Friday, September 14, 2012

Stewart a fan favorite with Ice Dogs

Alex Stewart is a veteran Michigan Ice Dogs’ player who is beginning his third season with the team.

An abrasive player who makes a big impact on the ice, Stewart is a hard worker who isn’t afraid to get into the middle of things. Although he often appears to be smiling and joking on the ice, he’s not making any friends out there. Yet Stewart is well-liked by Ice Dog fans who appreciate his hard work and strong effort.

You’ll see him skating with the puck or working the puck out of the corner and his efforts do not go unnoticed.

“He’s a gritty, hard-working, two-way player,” said Michigan coach Tony Graham. “He brings a lot to the team.”

Stewart is not new to successful teams. As a member of the 2008 Rochester Rattlers Bantam AA team, Stewart went all the way to nationals with his team.

“It was a perfect season and to top it off, we won the tournament,” Stewart said. “Hockey has given so much to me throughout the years, on and off the ice, but mostly it has given me a drive and determination like no other. I know that if want something bad enough, I will put in the hard work and I can get what I want.”

Favorite Ice Dog memory: “My favorite Ice Dog highlight would have to be from my first season on the team. We were in playoffs and after winning the first two games in OT fashion, we had clinched a place in the playoff finals. We had one more round-robin game to play. It was a completely meaningless game so I was joking around with the coach, telling him I was going to get into a fight. They had a lot of really big players on their team and I had no intention of really fighting. I went out on a 5-on-4 penalty kill. After about 30 seconds on the PK, our goalie made a great save and one of their players ran our goalie. One of our players retaliated and before we knew what was happening, it became a line brawl. Fights broke out all over the ice. This fight was so out of control. The next thing I knew, I was toe-to-toe with some guy who’d already ripped off his gear to fight me. He had no shoulder pads, helmet or anything. Eventually things calmed down and the fights broke up. This was one of my favorite memories, especially seeing the look on my coaches’ faces as I was tossed from the game.”

Stewart’s advice for young players: “Play every game like it’s your last. It goes by way too fast and you don’t want any regrets.”

In the future, Stewart plans to continue to attend college to obtain his administrative business degree and open his own business shortly afterwards.

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