By Carlo Viliatore
David Anthony may be the only hockey player who hopes his team gives the puck away.
“I love the challenge of having a guy coming at me who thinks he’s going to beat me because I know that I can stop him,” says Anthony. “If I’m defending a one-on-one during a game, I just raise my arm and tell the other player, ‘let’s go, bring it.’”
As the 2001-02 Ontario University Athletics East all star nominee talks about the upcoming hockey season, Anthony stands with his hands cupped over the butt end of his stick, and his chin resting on top of the handle. Even in this innocent position, the defenseman looks menacing. The usually baggy hockey jersey Anthony is wearing clings to his massive shoulders. On his right ring finger there is a long and jagged scar, the result of one of his many fights.
On the ice, the 20-year-old Mississauga, Ont. Native uses his size to dominate his opponents.
“In sports without body contact, you never really know how much better or worse you are than another person,” says the 6-foot-2 assistant captain. “When you’re forced to look somebody in the eye, it’s just you versus them, and it comes down to physical strength and speed.”
Anthony says that he’s played with concussions, gruesome cuts and separated shoulders throughout his hockey career. He admits it’s not the smartest thing to do, but he’s too competitive to be kept off the ice.
In his fifth and final year at Ryerson, Anthony is still pushing himself to be better.
“When I see somebody that’s better than me on the ice, I want to rectify that and be the best player out there,” says the former high school football MVP.
It was Anthony’s competitive spirit that made his first three years at Ryerson difficult.
“A lot of people were laughing at us. It’s tough to play when people think it’s a joke.”
Last season Anthony played a big part in bringing some respectability to Ryerson’s hockey team.
In the deciding first-round playoff game against Royal Military College, Anthony assisted on the game tying goal and hen cleared the puck out of his zone in the dying seconds to secure the victory for the Rams. The win was the first playoff series victory in Ryerson’s history.
Anthony is confident his team can repeat its success this year.
Academically, Anthony has won awards from both the athletic department and from the school of business, where he is majoring in business management.
For conditioning, there is no better role model.
Over the summer Anthony trained six days a week to get in shape for the season. He says that he is in the best shape of his career and that he’s ready to add a new dimension to his game.
“I know that my bread and butter is in the defensive end, making hits and killing penalties, but I’m going to try and add an offensive side to my game.”