Having graced the ice on offense and defense, Alex Moore’s resourcefulness was an integral component towards providing the St. Lawrence Saints with a solid presence on the ice. From the outset, Moore displayed a strong dedication towards giving her team a chance to win, by handling both aspects of the game, plus special teams during her freshman campaign in the North Country. Finishing fifth in team scoring that season, it provided the program with a solid building block.
Maintaining this strong standard of play as a sophomore, Moore continued to provide key contributions on special teams, becoming one of the most underrated competitors in the ECAC conference. As her career progressed with St. Lawrence, a defensive proficiency began to bloom, highlighted by a superlative 56 blocked shots in the aftermath of her junior season. Complementing such defensive wizardry was the fact that she suited up for 37 games, providing resilience for a program geared for a big season in 2016-17.
Part of the momentum leading into Moore’s senior season was attributed to an outstanding postseason performance in the 2016 edition of the ECAC tournament. A gutsy performance against the Princeton Tigers served as the finest hour for several of the Saints skaters.
With a see-saw battle requiring a third and deciding game, it was only fitting that the series would need to be resolved in overtime, as Molly Contini scored a dramatic power play goal for Princeton with just 15 seconds left in the third. As a side note, fellow senior Brooke Webster scored twice in the game, also gaining an assist on the third goal of the game for the Saints.
With Justine Reyes scoring for St. Lawrence at the 5:37 mark of overtime, the red lamp lit radiantly, signifying the overtime tally which allowed the Saints the opportunity to move on in the tournament, it proved to be a defining moment in Moore’s career. On the ice when this magical goal was scored, Moore euphorically reflects on its importance. Recognizing the fact that it is so cherished among her career highlights, it certainly represents a lasting memory,
“My favourite memory at St. Lawrence University was the playoff series against Princeton University my junior year. We won the first game Friday night and lost the second game Saturday afternoon bringing it to a tied series. The game on Sunday was a lot of back and forth action making it a very close game.
At the end of the third it was a tied game bringing it into OT. Right at the beginning of OT, Justine Reyes put the puck in the net for SLU to take the win. At that moment I just remember skating hard and jumping onto the huddle as I was one of the defensemen on the point at the time of the goal. I do not think I’ve celebrated that hard as a saint as I did that moment.”
Starting the senior season with great promise, one that would culminate with a national ranking and an appearance in the NCAA tournament, Moore was entrusted with the role of serving as an alternate captain. Sharing that honor with fellow senior Brooke Webster, who both sharpened their skills in the PWHL prior to arriving at St Lawrence in the autumn of 2013, it represented a proud milestone for such a dedicated athlete, while motivating her to provide the incoming freshman class with a mentor and a friend, allowing for a seamless transition,
“I was really honored when I was named assistant captain for the 2016-17 season alongside Brooke Webster. My coaches and teammates thought enough of me to choose me to wear the A on my jersey so I tried my best to live up to their expectations and make all the eight new freshman on the team feel welcome. I found as the year went on I created a great bond with the freshman class and some of them actually became my closest friends by the end of the year.”
Statistically, Moore enjoyed a solid campaign, reaching double digits for the first time since her freshman season. Of note, the 2017 postseason would represent another key moment in her career, as her final point took place in a first-round match-up against Yale on February 25. Gaining an assist on a second period goal by Justine Reyes, it was a serendipitous game as fellow seniors Kirsten Padalis and Brooke Webster also recorded points in the 4-0 win.
Although Moore managed only one goal this season, it was one that she made count. An October 29 match against conference opponent Harvard saw Moore capitalizing on a power play opportunity at the 17:10 mark of the first period, scoring against goaltender Brianna Laing. Gaining the assists on Moore’s milestone goal were Kalie Grant and Kayla Vespa. Moore would also register an assist on a goal scored by Kennedy Marchment, resulting in the last multi-point performance of her NCAA career.
Logging at least one point in 10 different games, the Saints sported a sparkling 9-0-1 mark when Moore was on the scoresheet. The month of January would prove to be the most exciting for Moore, assembling a pair of two-game scoring streaks, taking place on January 13-14 (vs. Brown and Yale) and January 27-28 (vs. Union and Rensselaer), respectively.
Among all the games during Moore’s final season in the North Country, the most significant may have been senior night. Celebrating the proud careers of those whose treasured time reaches its climax, the chance to be surrounded by friends and family only adds to the importance of such a gala. While such a denouement brings with it emotional reflection, pondering what will be missed most, it is also a time to shine for one last glorious time, an approach that Moore accepted with great alacrity,
“Going into senior night I approached the game with confidence knowing it was my last regular season game of my hockey career. I took in every moment and played with no regrets.
What I am going to miss the most about SLU are the friendships I made, the memories I created and the moments I got to experience on and off the ice and representing Saints hockey will be an unforgettable experience. Pulling the Scarlett and Brown jersey over my head every game was a great honour and something I will remember forever.”
The 2017 postseason represented more than just the final games of Moore’s career with the Saints, it would also allow for an opportunity to bring her hockey odyssey full circle. While Moore’s final game involved the Boston College Eagles in the first round of the NCAA tournament, there was another match that brought with it potentially stronger emotion.
During the 2017 ECAC tournament, St. Lawrence and the Cornell Big Red were on a collision course, meeting in the semifinals. Challenging Cornell brought with it mixed feelings for Moore. During her treasured time in the PWHL, she was one of the stars for the Whitby Wolves, capturing league co-rookie of the year honors. Among her teammates in Whitby was Hanna Bunton, whose family showed a kind gesture to Moore, providing a billet during her time with the Wolves. Bunton would prove to be a significant part of Moore’s hockey odyssey, as the two were also teammates on the Canadian Under-18 national team. This momentous milestone was unquestionably defined by capturing the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds.
After their accomplished careers came to an end in Whitby, their NCAA careers would take them both to New York State, although with different programs. Suiting up for conference rival Cornell, there was never a shortage of mutual respect over the course of four seasons between Bunton and Moore. 2-3-3 regular season record against Cornell, heading into semi-final, Moore was 0-2 against Bunton’s Big Red squad in career postseason matches. While both made key contributions to their respective schools, there was a tinge of sadness as both played against each other in the ECAC postseason tournament, an emotional swan song for a pair of distinguished competitors, yet cherished friends.
“I was always excited when it was time to play the Cornell Big Red. Going from playing with Hanna on the Jr. Whitby Wolves, U18 Ontario, U18 Canada, high school hockey and living with her and her family for two years always made it a very fun and competitive series. When we found out we were playing against each other in the playoffs we were obviously sad that one of us was not going to be playing in the ECAC finals but we were also very proud of each other that our teams made it this far.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credits: St. Lawrence Saints Athletics