Gormley happy to be getting his shot in the NHL

Jason Malloy
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Murray River native played two games in Florida with the Phoenix Coyotes

Brandon Gormley’s dream of playing in the NHL came true this week when he suited up for a pair of games in Florida.

The 22-year-old Phoenix Coyotes defenceman made his debut Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning and played Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.

“You dream about playing in the NHL for a long time, it was almost surreal to be playing,” Gormley told The Guardian on Wednesday. “But you have a job to do as well and you have to play well.”

The two-way defenceman got the call for his first shift early in Monday’s game. He said it was nice to get the first one under his belt and settle in.

“At the end of the day, it’s a hockey game, the same as you’ve been playing your whole life,” he said.

There were many memorable moments from the first game, including playing against stars he grew up watching.

“Getting out there against (Steven) Stamkos and those big-name players, it’s a lot of fun for me,” he said. “There’s a lot of great players in the league and to be up against them every night is a fun challenge.”

The Murray River native was paired with Chris Summers, who he had played with in the minors.

“It’s always nice to have a little familiarity with your D partner,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The Coyotes won both games to help them in the standings as they push for a playoff spot in the tight Western Conference.

“I’m happy to be playing and happy to be helping the team win.”

Gormley said he thought of many people this week, who have helped him get to the NHL. He said it starts with his parents who have made great sacrifices for him to chase his dream.

“My parents let me leave at 14 to go to Notre Dame and not many parents let their kids move out at 14-years-old,” Gormley said of the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame's hockey program in Wilcox, Sask. “If I didn’t do that, I might not be where I am today.”

He said there has been many coaches since he first started hockey who have helped him grow into the player he is today. And the support from friends and family has never wavered.

“I can’t thank those people enough for the support all through my career,” he said. “It’s nice to hear those messages they sent to me before my first game.”

The Coyotes drafted Gormley 13th overall in the 2010 Draft. The former Moncton Wildcats blue-liner, who won a memorial cup in his final season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Shawinigan Cataractes in 2011-12, played 68 games last season in the American Hockey League with the Portland Pirates.

He played 52 games this season in Portland. While he was called up by Phoenix earlier this season, he was sent back down before dressing for a game.

“I am happy that everything worked out and the whole thing has been good for me, playing in the American league,” Gormley said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully getting into some more games here.”

Phoenix has organizational depth on the blue-line, including a number of young prospects like Gormley.

“It was tough to get in the lineup,” he said. “I’m happy to get my shot now and am just going to make the most of it.”

The Coyotes are in Boston Thursday for an 8 p.m. ADT game with the Bruins.

 

Brandon Gormley

Hometown – Murray River

Age – 22.

Size – Six-foot-two, 196-pounds.

Position – Defenceman

The latest – Played in his first NHL game Monday with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jersey number – 33.

Gormley’s stats from his first two NHL games.

Monday

Phoenix at Tampa Bay

– +1

–  One shot

– 23 shifts

– 13:22 minutes on ice

Tuesday

Phoenix at Florida

– Two penalty minutes

– 20 shifts

– 11:49 minutes on ice

Organizations: Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, NHL, Phoenix Coyotes Tampa Bay Lightning Florida Panthers The Guardian Quebec Major Junior Hockey League American Hockey League Portland Pirates Bruins

Geographic location: Murray River, Florida, Phoenix Notre Dame Wilcox, Sask. Portland Boston Jersey

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