He enjoyed four fine seasons of major junior hockey with the Rimouski Oceanic but even a 100-point season failed to capture an NHL draft call, and so, in all likelihood, Peter Trainor of Fredericton will spend the next four or five years toiling with the University of New Brunswick Reds in the powerful Atlantic Universities Hockey Conference (AUHC).
Nothing has come easy for the young athlete whose parents are Sackville natives and graduates of Tantramar Regional High School. He is the son of Terry Connor and Louise Ann Johnson and grandson of Patricia Johnson. An uncle is David Trainor, former star basketball player and coach, former prison employee and current resident of Cape Spear.
Peter went undrafted to become a team leader with Rimouski and had dreams of pursuing a professional career and hasn’t abandoned that completely. He attended rookie camps with Montreal and Buffalo last year but felt another year of junior hockey would be preferable to being assigned to a minor pro team. Actually he rejected a pro contract last year from Buffalo.
While Peter appears to possess an innate ability to score goals it also seems a lack of NHL speed is the major handicap.
UNB coach Gardner MacDougall says Peter has committed to the UNB program – one of the elite ones in Canada – but the young man hasn’t given up his dream of making it to the big time.
“Obviously UNB is my home,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for me to develop my game even a little more – a lot of players come out of UNB and get a pro contract. And that’s still going to be my goal. Whether I’m here next year or pro I still want to go somewhere after university.”
During the past season Trainor connected for 28 goals and 34 assists for 62 points. Overall, he finished with 103 goals and 115 assists for 218 points in 203 regular season games in the Q League. A year previous he led the league in scoring until the final weeks, ending with 100 points to trail Charlottetown’s Ben Duffy who ended with 110. The two could provide the Reds with an awesome one-two punch and could even be on the same line as Brown also chose UNB for his hockey home.
Expensive to remain In CIS
More than $14.5 million in athletic scholarship money was awarded during the 2012-13 year by the 53 member universities competing within the Canadian Interuniversity Sport system. While some of the higher profile schools spend considerably more than others a simple deduction indicates that, on average, it works out to just over $270,000.
Since the 2006-07 year the figure has more than doubled from $6.9 million while the total increased by close to $2 from the previous year.
As a result of such generosity it is a wonder that the Mounties are able to remain competitive at any level. Figures available for previous years indicate they have between 10 and 20 percent of the amount spent by some of their main competitors. However, it seems that the number one ranking of Mount Allison nearly every year in the undergraduate class by MacLeans Magazine has an attractive aspect, especially to the parents of young athletes seeking a solid secondary education.
But it also calls for a robust recruiting program that now entails every coach doing his bit. Head coach Kelly Jeffrey, defensive coordinator Scott Brady and offensive coordinator Gaetan Richard are the primary movers but others like Pete Miller, and the youth corps of Bradley Daye, Aaron Harper and Justin Richard also provide help. And, of course, the older players themselves do a fine job of selling the program.
While a good many teams were subsidizing their players long before the CIS legitimized athletic scholarships in 2000, the value of such awards has escalated with no indication a cap will ever be placed by CIS officials. Schools in Quebec naturally benefit more than others since tuition is so much lower in that province, requiring lower scholarships to attract players from the province where football has nearly surpassed hockey as the sport of choice.
But the ballooning costs have had little effect on some smaller schools opting to jump in. Just recently Mount Royal University and University of Northern British Columbia were granted full membership status, while MacEwan University became a probationary member of the national governing body of university sport. Mount Royal is based in Calgary and UNBC is situated in Prince George. MacEwan will begin a two-year probationary period from their Edmonton campus.
Obviously the scramble for outstanding student-athletes will escalate with the addition of the three but it appears as though the football Mounties, at least, have been successful in laying the groundwork for several years into the future. It’s hoped they may repeat the success of 2014 and build on that down the road.