There are a lot of players at the IceHogs’ training camp. That’s nothing unusual. What is that the one of them is a local guy.
Roscoe native and former Hononegah student Josh McArdle is a defenseman. He grew up playing in the youth hockey program in Rockford. He also attended IceHogs’ games as a youngster, so imagine his feelings Sunday when he first put on that IceHogs’ sweater.
“Yea it’s definitely a pretty special moment growing up here watching these guys from the time I was like seven years old,” said McArdle in an interview with me Monday. “It got me into hockey so to actually put it on and being out there instead of being in the stands is pretty special.”
McArdle was constantly flashing a big smile while on the ice Sunday and Monday during practice at the BMO Harris Bank Center. “That’s kind of been my little trademark my whole life. I smile a lot. Hockey has been my passion my entire life, so when I’m out there I’m definitely having fun. I think that translates into not really feeling the pressure when I’m out there. It’s just hockey. It’s just having fun and I think that helps me play better.”
McArdle says he feels like he’s up-to-speed with everything the coaches are throwing at him.
“Yea definitely. I feel good. I feel like I fit in. I think this week I’m trying to make a statement so fitting in isn’t exactly enough for what I want but I feel good. I feel I’m going to get into stride here as the week goes on and keep getting better every day.”
McArdle played for Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where he was the team captain last season. He played all four years at Brown.
His parents have been IceHogs’ season ticket holders since 1998.