Kingston, Ont. — First-year Queen’s Gaels forward Alex Row knows a thing or two about drive and determination.
Second all-time in Kemptville 73’s franchise scoring with 206 career points (93G, 113A), the CCHL alumnus was a major part of Kemptville’s turnaround prior to embarking on his university career at Queen’s.
“Going from a team that was near the bottom of the league and (building) up and up and up really grew me as a hockey player,” reflected Row of his time in the Central. “It gave me more of a winning mindset and the determination and drive to get better as a player and team.”
After weighing his options during a 67-point season in 2016-17, Row decided to commit to the Kingston-based university for both its academics and nationally-ranked hockey program.
“Queen’s happened to be the best fit for me hockey-wise and academically,” explained Row, who is currently enrolled in science courses and plans to major in life sciences. “Queen’s is a great school, and through the coaches and (head coach Brett Gibson) Gibby they made me feel like a part of the team before I even got here.”
For Gibson, a former university hockey star himself at Saint Mary’s (N.S.), Row was the perfect recruit: A team-first player with good academics and a nose for the net.
“He plays hard and he’s a fantastic kid,” said Gibson, who has turned his Queen’s program into a national contender over the last decade. “You can’t teach heart and you can’t teach will, and he’s going to make us tougher to play against.”
Gibson’s Gaels program has featured a number of CCHL alumni — the most notable being current top scorer Eric Ming, who spent a year-plus with the Cornwall Colts prior to a jump to the OHL.
“It’s a great league, a solid developmental league,” said the 38-year-old Queen’s bench boss of the CCHL.
Row, Ming and the rest of the Gaels will begin their season on Friday, Oct. 13, when they will host the Laurentian Voyageurs — another CIS team with a number of CCHL alumni — at the Kingston Memorial Centre.
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