His arms may get sore but Carter Rowney will never get tired of lifting the Stanley Cup. After a whirlwind day taking the cup through a parade in Sexsmith and a party with friends Sunday, Rowney brought it to his old stomping grounds Monday morning.
He held a private viewing of the cup at Revolution Place for some Grande Prairie Storm alumni and around 30 youth who have been helped by the 3D Charity Hockey Tournament. Funds raised by the annual event go to help seriously ill students in our community, and Rowney has competed in the past.
He says it’s been surreal to be back home, celebrating his cup win with friends, family and the entire community. He adds that it was special to bring the trophy back where his success started.
“The last year here we won the [AJHL championship]. That was a pretty cool moment and a couple of friends from that team are still here and I got to celebrate the Stanley Cup win with them too. There’s a lot of memories that came from playing with the Storm and it was a stepping stone for my career.”
The Sexsmith native played three seasons for Storm, which wrapped up with the championship win in the spring of 2009. He took the long road to the NHL, going undrafted, and spending four seasons with the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. He then spent time in the ECHL before being called up by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Despite becoming an NHL rookie at the age of 27, Rowney says he wouldn’t trade any part of his journey.
“You know, I didn’t have the easiest route and I hope kids can [take from it to] keep doing what you do and love it and have faith in yourself. Whether it’s hockey or any sport or anything in life, I think if you give 100 per cent your dreams do come true.”
Watching him every step of the way has been Rowney’s parents, Tracy and Brian. Brian believes his son’s success will encourage more youth to stick with their goals.
“You can get there from anywhere. You don’t have to be in a big city or a big organization; you can be from a small town and the opportunity’s there. It’s not easy and it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions; at Christmas he didn’t know where he was headed and in June he was raising the cup over his head.”
Now that Carter’s achieved this goal and had his first child in the same year, Brian simply hopes he can keep doing what he loves. Rowney is training out of Vernon for the summer and is waiting for news on his future with the Penguins.
“It’s a short summer but I’ll take that any day.”