Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 | 10:55 a.m.
For a lot of kids in Texas, football is a way of life. The same could be said about hockey for Canadians.
That’s why it’s a little surprising that UNLV junior offensive tackle Brett Boyko, a native of Saskatchewan, Canada, has never been to an NHL game. At least not until tonight.
As part of the bowl week events leading up to Wednesday’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, the Rebels will take a team trip to the Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues game tonight. North Texas players will also attend.
Part of the reason Boyko never made it to a game before was the fact that he wasn’t much of a hockey player. During hockey season, the 6-foot-7, 310-pound left tackle was busy playing basketball.
There’s also the fact that for most of his childhood, there were only six NHL teams in Canada — there are now seven — and the closest was a little more than five hours away. That took planning and time that Boyko usually didn’t have, especially when he could more easily go watch semipro games near his home.
“I’ve seen my fair share (of games) but never the big time,” Boyko said.
Thanks to UNLV’s bowl berth, that’s about to change.