Mar 28, 2006

Our brilliant forward, Alexandre Gelinas

by David Thompson
Of the six men allowed for a team to have on the ice at one time, half of them claim the position of forward. The primary goal of a forward is to smack the puck as hard or deceptively as he can, to put it past the other team’s goalie. At first glance, this seems like a very straightforward position, and it is, perhaps, the most clear-cut position in the game, but that does not mean that it is without its complexities.

For starters, a forward does not just shoot. A good forward needs to know what kind of shot is appropriate for what kind of situation, and how to vary the shot to use it to the maximum advantage.

Speed is also key. A good forward needs to be able to out-skate the opposing defenders so as to make the maximum impact on the goaltender. He must also be able to out-skate the other forwards coming from behind, attempting to spoil his scoring opportunity, as well as be able to spoil scoring opportunities by the opposition.

He needs to have a good grasp of the physics of trajectory and deflection, as these are crucial parts of deceiving the opposing goaltender.

Perhaps no one player on Liberty’s hockey club understands these complexities as well as Alexandre Gelinas, a freshman forward. He has been outstanding for the Flames this season, leading the team in overall points with 48. His closest teammate in scoring is sophomore Jordan Wilson, with 44 points.

This year is not the first time Gelinas has been in the position of being a key forward, and the leading scorer.

“It’s not a role that I’m unfamiliar with,” he said.

Though he has the pressure of leading the team in scoring, and usually gets quite nervous before a game, he takes the responsibility willingly.

“That’s what Coach wants me to do, that’s what I do,” he said.

Gelinas made the move to Liberty from Quebec, where he was heavily involved in hockey. He had planned to pursue college in the United States, but was unsure of where until he attended Liberty for a day and spoke with the hockey coaching staff. He decided to attend after hearing that his best friend was attending “a Christian school in Virginia.” His mind was made up, and he left his home to come to Liberty.

According to Gelinas, “the first week was the hardest,” but “the transition was pretty easy.” His parents being divorced, Gelinas had moved several times in his youth, which, he said, helped him with the transition. Also, the friendliness of his teammates aided the shift.

“The team chemistry’s great,” he said. He was also very quick to credit the fans for the at-home atmosphere he feels at the school.

Gelinas has not yet declared his major, as he is still a freshman and he does not yet have specific plans for his career after graduation. He is currently considering the possibilities of physical education or kinesiology. Professional hockey may also be an option.

“I know hockey’s in my future,” he said, “I just don’t know what form.”

Contact David Thompson at

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