From caravan park road hockey to two-time Goodall Cup champion, Alex Tetreault‘s story has seen him rise to become one of the best goaltenders in Australia, helping the CBR Brave to their second championship.
Born in Montreal, Canada, he moved to Canberra with his family at a young age. It wasn’t until Tetreault was 10-years-old that he started playing serious ice hockey.
Initially playing as a forward where he learnt the craft of skating, it was at the suggestion of former coach Andrew Brunt that Tetreault decided to try his hand at goaltending.
From that decision, he hasn’t looked back, and continued to rise through each level of the sport in Australia.
“In between the games we would be back at the caravan park, and we would play road hockey,” Alex Tetreault told The Inner Sanctum.
“I actually jumped in net, after about 10 minutes Andrew Brunt asked, ‘why are you playing as a forward? Does our goalie gear fit you? I don’t understand why you are playing as a forward.’
“The next year I jumped in net and ever since I just enjoyed it so much more, and I was a little bit better than a forward.
“So, I think I found my spot.”
The Brave capped off a fantastic 2022 season beating the Newcastle Northstars 3-2 to become Australian Ice Hockey League champions. They took the most prestigious ice hockey trophy in the country back to the nation’s capital.
It was the first season that Tetreault was able to take the mantle as the Braves’ first choice goaltender. Saving 47 shots across the AIHL Finals weekend, this win was extra special.
“You try to think back and what you were feeling just a huge sigh of relief, pure joy and adulation,” Tetreault continued.
“Just to be able to celebrate that with not only all the guys on the team but have all the Canberra fans there and my family there as well.
“This is the biggest championship I have ever won.”
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In a moment that seemed like a fitting end to the Brave season, AIHL MVP Casey Kubara got the game winning goal in the third period.
It was the first point for Kubara all weekend for the Brave. While somewhat of a surprise, it did highlight that the team plays a balanced game across all lines.
“In 2019 we had a lot of guys that we had to rely on,” Tetreault said.
“They were incredible hockey players, but that’s what a championship winning team is.
“You have your top scorers but the fact your second and third line, the guys who don’t play a lot who don’t get a lot of minutes can still make an impact and make a difference.
“That’s a championship winning team where collectively we can come together as a group and everybody plays their part.”
Tetreault had to bide his time within the Brave system, with former NHL goaltenders Matt Hewitt and Matt Climie previously taking the top spot in net.
However, it was through this period of his career that Tetreault was able to learn and better himself both on and off the ice to stake his claim as the number one choice.
“I look back to 2018 [Goodall Cup win] and that was an amazing experience,” Tetreault continued.
“I was an understudy to Matt Hewitt who was the starting goalie, and we had a really good friendship.
“He was incredible, he passed down so much to me in terms of how to play the game and how to be a workhorse in net on and off the ice.
“But you always want to be the guy in net making them key saves and leading your team to a championship.”
Tetreault has been able to ride this championship wave with good friend Jordon Brunt. Both have come up through the Canberra ice hockey system, winning gold together with the U18 Australian team and now the highest honour at national level.
Both have had career best seasons with the Brave, and have become important players within the roster that Head Coach Stuart Philps can call upon.
“We have been mates since we were 11 or 12 years old,” Tetreault said.
“We are the only two players that have been playing through that junior program all the way up to the CBR Brave.
“This is our sixth or seventh season on the team together, so to come through that really long journey and be able to lift the cup together that is a super special moment.”
Winning the ultimate glory in sport is never just about those calling the shots and skating on the ice, it’s also the background staff and volunteers who give up their time each year to make sure every AIHL season runs smoothly.
The Brave coaches had to quickly jump back on a plane following the Goodall Cup triumph, with only a short chance to celebrate amongst the players and club staff.
As the celebrations continue to flow throughout the coming weeks, there will hopefully be a larger more official Brave function to acknowledge such an accomplishment.
“This is not just the 20 to 25 guys on the ice,” Tetreault continued.
“The whole of the management team the coaching staff, all the volunteers that dedicate so much time to help us.
“All the families that support the players, all the fans that come along and buy tickets to the games.
“They have no idea how important that is to the success of the club, and they are the reason we get to do this every year.
“I am sure there are plans in the works to do a team parade or party, to get everybody from the Brave family there to celebrate properly.”
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