The term ‘character player’ is slowly being retired as hockey, along with all sports, transitions to an almost entirely numbers-assessed game. That being said, it doesn’t mean these types of athletes aren’t still present throughout the hockey community. In fact many of them appear on the Petes roster, including alternate captain Alex Black.
The stay at home defenceman is a vocal leader, is outgoing and makes time to speak with everybody in his presence while at the rink, including staff and fans. In addition, he is described as one of the hardest working guys on the team by fellow Pete, Matthew Timms.
The Kitchener native was acquired along side Nikita Korostelev from the Sarnia Sting last Christmas and will spend his final year in the OHL with the men in maroon.
Upon discussing last year’s trade, Alex stated, “It was a whole new scenario, the coaches were super welcoming, everyone was super great. It was a super easy transition, it was probably the best hockey move I made.”
Alex is hoping to produce his most successful season yet, with a group whose tunnel vision is set on a championship, “It is my last year, I’m twenty and my OHL career is coming to an end. I’m hoping for a good playoff run, maybe win something. I’ve won something when I was younger but its not really the same.”
Alex is aware and honest about his options after junior hockey and is setting his sights on playing while earning a university degree with a final goal of becoming a fire fighter. This career choice seems like a perfect fit for the Kitchener native who evidently thrives among a team environment and under stressful scenarios, “When I was drafted I wanted to be a teacher, now I want to be a firefighter, so obviously I want to play as long as I can. So play in university.”
The stay at home defensemen recalls an injury while playing Jr. B for the Winter Hawks as the largest challenge he had during his athletic career, “I had a pretty bad concussion. I sat in a dark room and twiddled my thumbs. I must have been hit in the wrong way, my neck was messed up, I didn’t know if I was going to play hockey again. I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Although a concussion is a major setback for any athlete, this player’s largest adversity unraveled off the ice, beginning with a phone call from his father.
Upon arriving to Sarnia to begin training camp for the 2016-17 season, Alex received the news that his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, “It blind-sided me.” Despite the emotional weight of this information, Alex persisted throughout the season with composure and positivity. “Last year the only people who knew were Jody [Hull] and Mike [Oke].”
Fortunately, Sandra Black is now healthy and the remainder of the family – dad Peter, Alex’s fraternal twin Michael, and younger brother Christopher can relax knowing their mother is no longer sick.
Alex maintains that his parents played an immeasurable role in the development of his character, “Best parents in the world, I wouldn’t change it at all. When they do come [to Petes games] its special.” He holds particular admiration for his father, reflecting on their time together when he was younger, “A lot of hockey parents now a days are super hard on their kids. My dad was never like that. He was just on me if I was never working hard. He wants to see effort at least.”
Black’s incredible positivity and enthusiasm comes to light during Petes community events and school visits. Again, much like his disposition at the rink, Alex interacts with each child while at school assemblies so to make them feel important among their hero’s presence.
“He’s really talkative, he’s good to converse with. He’s open with all the events he wants to do and be part of. I can go to him with any event and he’s in for it. It shows what kind of guy he is, he’s very willing to help out off the ice; he understands the importance of it,” explained Ryan Bird, Petes Coordinator of Game Operations and Community Relations.
Alex’s personality and actions reflect the character of the organization’s players that have come before him embodying the entire Petes ideal of doing well on the ice and good in the community.
Alex and his teammates return to action at 2:05pm on Sunday, November 12. Game tickets, which include a free post-game skate with the Petes presented by Russelle Toyota, are available starting at $8 through the Collins Barrow PMC Box Office, online or, by phone at (705) 743-3561.
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