Alex Snow is shown in action with the Dieppe Commandos last season.
— Normand A. Léger photo
There’s a certain finality to a playoff defeat, yet Alex Snow still marvels at the journey that led him to that moment.
The 18-year-old native of Baie Verte and his Dieppe Commandos teammates came out on the wrong end of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL) championship series last week, but Snow was still buzzing about the experience itself.
“Coming from a small town, we never really had a chance to win much,” he said, shortly after arriving back in this province on Monday. “That was definitely the longest playoff run I’ve ever been on.
“It was an experience like I never had before,” he added. “That’s for sure.”
The ride began on March 16 — a 6-2 decision over the Woodstock Slammers in Game 1 of the Meek Division semifinal. The Commandos (28-17-2-5) would go on to defeat the Slammers, a team that included defenceman Tim Rose of Stephenville, in five games to advance to the Meek Division final.
There they outlasted the favoured Miramichi Timberwolves in six games, setting them up for the championship series against the Truro Bearcats, a team that finished 16 points ahead of them in the standings and were tied with the Timberwolves for first-place overall.
Both teams traded tight wins over the first four games, but a 5-4 loss in Game 5 was a tough pill to swallow, said Snow.
“I don’t want to blame the referees, but there were a couple of calls that were iffy,” said the son of David and Roxie. “But yeah, a couple of bounces our way would’ve definitely turned the series around for us.”
After posting 19 points (7G-12A) in 48 regular season contests — he also spent six games with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — he notched just a goal and an assist through the 17-game playoff stretch.
His role, however, was focused more on keeping the puck out of the net than putting it in.
“It suits me really well,” he said of the shutdown role. “I’ve got a couple more things I could bring to the table, but coach (Jeff Leblanc) thinks it’s best and obviously he was right, where we went on such a long playoff run.”
Now the training for next season begins.
He expects he’ll be with the Commandos again when the puck drops, but the Remparts still own his rights, so he’s hopeful he may get another look when their training camp kicks off in early August.
“I guess we’ll see once the time gets closer,” he said.
The consolation prize of sorts would be another run at the MHL title, which Snow said he’d be excited for as well. He feels he’s improved as a hockey player in both seasons he’s spent in the Maritime league thus far, so another campaign couldn’t hurt.
“Each year I’m producing more and more and stepping into bigger roles,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll keep expanding next year.
“There was nothing myself and my teammates wanted to win more than a championship,” he added. “But it’s easier to swallow knowing I’ve got two more years to have a chance to do it.”