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Lifelong friends closing out minor hockey careers with the team they grew up watching in hometown rink
Two lifelong friends are realizing a rare opportunity afforded to young athletes.
Forwards Landon Clow and Duncan Picketts are closing out their minor hockey careers as teammates – and sometimes linemates – with the team they grew up watching in the same rink where they started playing the sport. Clow, who is an assistant captain, is in his third year with the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild and Picketts is in his second year wearing the green, red and white jerseys of the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League team.
“They are two local guys who have that hometown pride and they wear it on their sleeves,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “Those two guys have been great for our team.
“They are leaders, they were here last year and know what the expectations are, on and off the ice. They are great representatives of the Kensington Wild.”
Picketts and Clow grew up just outside the Town of Kensington in Kelvin Grove.
“I started my hockey career here playing with the (Kensington) IceCats and now being able to come back here after playing (Mid-Isle) Matrix in Crapaud, Rustico or Cornwall and play for the Wild, it is special to end it off where it all began,” said Clow.
Picketts and Clow’s journey to today started at a young age.
“We went to the same kindergarten, Fun Times, and we’ve known each other most of our lives,” explained Picketts. “We have played hockey and ball together up through and we live close to each other. We’d always walk through the fields between our houses to hang out with each other.
“We’d usually go to all the hockey and all the ball games together and carpool. We have been friends for a long time.”
Clow chuckled he doesn’t know where to begin recalling his history with Picketts.
“We started playing hockey together in the initiation program and have been going to school together since kindergarten,” said the 17-year-old son of Donnie and Arlene Clow. “It’s been a long journey and we are still playing together. . .
“We are inseparable when it comes to sports.”
That also includes the occasional round of golf. Asked who is the better golfer, Clow quipped, “I’d say I am.”
Kensington Wild head coach Kyle Dunn comments on two local players:
Duncan Picketts: “He’s a player who plays big and physical. Surprisingly, he’s probably one of our faster skaters. He plays his role very well. He gets involved and gets his feet going. Lately, he’s been putting up points and has been going to the net as a big body.”
Landon Clow: “We play him in all situations and is one of those quiet leaders in the dressing room who just goes out and does his business on the ice and works hard every time he’s on the ice. He has great speed and a sneaky good shot. It was good to see him get an invite to the Charlottetown Islanders’ (training) camp last summer.”
The opportunity to wear the Wild jersey carries extra significance for Clow and Picketts, who grew up following the team.
“From the first year (2013-14) they started in Kensington, you would always come here on Saturday nights and watch the midget game,” said Clow, a 2019 territorial pick of the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Summerside Western Capitals. “It’s almost like a Caps’ game for the people in Kensington.
“It’s pretty special to have watched this team and to play here now.”
Picketts also recalls attending games of the Wild and Kensington Vipers of the Island Junior Hockey League.
“A lot of times all my friends would come here and we’d watch the games and the Vipers’ games, too, especially when they were winning a lot of championships,” said the 17-year-old son of Carl Picketts and Barb Cameron. “We’d come to a lot of games on Saturdays and Sundays, hang out and run around the rink.”
Dunn said Clow and Picketts take great pride in representing the Wild and pointed out to their volunteer efforts assisting young players.
“When we were helping with the Kensington minor hockey, those two guys stepped up, and were involved directly helping run the program,” said Dunn. “It is great to see those guys succeed.”
Recent statistics for Landon Clow, Duncan Picketts:
Kensington Wild (Major Midget)
- Regular season – 28 games, 14 goals, 8 assists, 22 points.
Kensington Vipers (Junior B)
- Regular season – 4 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points.
- Regular season – 24 games, 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points.
- Regular season – 6 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points.
Picketts and Clow have been doing just that while playing on a line with Sam MacNeill recently.
“Landon is pretty quick and has a pretty good shot,” said Picketts. “Sam is pretty nifty, has really good hands and I am pretty good at getting the puck deep and knocking some bodies around.”
This, however, is not the first time Clow and Picketts have played on the same line.
“It means quite a bit being able to play with Landon,” said Picketts. “He’s a good friend and we’ve played on a line a bit. We’ve always had really good chemistry and have known each other for a long time.”
Picketts and Clow have enjoyed their experience playing with the Wild. There is still a lot of hockey to be played before that final chapter is written.
“It’s been fun,” said Picketts. “Playing in front of big crowds a lot of the time, especially against Charlottetown, is always fun.”
They are hoping to have that opportunity on Saturday as the Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Knights visit Credit Union Centre for a 7:30 p.m. start. In the last meeting between the two teams in
Kensington on Boxing Day, Clow scored the overtime winner before a packed house for a 4-3 win.
“All games this time of the year are big as you are preparing for playoffs,” said Clow.
Clow and Picketts both understand the day will come sooner than later when they will skate off the ice for the final time with the Wild.
"We started together and to end together, it’s almost like a perfect-ending story,” concluded Clow.
- Click here for story on Landon Clow drafted by Western Capitals:
- Click here for story on Kensington Wild hosting Charlottetown Knights on Feb. 1:
- Click here for story on Landon Clow scoring OT winner for Wild on Boxing Day:
- Click here for 2019-20 Kensington Wild preview:
- Click here for story on Duncan Picketts making jump to major midget from midget AAA:
- Click here for feature story on Kensington forward and assistant captain Dixon MacLeod: