Having the ability to finish and be quick on her feet were skills the Calgary Dinos like about Alexandra Gowe.
The 18-year-old Vernon minor hockey product is the first from the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s female midget program to move onto the collegiate level.
Gowe chose to play for the Dinos over Minnesota State and McGill University for a few reasons.
“Their program is building and starting to get better and I can be a part of that,” said Gowe, of the Dinos who were 16-6-2 and finished third in the Canada West regular season standings.
Gowe, who will study Kinesiology, also likes the fact Calgary is not far from Vernon and she doesn’t mind that her education will be paid for.
After battling with consistency to start the season, the 18-year-old, who compares herself to Cherie Piper, a three-time gold medal winner with Canada’s Olympic team, liked how she finished off the final two months in which she finished with 31 goals and 56 points in 52 games. Gowe credits her turnaround to her experience of playing with B.C. during the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.
“It was just a wake up call,” she said. “By being around people that are of the same level as me or better.”
She also praised the coaching of Rebecca Russell and Gina Kingsbury.
“They were awesome,” said Gowe, adding both were always there to work on things and were able to relate to her. “They prepared me for university.”
“I was excited about it for her,” said Russell, who helped Gowe attract the interest from U of C. We’re sending Alex to a good program.”
For the OHA program, which just completed its first season, Russell said this recognition means a lot.
“It’s a huge step for us,” said Russell, who with the help Kingsbury, guided the team to a 34-21-2 mark in 57 games. “We have been through a lot. This is going to help us grow.”