Alexandre Carrier turned 30, right before COVID-19 hit the world and changed so many lives. He started with the Adirondack Thunder organization when Cali MacLean signed him to a SPC contract when he was 25 years old. He’s made some other pit stops along the way in different states and cities with the Utah Grizzles, Orlando Solar Bears, Wheeling Nailers, Atlanta Gladiators and even played with captain Pete MacArthur in Texas with the Allen Americans but it’s safe to say that he’s always called Glens Falls, NY is hockey home.
“That’s a guy that’s been here a long time, he exemplifies what we like to do, he’s great with the fans off the ice, he’s such a great human being and just what we like to have around here he does almost everything you can ask for”. Alex Loh said to me after Wednesday’s 6-2 Thunder victory over Worcester for the 1st Adirondack win of the 2021-22 campaign.
Last night’s game was an emotional one for number 17. For those that don’t know Alex lost his dad on July 19th of this year. Just four days before his dad’s 62nd birthday.
“A night like tonight an emotional night, you know it was a big night for me, big night for the team, obviously, you know you have a little thought who brought you to this point and obviously my dad played such a big role for me and for my family throughout my career, I know he would be proud of myself and I’m proud of this locker-room”.
Carrier just happened to have one of the best games of his professional hockey career scoring two goals with his dad watching down. He needs one more to tie his goal scoring number from last year and four more to make a career high in his goal tallying department.
“I think this year compared to the last year before COVID hit, I think Alex did a remarkable job at bringing back key players, key leaders, bringing a guy like MacArthur, it’s priceless. That guy’s got some much experience, he’s done it at the top higher leagues in hockey. The baggage he brings for the young guys, for also the older guys, the help he brings to Alex (Loh), he’s Alex’s (Loh) eyes in the locker room, he makes everyone want to play and everyone player better, their always preaching work hard”.
Carrier’s message after Wednesday night was “Bring the effort, win lose, it doesn’t matter bring the best effort you can every single practice, every single game, every time you step the ice and bring a purpose”.
As far as clicks go in the Thunder dressing room, there’s no such thing, says Carrier.
“We don’t have any clicks, we don’t have any small groups, everybody’s a unit, everybody wants to win, that’s the main goal that we have, and everyone has the same idea. We want to bring that every single night”.
On his first goal of the night, Carrier scored his first goal in over 18 months and being a power-forward has its perks.
“As a power-forward, I try to get us close as possible (as a team), to the net that’s usually where I get my cookies” (referring to goal scoring).
Carrier credits new Thunder forward Nick DeVito who sat out on opening night and was the extra forward on Wednesday.
“Nick DeVito did an amazing job; he saw that he was one guy alone against three. Our first three goals were right in front of the net, good things happen when you go in front of the net”.
Carrier on Wednesday was paired Ryan Smith and Jordan Kaplan.
From going to a rookie to a veteran Carrier says he’s done that his entire career regardless of his status.
“I’ve never been afraid of talking, of speaking even though I’ve never for the longest time in my career had a letter on my jersey. I was still a presence in that locker room, I was still talking, making myself vocal even on the bench or the locker room. Getting that confirmation that Alex has given me being an Alternative (Captain) on the road and right now at home since Shane Harper is injured, gives me a bit of more leading, there’s MacArthur, Thompson and myself who’s been with the team for a couple of years as well”.
One thing Carrier made clear is that even though Harper is out of the lineup he’s still around and the players in that room feed off that.
“Shane Harper is a huge part of this organization, back in the days, he’s known locally and played at the highest level in the NHL, so his experience brings another perspective to young guys for us and even for me as a 30-year-old. Everybody learns from their own experience”.
It’s very safe to say that Carrier will be able to reach in the jar for more cookies as the season rolls on.