Travis Fullerton shines in U.K.'s Elite Ice Hockey League

is a long way from the hockey-obsessed fans, who cheered him on in the QMJHL and at the University of New Brunswick, but the Riverview goaltender is quickly learning just how global the sport has become.

Former University of New Brunswick V-Red was a top goaltender in the U.K. elite hockey league last season

Riverview's Travis Fullerton appeared in 15 games with the Braehead Clan last season in the U.K.'s Elite Ice Hockey League. He will be playing for the Edinburgh Capitals next season. (Al Goold photography/Braehead Clan)

Travis Fullerton is a long way from the hockey-obsessed fans who cheered him on in the QMJHL and at the University of New Brunswick, but the Riverview goaltender is quickly learning just how global the sport has become.

Fullerton's trek to playing in the 10-team Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom came last year through a connection he had made earlier in his career.

It is exciting to go to a new country and play hockey.- Travis Fullerton, Elite Ice Hockey League 

He was supposed to travel to play for a team in Riviere-du-Loup when the phone rang and, instead of travelling to Quebec, he packed his bags for Scotland.

When he stepped on the ice for the first time as a member of the Braehead Clan, he was surprised by how passionate the fans were.

"It felt like I was playing soccer, not hockey. It was really bizarre, because it doesn't happen a lot in North America, maybe playoff hockey," he said.

Fullerton was a member of the 2011 UNB Varsity Red that won a national championship. (Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press)
"It is such a global sport now. It is just amazing. You go to a town of 20,000 people in the middle of Scotland and they are there two hours before the game and tailgating … you wonder where you are sometimes."

Fullerton played from 2004 to 2008 with the Lewiston Mainiacs and the Saint John Sea Dogs, before moving to the University of New Brunswick, where he won two national championships in four years.

He has also suited up for teams in the East Coast Hockey League and American Hockey League.

The 28-year-old goaltender played in 15 games last season in the U.K. league and has now signed with the Edinburgh Capitals.

Travis Fullerton is a former UNB Varsity Reds star goaltender who plays with the Edinburgh Capitals in Scotland in the UK's top hockey league 9:12

Fullerton describes the quality of the Elite Ice Hockey League as between the ECHL and AHL. He said each team has about 14 import players, which has raised the level of play.

He said the enthusiasm around hockey, and quality of play, is continuing to improve in the United Kingdom.

"In the next 10 or 15 years, with the popularity of hockey over there, it will keep growing and continuing to get better players," he said.

Fullerton said he is looking forward to the upcoming season and will decide about his future once the year is done.

He said the players are treated very well and, as an avid golfer, spending time in Scotland has been an amazing experience.

"I was just happy that I was able to hold the fort for the team I was playing on. It is exciting to go to a new country and play hockey," he said.