By Devin Jones
As quick as Domenic Alberga is to acknowledge his accomplishments, he’s even faster to attribute where his success came from.
“I give all the credit to my parents who put me through hockey,” Alberga said. “Now I can give them something in return, something to be proud about.”
The 21-year-old right-winger — who racked up 44 points — was the second highest scorer on the men’s hockey team in his rookie season with the Rams, was named the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rookie of the year and ranks fourth in the nation for points scored. At the Ryerson Rams Athletic Awards Banquet on April 7, Alberga was awarded the male rookie of the year award — which is presented annually by The Eyeopener.
Alberga said that while he has his family to thank for his success, it’s his father who’s been his most supportive influence while growing in the world of competitive sports. Alberga said his father “never missed a game” and even followed him to Sault Ste. Marie when he was playing junior hockey.
When head coach Graham Wise and scout Doug Hollinsky met Alberga at the end of last season, they offered him something the other seven OUA universities that tried to recruit him couldn’t — a prominent spot on a progressive team and a way to stay close to his support system.
“I had a lot of offers from other schools in the OUA, but I thought Ryerson was the best fit for me personally,” he said. “It also helped that I’d be able to see my family more than when I was in Sarnia. “
Although Alberga didn’t see much ice time from the third line of his Ontario Hockey League (OHL) days, he began performing immediately once he joined the Rams — something coach Wise said he knew Alberga was capable of when he recruited him.
“His transition from OHL and where he was playing to here has been fantastic. He has great speed and also the ability to create chances wherever he is on the ice,” coach Wise said. “He’s put up great numbers this season, so you can’t argue with that.”
But even still, the newly-crowned rookie of the year continues to place his success on the people he has around him.
“A lot of the stuff comes from [Michael] Fine who’s probably the best playmaker I’ve ever played with in hockey,” he said. “[Jamie Wise, Fine and me] definitely had some chemistry this year.”
Their line had a combined 114 points this season. But Alberga doesn’t want his success to stop at Ryerson — he hopes to one day make it to the professional level.
“After [Ryerson] you never know what can happen, I’ll try to go pro if I can,” Alberga said. “It’d be nice to continue playing hockey.”