It was a performance to end a season on, and indeed a career, as long-time Applejacks’ forward Alex Uttley completed his fifth and final year with the team on a high note.
With his 21st birthday fast approaching, Uttley’s record-breaking season was also his last with the Junior C team, making it a perfect cap to his time in Wellesley.
“It was kind of fitting I guess that it ended on the very last game of the year, and the last game in Wellesley too,” said Uttley. “And I guess, my last season game ever too, because this is my last year.”
It was by all measures an impressive season for the forward, who practically doubled his goal count from the year before, potting 45 in 40 games, while posting an impressive 53 assists. The player is quick to commend his teammates for the boost, as well as the Jacks’ depth this year, with every line contributing to the scoreboard.
“I don’t know what it was this year. I’ve definitely considered myself more of a passer, but this year the pucks were just going in the net for me,” said Uttley. “The big thing I think was, over all the years we’ve had some strong teams, but this was the strongest team we’ve had. We have scoring threats on all of our lines this year, which was nice because it’s hard for teams to match up against us.
“So we’re not always playing against the other team’s best line, because they just can’t play their best line the whole game. So I’ve gotten some better match ups, and just pucks have been going in, it’s been nice.”
The season saw Uttley win the South Doherty division’s MVP award for the 2018-19 season, as well as the lead scorer award. Team member Zach Ribeiro was also selected this year for the sportsmanship award, while both Uttley and Jacks’ defenseman James Ranson were selected for the 2018-19 all-star team.
“It was a really exciting year for Wellesley,” he said.
With awards won and records broken, Uttley is certainly going out with a bang. But the star shooter can’t rest on his laurels just yet, however, as the team is in the midst of the first round of the playoffs. Playing their first match on Saturday, the Jacks were on the right side of a 4-2 decision against the Ayr Centennials, with Uttley personally putting up an unassisted goal in the first 20 seconds of the middle frame, and picking up an assist.
“It’s been amazing. I always say to everyone that Wellesley’s become like a second home for me,” said Uttley. “Just sharing a full five years with the staff and then to be able to finish my career that way. Well, my regular season career anyways, there’s still the playoffs. But it was pretty special.”