Colorado Rubber

Colorado’s and Utah’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Lafayette native Babineau signs with NAHL’s Minotauros, continuing climb up hockey ladder


Alec Babineau has lived away from home the past two seasons attending and playing prep school hockey for The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Mass., 33 miles north of Boston.

This coming season, the Lafayette native will be on the move again after recently signing with the NAHL’s Minot Minotauros in Minot, N.D.

“A mutual connection introduced myself and Coach (Cody) Campbell (also a Colorado Springs native) from Minot in the spring,” Babineau said. “After a few conversations, it was clear that the program was a great fit. It took some time to get the tender signing figured out, but I was super happy it worked out. Minot is a consistently dominant team in the NAHL and I am super excited to have the chance to fight for a role.

“Minot is a top-notch NAHL program. Everything from day-to-day to ownership is ran like a professional team. I also was super impressed with my conversations with Coach Campbell and he had nothing but great things to say about the fan base and the town. From the outside, it’s clear that the team is very involved in the community and the attendance at home games reflects that. I’m super thankful to have the chance to join a team with a great winning culture.”

Being away from home chasing his dream is nothing new for Babineau.

“I left home to play for two years at The Governor’s Academy, so living away from home won’t exactly be new to me,” Babineau said. “The structure of prep school was definitely a great way to adjust to my first time away from home. That experience was one I will remember forever, and one that will definitely allow me to feel comfortable living away from home again this season.”

Playing at Governor’s Academy and attending classes there has been a boost to Babineau’s future plans on many levels.

“This past season was, in my opinion, the season in which I grew the most as a player and as a person,” said Babineau. “Our Governor’s team had a very talented roster with very strong senior leadership all the way down to promising freshmen. Probably one of the most skilled teams recent years at Govs. The year wasn’t a breeze, as we found ourselves with a laundry list of injured players. In prep school hockey, what you have on your roster is all you have. There’s no call-ups. Fighting through limited rosters and finding new ways to win games was a welcome challenge. Though the season didn’t end the way we had expected it would at the start of the year, next year’s Govs team will be a threat to go far in the postseason.

“Personally, as a senior on the team, I found myself with a huge role on the team, a huge privilege. I grew tons with the chance to play in all situations throughout the season. I believe I polished my defensive game as a two-way centerman. The year was also one of my best in terms of offensive production. I look forward to proving myself at the next level.”

Babineau also explained how the game of hockey has been in his blood pretty much since birth.

“My dad, Michel Babineau, grew up in Rouyn-Noranda, QC,” Babineau said. “Hockey was in his blood, growing up on the outdoor rinks with Pierre and Sylvain Turgeon, Stephane Matteau, Eric Desjardins, and Andre Racicot. His career as a goalie took him to the QMJHL with the Verdun Jr. Canadiens and to UQTR in USports. It’s clear that my dad spoonfed his love of the game to me.

“Growing up in Lafayette, I spent my time learning how to play at the YMCA down the road. As a kid, I was a huge Canadiens fan, idolizing Max Pacioretty and PK Subban. My father attended the Canadiens training camp in 1994. These days, it’s pretty easy to root for the Avs and I find myself tuning in to tons of broadcasts. Family friend Eric Lacroix, who with his son Max, introduced me to Governor’s, was often on Altitude covering the Avs. I was always sure to tune in when he was on the air.”

Getting on the ice was a joy right from the start for Babineau.

“Once I turned nine, I left the YMCA to find a more competitive program,” said Babineau. “I played from 9-12 at Evolution Hockey Academy at Big Bear. Coach Sergei Bautin, a Red Army hockey player, taught me almost all the foundations for my game today. He was such a tough coach but an equally great person. I continued to skate with him until he unfortunately passed away not long ago. After ‘Evo,’ I joined the Colorado Thunderbirds program. I am so thankful for my time there playing from 13U to 16U. The competitive schedule of the Birds exposed me to competition I had never seen before and pushed me to a higher level. I’m especially thankful for Coach (Cam) Clemenson (15U) who trusted me enough as a player to learn how to control play and take risks, especially on special teams. Coaches David Clarkson and Ken Klee also helped me develop my game tons.

“While not directly a coach of mine, Eric Lacroix, a Colorado hockey connection, helped me in the introduction Governor’s. A Govs alum himself, Eric graduated and went on to have a successful career at St. Lawrence and in the NHL. I am so grateful for the welcoming arms of the Lacroix family and for the work they did to help me find a home at Govs. I had a blast sharing the ice with Max for a year.”

And while his youth hockey days in Colorado have come to a close, Babineau has a slew of great memories from his time back home.

“What I will remember most about my time playing in Colorado is how tight-knit the hockey community here is,” Babineau said. “Most of my best friends today I met playing hockey in Colorado. I’m lucky enough to still be super close with most of my teammates, skating at Drill House in the summers. We have a good amount of players from past Thunderbirds teams all skating together and pushing each other to the next levels. It’s awesome to see all the local players who are now all across the continent playing prep, juniors, and college come back to train together in the summers.”

Now with junior hockey on the horizon, Babineau is excited for the future ahead.

“I’m hoping to take huge steps in development next year with the Minotauros en route to pursuing my dream of playing college hockey and one day playing professional hockey,” said Babineau. “I hope to find a great college hockey fit and continue to spend my days playing the game I love.”

Photo/Governor’s Academy smugmug

— Matt Mackinder

(June 30, 2024)

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