Ashton Rome came to the American Hockey League’s Worcester Sharks in 2006 as a 20-year-old farm boy from Manitoba. It was his first time living on his own, at a time in which he remembers having no real-life responsibilities.
Everything was an adjustment. In the tiny town of Nesbitt, Manitoba, it took a 25-minute drive to get anywhere, but Rome also knew it would be only a 25-minute drive. In Massachusetts, there are a lot more attractions within a short commute — but a 15-minute drive can quickly turn into an hour when traffic is against you.
“I’d never really lived on my own,” Rome said. “I went from small cities in Canada to a pretty big city in the U.S. That’s a pretty big change for a kid who grew up on the farm. It ended up working out nicely. I enjoyed living in a city and enjoyed living in the U.S. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Rome lived with Sharks teammate Riley Armstrong, whose girlfriend brought a friend over to the apartment one day. That friend was Methuen native Mackenzie Morin.
A decade later, Rome is back playing in Worcester — now as a captain of the Railers, the first-year ECHL team in town. Rome, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound right wing, has been married to Mackenzie for seven years. They’re expecting their third child later this month.