From a life on the ICE, to fighting FIRE.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BILOXI, MISS- Justin Barr is a 10-year hockey pro, and 2010-2011 AAHL Rod Davidson Cup Champion. He started his career in Indiana playing for the Chi-town Shooters of the AAHL.
After he managed to gain ECHL experience under his belt, he settled into an FHL career, where he split time between the Danville Dashers and the Cape Cod Bluefins.
Justin moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2015 and became a firefighter for the Long Beach Fire Department, and he told us what it was like from going from a life on the ice, to fighting fire.
"So the transition I would say has been a bit both easy and difficult. Easy in the sense that as a firefighter I am fortunate enough to still be on a team so to speak and to still have that camaraderie with the guys at the firehouse where we can laugh and cut up (like in the locker room) but also when we train or get a call, it's time to go to work (game time)." Barr said.
Barr says the most challenging part of being a former professional hockey player, and now full-time father is finding time to get on the ice,, where ice is typically unavailable 10 months out of the year.
"Difficult in the sense that, when you identify as an athlete for most of your life, when that goes away sometimes its hard to find your new identity and so I will say that I definitely struggled with that for a little bit and especially moving to a place like the gulf coast of Mississippi where ever since I've been (6 years this November) there has only been ice available for 8 weeks out of the year. Has been disappointing." Barr added.
A new generation of hockey fans will be created when hockey returns to Coastal Mississippi, and Barr said he can't wait to get his family involved.
"To have hockey back down here on the coast would be amazing. Personally for me, to be able have an opportunity to get back into it and not just me but for my kids. My son, especially. That has been another difficult part for me. Playing hockey from the age of 3 and now living in a place with no hockey (more or less) and knowing I might not have the opportunity to get my son involved and playing is again, a disappointing feeling. So I am EXCITED about the possibility and the opportunity. The fans down here deserve a hockey team. I truly believe that we can have success here and we want to do that, not only because we live the game, breathe the game and love the game, but we want to do it for the people down here and allow them to experience the beautiful game of hockey. And to usher in a new generation of hockey fans as well. Its time. It's been too long."
Biloxi Pro Hockey is bringing professional hockey back to the Mississippi Gulf Coast! TICKETS ARE ON SALE for three neutral site games on December 2nd, 17th, and 30th. Get yours today by visiting the coliseum box office or ticketmaster.com for more information.