“An honor” for Bakanov

Libby Arnold, Sports Writer

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It only took two words for Xavier sophomore Andrei Bakanov to describe what it is like to play for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders: “An honor.” Bakanov had one reason for moving thousands of miles away from home…his love of hockey. He moved from Moscow, Russia to the Midwest.

After spending a brief amount of time in Ohio and Michigan, Bakanov found himself in Iowa.

“I was playing hockey in Michigan when the Roughriders drafted me to come play for them,” Bakanov said.

Wearing jersey number 23, he is the youngest Roughrider on the team.

Not only is Bakanov currently part of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders’ hockey team, he is committed to the University of Michigan.

The 6’2 left forward committed to the University of Michigan on April 4, 2018.

“I like Michigan a lot as a state, and they are a really good hockey team. They also have really good education,” Bakanov said.

After Bakanov plays in college, he has the goal to play professional hockey.

“I started playing hockey for fun and did not expect to play for a long time, but I have ended up in a different country because of it,” Bakanov said.

Monday through Friday, countless hours are put on the ice for Bakanov and the rest of the Roughrider team.

Being far away from home and his family, Bakanov found a new home with Xavier junior Nick Banowetz and his family.

“This is our eleventh year housing hockey players,” Banowetz said. “It is cool having a little brother.”

Bakanov said he had a bad experience with his first host family back in Cleveland.

“Now I live with the Banowetz family, and they are an awesome family,” Bakanov said. “I love staying with them.”

The Roughrider’s next game is away on Friday, November 16 against Team USA in Michigan, starting at 7 p.m. Their next home game is Saturday, November 24 against the Waterloo Black Hawks starting at 7:05 p.m.


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“An honor” for Bakanov