end up falling into a routine anyways. Nothing super quirky, regular warm-ups and taping my stick. Pregame meals are a little different this year, now that I live on my own with my best pal and roommate. There’s no real go to, more whatever is in the fridge at that time.
6. What is your major and why did you choose it?
I’m majoring in Kinesiology. I feel I know a fair bit about the subject, being a serious athlete for so long. Also, my dad took it and now is a gym teacher which seems like one of the coolest jobs out there.
7. If you weren’t playing hockey what other sport would you be playing?
I love this question because I’m really passionate about a few other sports. I’m a huge football fan, my dad was a football player and is now a very successful coach at the high school I went to back home. I grew up around football and absolutely loved playing it. However, the sport I was probably most gifted in was rugby. I represented Ontario on the under 16 team and started there. If I lived in a country other than Canada, I would still be playing rugby.
8. Is there any specific coach/coaches that have impacted your career?
It’s hard to be specific because I’ve been fortunate to work for so many great coaches. My father, Rick MacArthur, Marty Williamson, Billy Burke, Mike Van Ryan, and Jason Brooks. They have all had hugely significant impacts on my career, who I am as a player, and the person I’ve grown to be. To list the things they’ve done would take up much room then I think I have here.
9. How do you like being a part of the York Lions Hockey Team?
I’m really enjoying being part of the team here at York. It is a very different experience from what I had in Niagara but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. The coaches and older guys have treated me really well and I’m making lots of good friends on the team and within the York Lions community of athletes.
10. What’s the toughest hockey decision you’ve had to make yet?
It’s hard to pick out a decision as the hardest. I’ve been lucky that at every level I’ve played at, I’ve been treated well within one organization and never had to worry about being moved or traded. I’m a serious homebody, so moving away from my friends and family in my hometown of Newmarket, Ontario was probably the toughest, but I knew playing for the Ice Dogs was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.
11. What is your most memorable hockey moment or accomplishment as of yet?
My most memorable hockey moment, beside the Eastern Conference Championship as I mentioned earlier, would probably be scoring the game tying goal with 16 seconds left and then the game winning goal 44 seconds into overtime in the OMHA Championships one year with the York Simcoe Express. I remember almost every detail about that day and it was so exhilarating for me to help my team finally win a championship
12. Not all athletes are class acts, with that being said, how do you conduct yourself on and off the ice? Do you consider yourself a role model?
I like to think I’m a class act. On the ice I try to play a clean game and off the ice I’ve been told I’m a really nice guy. I don’t see myself as a role model too much, I just try to treat everyone the same way I want to be treated. How can I expect nice treatment and respect if I don’t’ give that out first?
13. I’m going to assume playing hockey has been a lifelong goal of yours, was there ever a team you didn’t make or someone who belittled your dream along the way? How did you handle that?
My 16 year old year with Niagara was a bit of a mess, got lost in the shuffle of a team with too many defensemen and ended up getting sent home, where I found out that all the Junior A teams had filled their underage spots. I ended up playing Major Midget for York Simcoe under a great coach named Wally Bishop who gave me a lot of freedom and confidence as a player, which helped me rebound from being let go by Niagara
14. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to the rookies on Niagara’s team now?
Niagara has a young team this year after we made so many pushes with older guys for a few years. The team reminds me of the team I was on in the 2009-2010 season. We were rebuilding and we went through some rough stretches but it taught us about how hard winning was in that league and it helped me truly appreciate all the winning we did following that year. I would tell the young guys on the Ice Dogs this year to keep battling and keep working hard because you never know when things will start to click and head in your direction
15. In the off season what do you enjoy doing the most?
I live a pretty active lifestyle in season so I like to do a lot of relaxing in the off-season. I’ve always said that I can enjoy most things as long as I have good company and so I try to hang out with my family and my high school friends as much as I can while I have the time.
16. Single, dating or locked-down?
Locked down! I’ve been dating my girlfriend for 5 years now so I think it’s more than a fling!
17. What are 5 things you can’t live without?
My family and friends, a tall glass of OJ, my 2001 Neon, some sort of competition, oh did I mention my family and friends?
18. If I was to look in your fridge right now, what would I find?
The fridge is pretty bare right now, it’s about time that I get a shop in. Probably all my roommate’s sauces. He’s the sauce boss
19. What is your favourite locker room jams?
My favourite music is not always on in the locker room, it’s not what most would call pump up music. I like listening to my favourite music, regardless of style, before a game. Songs that are so good they give me goose-bumps, get my blood flowing. A lot of Andrew McMahon and classic rock.
20. Most embarrassing hockey related moment?
That’s a tough one, I can be a mess out there sometimes. One that I’ll never forget is when we were playing against the Barrie Colts. I was back-checking a 2-on-1 and couldn’t stop, ran over our star goalie and good friend of mine, Mark Visentin, and knocked the puck in. Mark never lets me forget that one.
21. What do you want to be remembered for?
In general, I’d like to be remembered as someone who made people a little happier. I think if I can improve 1 person’s day 1%, that’s a successful day. As far as hockey, I think I’ll be remembered as a very hard worker who killed penalties, blocked shots, and sacrificed for his teammates and friends.
HOT SEAT WITH SHAYNE ROVER
Name one player you’ve played against or with that you’re still in awe of?
Ryan Strome, he has so much talent it was amazing
The Jack in St. Catharines
Wherever has the best deals for groceries for this week!
Monty Python and Holy Grail
What’s your go-to pump up jam?
DESTROYA by My Chemical Romance
What’s your biggest fear?
What’s your ideal date?
A nice dinner, a cute cartoony movie and then ice cream.
Name a unique fact about you that nobody would ever guess about you( not hockey related).
I have a streak of white hair on the back of my head. It showed up when I was 8, grew to the side it is now and then just stayed that way.
THIS OR THAT WITH SHAYNE ROVER
Long or short hair?
On me, short.
Gatorade or Powerade?
Beach house or Ski house?
Winter or Summer?
Dress-up or Casual?
Ice Cream or Cake?
Comedy or Action?
Twitter or Facebook?
Rap or Country?
I don’t listen to either but country.
Dogs or Cats?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Leafs or Canadiens?
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner?
Who should be our next SBOTD CE?
The person I recommend is one of the biggest sports babes I know, my roommate and best friend Troy McCusker. He’s got a good shot at starting as a quarterback here at York next year and he’s been my best friend since he was born so I know just how much of a babe he really is!
Thank you Shayne Rover for the interview, and make sure to check out this sports babe at his next York Game, blocking shots and shooting pucks.