Fairview native Eric Rex isn’t a quitter. So he waited three long years for his chance to play regularly at Canisius. Given his success as a senior, it was well worth the wait.
He has 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) this season – three times more than his previous career high of six points and eight points more than the combined total from his first three seasons.
“It’s tough to be patient. It’s tough when you’re not playing in games, but you’re working hard in practice and working hard off the ice,” Rex, 23, said. “Now it’s just a nice feeling that it’s started to pay off. I’ve played in every game but one this year, and I’ve had success.
Rex plays his final regular-season home game Friday night against Atlantic Hockey Association foe Mercyhurst College. Then on Saturday night, he plays his final regular-season game at home, when the Golden Griffins travel to Mercyhurst Ice Center to face the Lakers.
Family and friends will be on hand to watch Rex play. “I have the support of an amazing family and great friends,” he said. “They were always there for me when I needed them.”
That support system helped Rex never waver on his commitment to Canisius. He appeared in a career-low nine games as a junior after dressing for 57 games in his first two seasons. “I’ve never really quit at anything in my life,” he said. “I never even thought about leaving or seeking other options. (Playing at Canisius) was just something that I wanted to continue pursuing and be successful at it.”
The Golden Griffins (10-16-6, 9-11-5 AHA) are last in the conference’s six-team West pod, one point behind the Lakers. But before concluding his college career, Rex wants a return trip to Blue Cross Arena in Rochester for the AHA tournament’s Final Four and the program’s first AHA championship. “We’re excited for that opportunity, for that challenge,” he said.
- Victor Fernandes