An alumna of Vankleek Hill Collegiate offered his own career history with the NHL as an example in an inspiring message to students to follow their dreams.
“What I did throughout my life was say ‘I can get there from here,’” said Andrew Allen, keynote speaker for the VCI Awards Banquet, June 8.
Allen lived on a dairy farm, close to the village, when he was growing up in the Vankleek Hill area. He attended VCI during the days when the original school building sat closer to Route 34, where the cenotaph is located. Since his graduation, the old school site has become a soccer field for the new VCI building. Allan has visited the old home town often over the years, since his own graduation when he embarked on the career path that led him to become the goaltending coach for the Buffalo Sabres /)- UFBN
“It all started here, in this school, in this town,” Allen said. “Hockey was my passion.”
Allen recalled that the first goal he set for himself while in school was that he would play on the Hawkesbury Hawks junior A team. He achieved that goal and then set himself another one. To get a hockey scholarship. That took a little longer to manage but, in the end, he went to the University of Ottawa part-time and that helped him achieve his scholarship goal and further pursue his post-secondary goals.
“What I also learned was how to develop my time management skills,” he said. “That has helped me all through my life.”
His next goal was to play professional hockey, which he achieved when he signed PO XJUI UIF 'MPSJEB 1BOUIFST )F TQFOU TJY HBNFT XBJUJOH PO UIF 'MPSJEB CFODI XJUIPVU seeing any ice time but he was happy to at MFBTU CF QBSU PG UIF /)- BU UIF UJNF )F later joined the Ottawa Senators club and was active on the ice until he retired from playing at the age of 29.
Now his new goal was to become a trainer and mentor to younger players trying to make their way in the sport. He got a full-time job with the federal government and spent his free-time coaching minor and junior hockey teams in the Ottawa area.
The Chicago Blackhawks club recognized his teaching skills and signed him on as a EFWFMPQNFOUBM DPBDI -BUFS PO UIF 4BCSFT franchise hired him away to become its new goal-tending coach.
“You’re going to have ups-and-downs but you need to keep on trying,” Allen said in his speech to his younger VCI counterparts. “Keep on trying and set yourself goals. You can get there from here.”
« Vous pouvez y arriver à partir d›ici », a été la philosophie d’Andrew Allen, la vie durant, et cela a conduit l›ancien résident de Vankleek Hill, passionné par le hockey, à faire carrière dans la LNH.