Josh Bourne celebrates a goal he scored for the Nanaimo Clippers in the B.C. Hockey League. The Chase Heat alum is joining the Brock University Badgers in U Sports in the fall. Corey Shaw/ Nanaimo Clippers photo/ Nanaimo Clippers image below
“It’s a pretty surreal feeling” for Joshua Bourne to get a chance to play U Sports with the Brock University Badgers.
“The league is full of talented and hardworking players and I’m excited to compete with them,” says Bourne, a Chase Heat alum, who just completed nearly three seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers in the B.C. Hockey League.
For Bourne, the process of earning an opportunity to play in U Sports began with junior hockey. His career started when he hit the ice for his hometown Richmond Sockeyes in the Pacific Junior Hockey League. After five games, he joined the Chase Heat in the KIJHL. Playing junior as a 16-year-old was a bit overwhelming, but he credits the Heat organization, from staff, players to volunteers and his “amazing billet” family for helping. He made lots of lifelong friendships and memories in Chase that he won’t forget.
Bourne says his focus was on getting a bit better everyday, whether it be on the ice, in the gym or at school.
“Once you start getting the attention from universities, you will be ready to transition your game to the next step,” says Bourne, who had a career year in games played (57) goals (29), assists (29) and points 58. “I was really happy with my game this season. I was able to score some big goals for us this year and those always make a season special, especially as a 20-year-
This past season with the Clippers Bourne improved his defensive game. Playing within a great team defensive structure made it easy to buy in and play well.
When it comes to his time in the KIJHL, Bourne says the league definitely helped him transition to the next step. In 91 career regular season games over two-and-a-half seasons with the Heat, the six-foot-four, 210 pound forward put up 57 goals and 132 points. He added another 11 goals and 33 points in 29 playoff games.
“I was able to get used to the little things like the bus rides to games, and also playing against older and stronger players made me develop my game and react a step faster,” says Bourne, who enjoyed the bus trips were fun and energy-filled, especially if the Heat had a good weekend. “The KIJHL was also a great place to showcase my game to junior A teams and get my name out there.”
Bourne’s next chapter with the Badgers will include him working towards a teaching degree, while striving for on-ice success.
“I had a couple good calls with the coaches, and my family and I felt it was the best opportunity for me,” he says. “They have a great team and I’m excited to join them.”
Last season the Badgers were fifth in Ontario University Athletics West Division with 14 wins in 28 games.