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Baptism by Fire: Rowe not worried about workload in American crease

Cameron Rowe is under attack at U.S. NTDP, facing shot after shot from some of the game's top prospects while minding the blue paint. But he's not concerned, because, "that’s when it’s most fun"
Rena Laverty/USA hockey

Rena Laverty/USA hockey

You’d think facing a barrage of shots in practice from names like Jack Hughes, Matthew Boldy and Trevor Zegras would make a goalie sour, but that’s not how Cameron Rowe feels. “It’s fun being on the ice with those guys,” he said. “The attitude I’ve adapted is not to be frustrated with the amount of goals I give up in practice. I make them better and they make me better.”

Rowe, who platoons with Spencer Knight on the U.S. NTDP’s under-18 squad, has been using his experience at The Program to the fullest extent, even last year when he was facing competition that was years older than he and his under-17 teammates. “For me it was like an NHL game,” he said. “At the beginning it’s hard to catch up with the speed, but that’s when it’s most fun, we were facing 35 shots a night. Being young, it was so cool.”

Now in his draft year, Rowe is doing his best to keep the U.S. NTDP soaring. “We’re lucky, we’ve got two great goalies,” said goalie coach Thomas Speer. “Rowe is the most competitive guy on the team, and he reminds me of Corey Crawford: he lets in one less goal than the other guy. He’ll win you championships.”

Speer is working with Rowe on making the 2019 draft prospect more efficient in the crease so he doesn’t scramble as much, but he has a willing student. Next up for Rowe is the University of North Dakota. “It breeds a kind of player who is ready for pro hockey, on and off the ice,” Rowe said. “It’s also a place I know I can develop a lot.”

This story appears in the January 7, 2019 of The Hockey News magazine.

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