Regina-born goalie Logan Flodell is anxious to rejoin the Acadia Axemen after a memorable season in 2019-20 was cut short by COVID-19.
If there was a theme song for the longest off-season of Logan Flodell’s hockey career, it would probably be “stuck in the middle with you.”
After spending time on the east and west coasts in recent years, Flodell is temporarily confined to the Saskatchewan prairie as he awaits a go-ahead to rejoin the Acadia University Axemen in Wolfville, N.S.
The Regina native has been in limbo since March 12 when all sanctioned hockey activities across Canada were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It already seems a lifetime ago.
“It does; I’m not used to being home (for this long),” said the 23-year-old goaltender, who has been back in Regina for over four months. “I’m probably driving my parents crazy (laughs). It feels like we haven’t played hockey in so long.”
Flodell doesn’t know when the upcoming U sports hockey season will proceed — assuming it does at all.
The first-half schedule has already been cancelled but there is a sliver of hope that at least a portion of the regular season can be salvaged in the new year.
“It’s a unique situation but we’re definitely optimistic,” Flodell said. “Every team including ours wants to get back to sports. It’s what we’re looking forward to and hoping we get the opportunity. You feel bad for all the soccer and rugby and football players (whose seasons were completely cancelled). Hopefully we can start and get (some) games under our belt.”Despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, Flodell plans on returning to school in mid-August. He’s crossing his fingers that the Axemen will be cleared to play some exhibition games this fall.“That’s the hopeful goal at least,” said Flodell, who’s encouraged by the relatively low COVID-19 numbers in Nova Scotia.
“I think it’s one of the lowest (along) with Saskatchewan. It’s reassuring at least that the province is doing what it should and it keeps everyone else safe too.”
Given the circumstances, Flodell is feeling even better about the decision to attend school at the other end of the country. He fell in love with the coast lifestyle early in his junior career with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds before moving on to the Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes, eventually graduating from the league in 2018.
The former WHL all-star could have attended university anywhere in Canada, but he liked what he saw from a recruiting trip to Acadia — including the locale.
“I love being by the ocean; it’s something you don’t experience in Saskatchewan,” he said. “I feel like I’ve travelled all over. You’re lucky when you get an opportunity to go across Canada and play in different places.”
The move to Acadia has paid off for Flodell, who followed up a strong rookie season with a brilliant sophomore campaign in 2019-20 (2.79 GAA, .918 save percentage). He was named the MVP of the Atlantic University Sport conference before adding playoff MVP honours, backstopping Acadia to the league final.After losing that series to the New Brunswick Reds, Acadia was preparing to play host to the University Cup national championship when the tournament came to an abrupt halt one day before the Axemen’s opening game.“That was the first time Acadia has ever hosted,” noted Flodell, a second-team All-Canadian. “It was kind of a bummer (to get shut down) but it happened to everyone across the world, I guess. We were pretty heartbroken that we didn’t get to play a game at least.”
Flodell’s consolation prize was being named Acadia’s male athlete of the year.
Overall, it was a memorable season that ended just a few days too soon.
“It would have been nice to prove myself in a national championship against the best in Canada but unfortunately it got cut short,” added Flodell, who’s training for the upcoming season at Next Level Hockey Consulting in Regina.
“We just started skating two weeks ago (with a group of local players). It doesn’t even feel the same because you’re supposed to be preparing to start in August and now you don’t even know when you’re going to have your first team practice.
“It’s so up in the air.”