Becoming the leading scorer on the highest-scoring team in the state doesn’t happen overnight.
It also doesn’t happen alone.
Pine Creek’s Alex Brooks, the state’s leader in points, credits his team and his linemates — juniors Trevor Porter and Austin Sawyer — for his individual success this season.
“They’re probably the two favorite guys I’ve ever played with,” Brooks said. “We just clicked and we are a danger together on the ice.”
With their help, Brooks capped his senior season by leading the state with 53 points thanks to 24 goals and 29 assists, and led the Eagles to the program’s first playoff win — earning him the title of The Gazette Ice Hockey Peak Performer of the Year.
Entering high school Brooks was a three-sport athlete, balancing soccer, basketball and hockey. But when the time came to focus on academics, he looked to hockey.
“I think that’s when I decided I eventually wanted to pursue hockey at a higher level,” said Brooks, who dreams of playing Tier II junior hockey, or Division I college hockey.
That decision eventually landed him on the ice with his little sister, KC, who is a defenseman for the Eagles.
“It’s actually really cool to be able to play with her,” Alex said. “We couldn’t play with each other in club, so with high school hockey it was nice to play with my little sister for a couple years and end my career with her. We would fight a little on the ice and off, I guess it was just kind of like a normal brother-sister relationship.”
Brooks, who has been playing hockey since his neighbors brought him to the rink at 8 years old, said this season felt different thanks in part to new plays and fresh practices drawn up by coach Ed Saxer.
“Those really helped us get a lot of goals scored,” Brooks said. “And I just think with our chemistry with the lines, which were set for most of the year, we played more as a unit together and that definitely helped fuel our scoring.”
The Eagles averaged 7.15 goals per game, leading the state with 143 total goals — a staggering 24 more than the next team, Doherty, which had 119. A year ago, Pine Creek finished the season with 89 goals.
Brooks averaged 2.65 points as one of the 10 Pine Creek players with more than a point-per-game average.
With a 16-2-1 regular-season record and the program’s first playoff win, no question Brooks and the Eagles left a mark on the program.
Now getting ready for graduation with aspirations of playing junior hockey in North Dakota, Brooks hopes his team can continue to progress, and make the final four next season.
“My freshman through junior year we never even made the playoffs,” Brooks said. “So I hope next year they can take it past the second round, and later on win a state title.”