By Warren Kozireski–
Brown Bears senior Alex Brink has scored only seven goals over his 75 games played as of Jan. 1, but like many he remembers the first one very well.
It came in just the second game of his collegiate career at Dartmouth on Nov. 5, 2016. He was reminiscing about it as he made his second-to-last trip to Dartmouth as the Bears played in the 30th annual Ledyard Bank tournament the weekend after Christmas.
“A little bit,” Brink said when asked if he was getting a little nostalgic as the second half of his senior season begins. “Visiting the rinks after three or four years and realizing that it’s the last time that I’m going to play competitive hockey here ever and that the next time I will probably be watching hockey hits home.
“A lot of memories. Freshman year you’re looking around and trying to study everything and by the time you’re a senior, you know the layout of all the rinks, so you have your own little spot you stand in to warmup, tape your stick, things like that.
“And my dad comes to almost all the games and we were talking that he has had the opportunity to come to see a bunch of different rinks in different areas at schools I didn’t even look at.”
Brink had a stellar high school career at Hamilton Central scoring 50 goals as a junior and further developed his hockey career with the Syracuse Stars as a 17-year old and then the Boston Jr. Bruins program for three campaigns helping that team to a United States Premier Hockey League and National Championship during the 2013-14 season.
“I knew the assistant coach (at Brown) because he coached locally in Utica when I was in high school, so I had always been on his radar a little bit. Then I started reaching out asking if they had any spots. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s easier to sell yourself.”
Brink has seven career goals with nine assists with 16 games remaining in the regular season. A physical forward who led the Bears in penalty minutes as he did last season, Alex also was seeing time with the penalty killing unit.
“That’s always been my role, plus I think it’s a fun part of hockey. Keeping it clean, definitely, but it brings a different aspect to the game and is something I can utilize and makes me a better player.”
Even though this is Brink’s senior year, he does have one more year of eligibility left should he want to use it somewhere besides Brown.
“I redshirted my sophomore year due to hip surgery and I can’t play here at Brown as a grad student, so I have a year left if I can make it work somewhere else and maybe work toward an MBA or Master’s. Maybe play some more hockey and not have to hang them up quite yet. I’m feeling good about that.”