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No luck of Irish for Oglevie, just hard work

 

Oglevie

Success doesn’t happen by accident, and Andrew Oglevie is proof positive.

The Fullerton native has been playing for the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Cedar Rapids RoughRiders the past four years. The 19-year-old is a two-time champion with the U.S. World Junior A Team, and before that a two-time USA Hockey national champion with LA Hockey Club.

This season, Oglevie converted to center for the RoughRiders and he’s excelled in his new role. The pivot has played on the top line and led the league with a plus-28 rating through 31 games.

But Oglevie knows he wouldn’t be where he is today without making the necessary sacrifices. When Cedar Rapids head coach Mark Carlson told the then-16-year-old forward that the USHL was a “man’s league,” Oglevie understood exactly what that meant.

Oglevie wouldn’t have been able to enter the USHL at that age without putting an emphasis on the little things. He shot pucks daily, lifted weights and changed his diet – requirements for anyone looking to take their game to the next level.

“I’ve tried to perfect the process of becoming a better hockey player every day,” Oglevie said. “You’ve got to eat right. You have to stretch. The better you treat your body, the better it’s going to perform.”

As a result of his work ethic, Oglevie’s hockey story should carry several more chapters. He recently became the first player from California to earn a hockey scholarship from the University of Notre Dame.

Oglevie has demonstrated discipline in sticking with his progression curve, which is why he chose to play a fourth season at Cedar Rapids before joining the Fighting Irish.

At 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, he wanted to allow his body to physically mature so he could produce right away in South Bend.

When he was mulling over his college options, Oglevie said the pride and tradition in Notre Dame’s athletic program was a big factor in his decision.

“I went on a bunch of visits (to Notre Dame) and it was something about the coaching staff and the tradition of the school there,” he said. “They have new facilities. It was a pretty easy decision.”

Oglevie’s transition to center may have been a long time coming. One of his youth hockey coaches, Rick Kelly, noticed the traits that might transfer to the position in his early years.

“He was a special player and leader,” said Kelly, who coached Oglevie with the California Wave and LA Hockey Club. “He was such an unselfish and team player that he made other players better around him.”

As talented as Oglevie and his teammates were, Kelly felt it was important to build a foundation of professionalism – particularly preparation and humility – with his players.

“Playing in California, we ended up having a very strong team that many times won lopsided games,” Kelly said. “Teaching the boys how to win the right way was just as important as how we took a loss.”

Oglevie is no stranger to winning. His record at the World Junior A Challenge – as well as in California – are testaments to that, but Oglevie was just thankful for the opportunity this season presented.

“This year, I’m in a leadership role,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to play on the first line with some really talented players. It’s always fun to play with the best players of your age level.”

Cedar Rapids led the USHL with a 26-10-0 record (52 points) after 36 games. Oglevie was second on the team in scoring with 37 points.

– Andrew Turner