UNCW Club Ice Hockey
UNC Wilmington club hockey’s Joey Alexander is heading to Pennsylvania.
On Monday night, the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League (ACCHL) announced their roster for the 2019 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Men’s Division II All-Star Challenge set to be held in West Chester, Pennsylvania April 12-14. Alexander’s name was one of 29 total players selected to the team, with each team in the ACCHL receiving at least one recipient. The players selected were determined based on voting by the league’s coaches.
“Being named an All-Star is a big accomplishment to me,” said Alexander. “The UNCW team and the whole ACCHL is full of really good players so it is a huge honor to be selected to the team.”
Alexander once again led the UNCW club hockey team in points for a second straight season, finishing with 26 points (12 points and 14 assists) in 15 games played. In Alexander’s freshman season in 2017-18, he finished with 38 points (12 goals and 18 assists) in 17 games played.
One of the many reasons why an honor like this should come to no surprise for anybody that watches Alexander play is his work ethic.
During Hurricane Florence, the Seahawks had no ability to practice for a month, but Alexander found a way to skate and keep himself in good hockey shape for the rest of the season. This on top of the fact that Alexander is extremely competitive make this a no brainer selection for captain Hunter Phillips.
“Often times (in practice), he’ll challenge a few guys to see who can score the most goals in practice,” said Phillips. “By doing this, it not only pushes him to be better, but it pushes others to get to the next level as well.”
Phillips added that Alexander’s consistency to show up every day regardless of what he may be going through and put in the max effort is what makes him an All-Star as well.
“Every all-star has some attribute that sets them apart from the rest and between Joey’s experience, his skill and his hockey IQ, it has made him into the hockey player he is today.”
For forward Will Tooke, it was the home opener in Alexander’s freshman season against The Citadel that stood out for him on what makes Alexander an All-Star.
“I was on a line with Joey and Hunter. One of us took a shot that created a floating rebound and Joey and I both went for it. I wasn’t even close, but Joey hit the puck out of mid-air and scored,” Tooke said. I didn’t know what to think of him during the practices leading up to the game, but after that play, I really took notice how poised he was with the puck. I don’t think anyone in this league is as calm or confident as him.”
Alexander will have the opportunity to compete with some of the best players in the entire ACCHL against some of the best talents that ACHA Division II hockey has to offer.
“I think it will be pretty cool to play with other guys from other ACC teams,” said Alexander on what it means to him to be able to compete with players within the same league as him. “Some of the guys I played against growing up made the team and it will be fun to play on the same team like them.”
With the increase in talent that division two hockey has seen over the years, Alexander feels like this will be a huge honor for him to go up against such high caliber talent.
Alexander has played hockey for most of his life and there have been a lot of cool moments for him. However, being selected as an All-Star rank right up near the top.
“It ranks up there with making the southeast national camp when I was 15, getting scouted for juniors in Canada and Washington, and winning youth league championships,” said Alexander.
In total, the ACCHL will play a total of four games against various leagues across the United States with games on Sunday, April 14 to be determined. On Friday, April 12, the ACCHL will play the Division II independent team All-Stars at 9:15 a.m. and then will play the Upstate New York Club Hockey League (UNYCHL) All-Stars at 4:15 p.m.
On Saturday, April 13, the ACCHL will play the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) All-Stars at 8:30 a.m. and then will conclude their weekend against the Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League (TSCHL) All-Stars at 6 p.m.
Staff Writer Brian Carpenter can be found on Twitter @carp_brian28. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected]