Matt Bailey Discusses His Transition To The Pros

Travis Dowling: Has there been an adjustment from playing college hockey one weekend and the next weekend playing at the professional level?

Matt Bailey: Yeah, obliviously it has been a bit of an adjustment. But I think my experiences from Alaska and playing at the college level for four years and what I have learned from my coaches this year helped me a lot in the transition. But it’s definitely another step up and its kind of sad to end my college career, but at the same time but exciting to move on to the next chapter in my hockey career.

Travis: Your last game at UAA was in the WCHA semi-final game, and now your playing for Norfolk who is in a playoff race. Do you feel the your ready to help Norfolk make the playoffs?

Matt: Yeah definitely and its kind of been playoff hockey for awhile for me with the tight race in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. It just seemed like the whole second half we were in playoff mode and then your season ends (UAA Hockey Season). Then a week later you are right back in playoff mode fighting for a playoff spot here in Norfolk. So I think kind of being in that playoff mode for almost half a season with UAA has been great not only as a learning experience but it has definitely helped me make the transition.

Travis: Do you plan on walking at graduation in May?

Matt: I have not really thought that far ahead. It is depending on how stuff goes here in Norfolk, but definitely if I have that opportunity that is the plan. But graduating is very important to me and I only have two classes to deal with, so I feel pretty fortunate that I am able to pursue this opportunity. I couldn’t be happier graduating from UAA.

Travis: How has it been fitting in with the Norfolk players and finding the right chemistry with the team?

- Advertisement -

Matt: I have been playing with some good players, and anyone at this level is a really great player. But I have been really lucky enough to play with some really good guys. You just try to focus on your game and do what makes you good and hopefully your find chemistry with someone. Right now I am trying to focus on what makes me successful and trying to translate that into the professional game.

Travis: Any last comments for the fans at the University of Alaska Anchorage?

Matt: My four years in Anchorage were amazing and I am truly blessed I got to go to Anchorage and hone my hockey skills and be able to get my education. I feel really grateful for that opportunity and I have nothing but the best memories. There are a lot of boosters and a lot of fans in Alaska that have been just so kind and caring to me. I will remember that for the rest of my life.