67’s Grad Corey Cowick remains tough in the ECHL

Judging by the number of fans who still wear his jersey to Ottawa 67’s games, Corey Cowick has cemented a place in the team’s history.

Cowick, an Ottawa native, is remembered not only for his hockey skills but also as someone who won countless awards for scholastic achievements and for his community service.

He was traded to the 67’s from the Oshawa Generals in the summer of 2008. Going back to where it all began provided a more fulfilling junior career for Cowick, now 21. 

“To be able to move home and see my sister grow up as well as have my family and friends be a part of my junior years was phenomenal,” he said.

He recalls his first year with the 67’s as a memorable one.

“When I was traded to Ottawa from Oshawa I went from not playing as often to playing first line with Logan Couture.”

“I didn’t know what it was going to be like to play there to be honest,” he laughed.

When Cowick was with the Generals the previous season, he hit Couture in the corner and was booed off the ice by the fans.

“It was pretty embarrassing to be honest. Not only did I get suspended for three games for the hit but I was escorted out of the rink because of all the booing in my home town. Luckily fans seemed to forget it by the time I was traded there.”

Soon fans were cheering Cowick — a high-energy player who can hit and put the puck in the net.

Cowick can still hear former 67’s coach Brian Kilrea every time he’s on the ice.

“He was always yelling shoot the puck, it became second nature. Whenever my game is struggling I think of him in my ear. From playing in Ottawa I learned that I was a more able player than I ever gave myself credit for. It was having him push me that helped me get to where I am today.

Cowick was passed over in two NHL drafts, which would discourage most players. But he stayed focussed on his dream.

“I have seen so many players that I played with growing up run out of leagues to play in as they weren’t willing to put in the work. I swore that wouldn’t be me. Some of those guys were far more skilled then I ever was but they lacked the work ethic.”

He was drafted 160th by the Ottawa Senators in 2009 and is playing now playing with the Jackals in Elmira, New York for the East Coast Hockey League.

“It’s major difference playing hockey in upstate New York compared to Ottawa. In Canada as a whole, hockey is deemed to be of high priority with the majority of people having played it at one point. Here however, people could care less for professional hockey and put far more emphasis on high school football.”

Although he sat out the majority of his last season with the 67’s because of  shoulder surgery, he still managed to get 21 points (15 goals and 6 assists) in 27 games. 

“Last year we were able to eliminate the Niagara Ice Dogs at Scotiabank Place in the first round of play-offs. For me, it was a great thing to be able to be part of. Ottawa hadn’t made it past the first round in a long time and fans were beginning to get tired of a team that had big seasons and then struggled in play-offs. Nothing will compare to playing in Ottawa and the 67’s.”

Cowick played his first year of organized hockey at age five.

“I would tell kids that are going out the same thing my dad told me; the only thing that you can control on the ice is your work ethic. Some time the puck bounces in and some times it doesn’t but you can always control how hard you play. When you finish a game you never want to be able to say, ‘I should’ve done this or I could’ve done that.’ You want to know that you played your heart out every minute that you were on the ice.”

Cowick was also an outstanding baseball player as a youth.

“For me, hockey was played in the winter but come summer it was time to put down the stick and puck and pick up a bat and a glove.

Eventually, he had to choose between the sports. Hockey had a special place in his heart.

“Everyone wants to play in the NHL when they’re growing up its an essential part of the Canadian dream but for me it was more about the love of the game, that’s what drove me to play every day.”

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