Alec Hagaman has pointed to this week all season long.
The high-scoring Rivermen star bypassed call-ups to the E-C-H-L to stick to his goal of bringing an SPHL title to his hometown.
“My goal is to win here, win a championship here,” Hagaman said. “Yes, it would be great to be called up to teh ECHL. Deep down I know I could have made it. But I feel I owe it to this organization to win a championship here.”
Hagaman grew up in Peoria, played youth hockey in Peoria, went to Rivermen games growing up and dreamed of the day when he could win a championship with his favorite team. He can do it this week.
“Honestly, it would be a dream come true. All of my family and friends growing up, being about to play in the PYHA (Peoria Youth Hockey Association) and all that,” Hagaman said. “It would mean the world to me. I know it would mean the world to a lot of people that I know. So, it would be awesome. Hopefully it comes true and We can raise that Cup and celebrate.”
The Rivermen open the best-of-3 SPHL President’s Cup Final against Hunstville at home Wednesday.
Hagaman graduated from Dunlap High School in 2008 and he’s well aware his alma mater has won tennis, cross country and tack and field state championships in the past 12 months.
Now he wants to add a different layer to it by being a Dunlap grad that wins a pro hockey title this year.
“We were pretty good when I played back then but they are setting new standards right now and it’s awesome to see,” Hagaman said. “So hopefully I can jump on board with a championship here. I owe a lot to Dunlap. Hopefully I can make them proud and win a championship for them.”
The former Dunlap baseball and football player is two wins away from a hockey title that his high school and all of Peoria can celebrate.