Appleton Arena is part of the package that comes with St. Lawrence Hockey. The low ceiling, wooden seats, the sense of the crowd right on top of you; its character is unmatched in the college hockey world. And this character is what drew freshman Andrew McIntyre to St. Lawrence.
While playing at Ridley College, a prep school in Ontario, McIntyre had the opportunity to tour Appleton Arena, courtesy of his head coach Mike McCourt ’94, a St. Lawrence alum. McCourt must have known the magic of Appleton was difficult to resist.
“Out of all the rinks I saw, Appleton was my favorite,” said McIntyre. “I loved the atmosphere, the old college hockey barn style.”
“The game we went to was SLU-Clarkson as well, and that game gave me a good sense of what SLU hockey was about. So, with my playing style, and the rink itself, I knew this was the best fit for me.”
McIntyre’s hockey career began far before his first game at Appleton, however. Growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, McIntyre, as most Canadians are, was surrounded by hockey. After his first time lacing up the skates, he fell in love.
“My parents got me started when I was four, just the normal activity, stick you on the ice with some skates and a milk crate, but from there, I was hooked,” said McIntyre. “My parents will tell an embarrassing story of me when I was younger, refusing to go to the grocery store unless I could wear a hockey helmet.”
While his love for hockey didn’t prevent him from playing other sports while growing up, it was clear that none would supplant hockey on his list of priorities.
“I played lacrosse for a bit when I was younger, but once I started getting pretty good at hockey, I spent summers and offseason training for that,” said McIntyre. “I’m a big summer watersports guy too, and I play golf, kind of like everyone, but nothing is bigger than hockey.”
Despite having season tickets to the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL as a kid, it didn’t take long for McIntyre to recognize the value of college hockey, not just as an opportunity to continue to play at a high level, and perhaps beyond as a professional, but also as a chance to further his education.
“I’ve always been interested in economics, like my dad,” McIntyre said. “I’ve been taking econ and business courses all my life, whenever I can, and I kept doing that here at SLU. Then this fall I also took computer programming, which was tough but interesting, so I think I might minor in.”
On the ice, McIntyre’s style of play fits well with the Saints. A hard worker who isn’t afraid of physicality, McIntyre feels right at home, surrounded by players like Carson Gicewicz, Dylan Woolf and others, while playing for a program built on those principles.
“Right off the puck drop, Carson Gicewicz was out there trying to take somebody’s head off,” McIntyre said with a laugh about his first SLU-Clarkson matchup, earlier this year. “There’s always someone out there who sets the tone, and when you get out there, you try and follow that up, and with my brand of hockey, that’s fine by me.”
With a hard-working and physical playing style, an emphasis on the importance of education, and a love for the old-time, rock-em-sock-em atmosphere of Appleton Arena, Andrew McIntyre seems to be a perfect fit for St. Lawrence hockey.