Playing before family and friends, “amazing and special” for Armada’s Miller

Shaun Miller of Enfield said it was an "amazing and special moment" to play his first game against the team he grew up watching, the Mooseheads, and before family and friends. (Photo by Shawn Davidson - The Q News).

Editors Note: This story originally appeared on The Weekly Press website and in the Dec. 21 print edition of the paper.

SCOTIABANK CENTRE: Shaun Miller’s first game before family and friends at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax with his Blainville-Boisbriand Armada ended sooner than he wanted it too.

The Enfield product was out of uniform before the midway point of the second period in the QMJHL game—and not because of any infraction he did on the ice. Rather, it was an awkward fall early in the middle stanza that left the forward knowing something wasn’t right.

Shaun Miller skates in on the game's first shift to create a scoring opportunity. (Healey photo)

Shaun Miller skates in on the game’s first shift to create a scoring opportunity. (Healey photo)

“It was just luck of the draw that my shoulder happened to slide out when I fell into the boards,” he told The Weekly Press outside the Armada dressing room. “I’ll be fine.”

Miller went off the ice, just shortly after starting a shift, and the trainer came to see him. They then headed to the dressing room, and with the Armada ahead 3-0 at the time the Armada decided to keep Miller out of the rest of the game as a per-caution. He also never suited up for the Armada’s game on Dec. 10 in Moncton, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Wildcats.

He returned to the lineup on Dec. 11 as the Armada wrapped up their three games-in-three-nights swing through the Maritimes in Saint John against the Sea Dogs. Blainville-Boisbriand fell 4-1 at Harbour Station.

Speaking after the 3-0 shutout win by Sam Montembault in Halifax, Miller admitted to being nervous about the first game. That never showed right off the get go as he got the puck and went in on Moosehead goalie Alex Gravel, creating the first scoring chance for the Armada. The play landed him in the penalty box for goalie interference.

“When I showed up at the rink, I can say I was nervous, but I was less nervous knowing I was at home and being able to put a smile on my face and go play,” said Miller. “”It was amazing to play, just to know the support that was around me.”

Shaun Miller of Enfield eyes the puck and gears up to lead an Armada rush up the ice. (Healey photo)

Shaun Miller of Enfield eyes the puck and gears up to lead an Armada rush up the ice. (Healey photo)

He praised his mom for going the extra mile to make the game that much more special.

“Having my mom do such an amazing thing for me and to gather a bunch of people that I haven’t seen in forever and have them here for my game,” he said. “”It meant everything to me. It was a special moment knowing I had those people behind me. To have that many people who took time out of their day to come see me play when I came home.”

In his second year after playing half a season after a January call-up to the Armada, Miller has registered eight goals and four assists in 15 games played. That has allowed him to surpass the 11 point she garnered in 27 games last year.

This season he has missed a month-plus due to a high ankle sprain, but has bounced back nicely from that injury.

He said with the team arriving a day early for the game, it allowed him time to do some visiting with family.

“I got to go home for a bit and got to spend some time with my grandparents and my parents,” he said. “It’s a little bit out of my routine, but it was 100 per cent worth it to go home and see them.”

To have success, the Armada have to follow what the coaches are telling them.

“We have to listen to what they’re telling us and play the simple game,” he said.

Shaun Miller os ready as the play is along the boards in the Mooseheads end. (Healey photo)

Shaun Miller os ready as the play is along the boards in the Mooseheads end. (Healey photo)

Miller said it was fun to look out the entrance before the game and hear the excitement form the almost 6,800 fans.

“It was really special coming out on the ice, especially with the lights turned out seeing the Mooseheads coming out,” he said.

He said it’s a memory he will cherish for the rest of his life.

“It was very special to me knowing that I have always dreamt of being in that position,” said Miller. “I was that kid in the stands who was ecstatic to come to the games. I am grateful to have the opportunity that I do.”