The oldest of Mike (Pinky) and Patricia Gallant’s three hockey-playing sons is in his fourth year of a criminology program at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
St. Thomas Tommies forward Bradley Gallant, 11, lines up opposite of the UPEI Panthers’ Matt Carter during Saturday night's Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey game in Charlottetown.
Bradley Gallant is having a stellar season with the St. Thomas Tommies of the Atlantic University Sport Men’s Hockey Conference.
Hockey and school are pretty close in his list of priorities, admits Gallant, 24.
“When you’re going to university, you have to balance out both,” he said. “Obviously, I still have a big heart for hockey, so I want to go as far as I can with that.”
He’s undecided whether to follow his brother, Brett, to the pro ranks in the United States next year, or return to the Tommies for his final year of eligibility.
“I have a really good relationship with my new coach (Troy Ryan),” said Gallant. “We’re getting a new rink, so we’ll see how things go here.
“I’m hopefully going to graduate this year, but if things go well I might come back for a fifth year.”
Gallant’s career plans are also undecided, although he is considering becoming a police officer.
Gallant has five goals and six assists in 12 games so far this season, and is third in team points. His plus-5 rating is second highest on the team.
“I try to excel in both ends of the rink,” Gallant said in describing his style of game. “The way it’s working this year is I’ve been trying to take care of our own end, and it’s been leading to getting some points in the offensive zone.”
Like brothers Brett, who is in the American Hockey League with the top New York Islanders’ farm team, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and Alex, who plays with the P.E.I. Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), Bradley enjoys a gritty style of play. He has picked up seven minors so far this season.
University hockey frowns on fighting, he explained, “so you have to play tough in other aspects of the game – hitting, using your body more.”
It is not in the Gallant family’s nature to back away from hockey’s rough stuff, so Bradley is prepared to mix things up whenever the situation calls for it.
“I don’t mind whenever it comes to that, either,” he added. “If it wants to go down to that, it doesn’t bother me any.”
“I try to excel in both ends of the rink. The way it’s working this year is I’ve been trying to take care of our own end, and it’s been leading to getting some points in the offensive zone.” St. Thomas forward and assistant captain Bradley Gallant
He is on his team’s top line with fellow Islander, Randy Cameron.
“Randy and I have pretty good chemistry,” Gallant said. “We’ve been playing pretty well together.”
The third forward has been juggled around a bit, but Gallant is expecting to line up this weekend with Chris Morehouse, who is finally eligible to play university hockey after sitting out a mandatory year following his last pro game in Cincinnati. He’s played against Morehouse in junior and knows the Tommies’ newest player to be a hard-working, pesky forward who can get under the opposing team’s skin.
The Tommies’ website offers this perspective on Gallant: “. . . A very tough player, opposing teams are always aware of Brad’s presence in the roster. Brad is a good team player who understands his role within the team. He’s set to have a great season and bring his game to another level.”
The Tommies are near the bottom of the standings so far this season at 3-8-1 (won-lost-overtime losses). But Gallant thinks that could change.
He points out the Tommies’ 6-3 loss last weekend at UPEI was their biggest blowout of the season. Most losses were by a goal or two.
“If we got that bounce we could easily be .500, or even above .500,” he said. “Hopefully, after Christmas, we can turn it around.”
They have two games remaining before the Christmas break.
Gallant played the 2003-04 season with his hometown Summerside Western Capitals of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League). After two years with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, he finished out his junior career with the Rocket before moving to Fredericton and play for the Tommies.
Eric McCarthy is the western bureau manager of the Journal Pioneer. The "Islanders Away" feature appears every Thursday. If you would like to suggest an "Islander Away" for this feature, please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.