Preface to All Heart
I first met the Petrie’s at Country Meadows Golf Course when I was teaching junior golf.
Alex and his brother Brady always had smile on their face walking up the hill coming to clinic on Monday mornings and were regulars at the Thursday morning tourney’s.
Their golf bags were bigger than they were, but could they ever swing a golf club.
They were always the last kids off the range and were always driven to get better.
When I first heard the news I couldn’t believe it. My heart sank, my heart broke for them all.
I still remember talking with them and telling them if they needed anything to let me know.
There are really no words.
I’ve known the Petrie’s for quite sometime now, so I know the story.
I know what they faced and what they have gone through.
That’s why I have hesitated writing something.
You see as a scout I have to be impartial, neutral, but this is different.
From a scouting perspective, I don’t want this to be perceived as showing favoritism in anyway.
I know how perception works. I get that, but people need to know what kind of person and player Alex Petrie has become.
Alex and the entire Petrie family is all heart.
From father to son, the dream, passion and love for the game of hockey is always shared.
Alex Petrie remembers the first time he suited up like it was yesterday.
Every memory is special for the sixteen year old.
“I still remember my first hockey game, I was playing for the Moncton Bruins in first year initiation at a game in Hillsborough,” Petrie said.
“I just remember calling my dad being pumped that there was real refs.”
Andrew Petrie, Alex’s dad worked for the Moncton Fire Department.
“Dad was working a 24 hour that night, but I made sure to visit him after the game and tell him I scored.”
“My dad was the one who taught me how to skate.”
“I was just two when I started and he always too me to the public skates at the 4-Plex.”
There are just some memories you don’t forget.
“When I was around five years old, my dad started building a back yard hockey rink and that’s where I would spend most of my time when I wasn’t at the rink.”
Hours upon hours Petrie would hone his skills under the watchful eyes of his mom and dad.
Like so many before him, Petrie’s hockey dreams were first forged in the backyard with frozen feet.
Petrie has always had a knack for finding the net. The diminutive highly skilled two-way winger was hitting his stride and finding his place in the game, when the unthinkable happened.
Everything stood still.
Hockey and sport always played such an integral part of the Petrie family, but everything stopped with his father’s cancer diagnosis in 2014 and passing in 2016.
“I was twelve when my dad passed away.”
“It was tough being so young, but I think I handled it pretty well,” said a reflective Petrie.
“My brother was ten so I had to be strong for him and for my mom as well,” explained Petrie.
“I think it’s helped me mature a bit quicker because I was the man of the house.”
“I didn’t have that father figure to push me everyday so I had to find ways to motivate myself both on and off the ice.”
All heart, that’s defined Alex Petrie’s journey in the game and life.
There are no words to explain the loss of a loved one.
We all handle it differently. We all mourn in our own way.
One can only imagine what Petrie and the rest of the family were going through at this devastating and tragic time.
Petrie tried to focus his efforts on the game he loved.
“I was going into first year Bantam and when try outs rolled around I was a mess.”
“I remember sitting in the parking lot with Dave Hinkley who coached me with my dad for over four years and remember just telling him I wish my dad was here for this.”
“I ended up getting cut, but I think it was for the better as I was never really cut from any team in my life,” confessed Petrie.
“That motivated me big time and made me realize that in order to get to the next level you have to work hard.”
Alex Petrie has never stopped working in life and the game of hockey.
“Hockey was definitely a way for me to cope, I felt as if I was close to my dad when I was on the ice, it kept my mind off things and I honestly don’t know where I would be without hockey.”
The game of hockey has a unique way of teaching and helping us learn about life and ourselves.
Nevertheless, Petrie is quick to point out his largest pillar of strength and support.
“My mom means everything to me,” Petrie said proudly.
“She’s spent a lot of time at the rink with me, taking me on road trips, sacrificing work hours to make sure I get to that game or practice.”
“I will be forever grateful for her.”
“Without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
“She works hard everyday to make sure me and my brother are happy and she truly is the strongest woman I know, I don’t know how she’s done it,” confessed Petrie.
Petrie’s latest journey in the game has taken him to the famed Moncton Midget AAA Flyers organization. Petrie made the jump to the Flyers after having a very successful year playing for the Harrison Trimble High School Trojans.
“Personally playing at the Midget AAA level and for the Flyers means a lot to me,” stressed Petrie.
“The Flyers are a first class organization and they treat us like pros. From the trainers to the coaching staff, everyone pushes you to be the best you can so it helps a lot to play in a atmosphere where everyone wants to win and push each other to get better.”
“I’ve always wanted to play for the Flyers since a young age and having the opportunity to play for them now is amazing.”
It’s easy to see just how much it means to Petrie because he brings it every night.
Petrie along with Tristan Sanchez and Braeden MacPhee are arguably the Flyers most effective and complete line.
“Tristan and Braeden are great.”
“We click really well and we’re always pushing each other to get better, so it’s nice to play with guys that have such a good work ethic.”
The trio are by far the hardest working line in the NB/PEI Major Midget AAA League.
Petrie, Sanchez and MacPhee can play in any situation and have flourished offensively given their unwavering work ethic and compete level.
Petrie is focused on the moment, but certainly wants to see how far the game will take him.
Petrie was selected by Grand Falls Rapids of the Maritime Hockey League in last June’s Entry Draft, Junior A or the QMJHL, Alex Petrie wants to keep playing the game he loves at the highest possible level.
It’s unclear if Petrie is on the radar of QMJHL teams, but there’s no doubt the Flyers’ gritty energy line is definitely getting noticed.
Petrie has 10 goals and 11 assists in 28 regular season games with the Flyers this season.
“Getting drafted into the QMJHL this year would mean everything to me.”
“It’s pretty cool to think about how something like that could happen,” Petrie said.
“I still remember my dad taking me to Wildcats games as a kid and telling me that he hopes to see me out there when I’m older.”
“Nothing has happened yet so I’m just going keep working hard and work on the little things in my game to get myself to the next level,” confessed the gritty well-spoken winger.
Petrie understands the process, but is willing to do whatever it takes to reach his dreams.
“My goal next year is to play junior somewhere, whether that’s junior A or the Q.” “Junior hockey is a big step from Midget so I know in order to get there it’s going to take a lot of work. I’ll work my hardest to get there,” confessed Petrie.
Petrie’s ultimate goal would be to someday play University hockey.
“I think it would be pretty cool getting your education and playing the sport you love at the same time.”
Life and the game of hockey has never lost it’s meaning in Alex Petrie’s world.
“The game means the world to me.”
“I honestly don’t know where I would be without it.”
“It’s helped me in many different ways in life and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love being on the ice and going to the rink everyday.”
The rink is Alex Petrie’s second home.
Through it all Petrie has never lost sight of his dream and the shared bond with those that matter most in his life.
“Dave Hinkley is definitely someone who’s helped me along the way, he’s been there for me everyday since he’s been my coach and is a guy I still chat with pretty well every week about hockey.”
“Dave’s been a huge part of my life on and off the ice.”
“My mom and dad for sure have been the most influential people in my life on and off the ice, even though my dads not with me anymore he still taught me the game of hockey and how to be a leader and a good person.”
“I will always be thankful for the time I spent with my dad,” said Petrie.
That’s Alex Petrie.