(Photo: Nick Marek/WCSN)
In 1996, the newly relocated Colorado Avalanche hoisted the Stanley Cup after defeating the Florida Panthers in a 4-0 series sweep. Around that same time, four- year old Alex Temby was lacing up his skates for the first time.
“My next door neighbors first got me interested in playing hockey,” Temby said. “Then the Avs came to Colorado and really became a big influence on me getting started.”
To this day, Temby still keeps in touch with his Littleton, Colorado neighbors. Coincidentally, one of those neighbors, Matt Rice, used to play for the Maroon and Gold. With their help, he began mini mites and played his way into peewee hockey. It was playing for Team Northwest that he first met long-time friend and fellow defenseman Jordan Young.
“That’s where we started a good friendship,” Temby said. “It’s really cool that we’re playing together again now, especially being a D-pair together. We’re both excited-it’s a good situation.”
The 6-foot, 190-pound defenseman doesn’t just look to be an immediate impact on the blue line; he wants to use his good vision of the ice to put some pucks in the net as well. His offensive-minded roots stem from two players: Hockey Hall of Fame center Joe Sakic and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who tied for the scoring lead among NHL defensemen last season.
“[Letang] is really solid on the defensive end and he’s really aggressive offensively. That’s where I’m trying to get to – I want to contribute on the offensive side of the puck as well,” Temby said.
Temby comes to Oceanside Arena with three years of playing in the North American Hockey league under his belt. In the previous two seasons as a Texas Tornado, he tallied up 5 goals, 18 assists and a plus 14 rating. Most notably, he was able to hoist the NAHL’s Roberston Cup last year, bringing a national championship mentality to
an ASU team whose already on the brink of earning a title.
“It was a valuable experience for me,” Temby said. “It was a long season of hard work. Winning a national championship is about hard work and dedication. I think we have the talent and the will to bring back a national championship to Tempe this year,” Temby said.
Despite an upper body injury that kept him from suiting up on the season opener, the young blue-liner is poised to begin the transition from playing boys to playing men. Current seniors and veterans were able to give advice on the high-end physicality that’s comes with playing college hockey.
“[They said to] work hard and you’ll earn your spot in the lineup. Keep at it – the play will speak for itself,” Temby said.
The Temby-Young pairing will make its first debut on the blue line this Friday against Weber State. The puck drops at 7:30 at Oceanside Arena in Tempe.
“I’m feeling good, I’m excited,” Temby said. “It’s been a long journey back from injury. I just want to get back out on the ice and get playing.”