Athletes hate talking about it in fear of losing or having their secret weapon disappear. They just don’t want to jinx it. Those brave and courageous enough to mention it have experienced the highs and lows of the most lethal weapon in their arsenal, their confidence. Confidence is any athletes greatest ally or worst enemy. The battlefield is one played in the mind. The game within the game, the search for confidence.
A player’s confidence can come and go, but along the way it reveals their true character, passion and resiliency. That’s exactly what makes Peter Repcik’s journey to this point of his career incredibly unique. The road less travelled is often the most rewarding, but Repcik’s path to his second IIHF World Junior Championship and the Canadian Hockey League is nothing short of remarkable given all the ups and downs he’s experienced along the way.
Repcik is currently playing some of his best hockey of his career and would appear he’s finally found a home with Charlottetown Islanders after stops with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Cape Breton Eagles. The 2004 born skilled two-way winger is flourishing in Jim Hulton’s system. Hulton traded acquired the native of Kosice, Slovakia and a 4th round draft pick in the Oliver Satny deal with the Eagles in mid-November.
Repcik’s unconventional path within the CHL is a great reminder that every player especially young import players need time to adjust not only to the North American game, but also to life off the ice in a new country.
“Peter has been a nice add for our team,” Hulton said.
“He has good offensive skills and instincts and has fit into a top six role. Peter tends to be very hard on himself which adversely affects his confidence.”
“He has all the tools to be an elite player once his confidence improves,” stressed Hulton.
In three games with Slovakia at the 2022 World Juniors, Repcik had one goal and was a minus one. All signs point to him playing an even larger role with Team Slovakia this time around.
“We had a pretty good start, we can’t take stupid penalties, our PK was good, but we can’t take those types of penalties and we have to better on the power plays,” said Repcik last night after losing to Team Canada in front of jammed packed Avenir Centre.
The highly skilled two-way forward played in every situation last night and was of Team Slovakia’s best players.
Repcik is quick to credit his current success to Hulton and his staff. “Jim is such a good person, he’s a great coach, that’s why he won coach and GM of the year in the CHL.”
“I really like him, and the entire coaching staff is unreal there.
“They trust me, and I trust them,” said a reflective Repcik.
“They talk to me; I love that aspect and I think that’s been the difference Lethbridge and Cape Breton.
Repcik believes his confidence is finally trending in the right direction. “My confidence level is definitely going up every single game with Jim. I hope it’s going to continue to get better.”
It’s never easy striving to be the best and becoming your own worst critic or enemy, the young Slovakian forward understands both sides of that equation.
“I’m always hard in myself, because I want to be the best,” confessed Repcik.
“Sometimes, that’s really hard, you can’t always be the best, but I’m trying to work on that, especially with some mental performance coaches, so I hope that aspect of my game is going to get better.”
Where does Repcik see himself coming into the World Juniors and moving forward with the Islanders?
“I’m always proud to represent my country, or get nominated for the National team, we have one more cut here, so we will have to wait and see, but I hope it will be better than the summer, we didn’t play very well in the summer.”
“I hope I’ll play really well in this tournament and keeping work on my game moving forward.”
Repcik is hopeful his teammates and Islanders fans will be watching the World Juniors.
“I hope everyone will be watching and I hope they will be proud.”
The game within the game, the search for confidence is now over for Peter Repcik. Through all of the adversity and ups and downs, a resilient Peter Repcik found his way which only deepened his passion for the game. He can finally be at piece playing the game he loves for his country and for the Charlottetown Islanders.