Mat Hehr - Fredonia State
1. What team and league to you play for?
Fredonia State Blue Devils. We play in the SUNYAC Conference in Division 3.
2. What is your position?
3. What is your home town?
Sherwood Park, Alberta
4. Who did you play for and what league when you committed to playing in the NCAA?
I played for the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
5. Did you ever have to make a decision between the NCAA and Major Junior? and if so, why did you ultimately decide on pursuing college hockey?
No, I ended up playing Jr.A when I was 18 and my last year things luckily worked out where I had the opportunity to come to the NCAA.
6. What questions do your friends on junior or prep teams ask the most? and How do you answer them?
They ask how the adjustment is from Juniors in Canada to College in the States, and how going back to school is. I tell them that it is a very different game (full cages, no fighting, etc.) but you become adjusted very quickly. Getting back in the swing of things school wise is pretty frustrating at times, but the guys on the team really help you out as a freshman to try and make things as easy as possible.
7. What was the most challenging part of the recruiting process for you?
Not knowing really anything about NCAA Division 3 or the Eastern part of the States.
8. Who did you lean on for advice and support through the recruiting process?
Coach Meredith was great while recruiting me and gave me a lot of information. The team was just under half Canadian and had a couple guys from Alberta that I knew and played against. My junior coach also showed me a lot of support and did anything possible to help me out during the process.
9. What was the best memory from playing college hockey?
Our team has a Pink the Rink night once a season to raise money for Breast Cancer. We wear pink jerseys and the whole crowd is wearing pink. People also buy our jerseys and put the name of a loved one that has passed away or beat cancer and the players wear that name on the back of their jerseys for the night. It is a great cause and always an emotional night.
10. What do you do in the summer when you return home from playing hockey?
I work, train and spend time with my friends and family. I only get to see them for about 3 months out of the year so I like to spend as much time with everyone as possible.
11. What do/did Mat Hehr like most about about your college hockey experience?
Living with, battling with, and hanging out with your best friends for 4 years.
12. What challenges do/did you face meeting the demands of playing hockey and going to school?
Trying to manage your time and stay organized with your school work and hockey demands.
12a How did you solve them?
Teammates really help you a lot, especially as a freshman. Hard work really pays off on and off the ice.
13. How involved were your parents in the process?
They didn't really get involved in the process that much. They actually suggested the idea to go to the States and experience it. Besides that, they let me make my own decision and supported me with it.
14. What criteria were important to you when you made your final decision in choosing your school?
That the school had a Sports Management program and that a lot of the guys were from the same province I was in and that me and the coach really got along well. I felt like it would be a smooth transition.
15. What is the most important thing to do to be prepared for life as a student-athlete?
Stay organized and always be working hard at everything you do.
Learn more about Mat Hehr and Fredonia State on the YCH Fredonia State Blue Devils team page