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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 14, 2020
Dixon MacLeod has faced his share of adversity over the last five years, but it hasn’t slowed down his passion for hockey.
Each time he has bounced back with a vengeance.
Now in his third year, and second as an assistant captain, with the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild of the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League, MacLeod’s story to this point has included overcoming a couple of major injuries.
"My first year of bantam I broke my leg,” said MacLeod.
“It was an injury and there was nothing you can do when it happens. You just have to look forward to working out and do the best you can... Hopefully, you get better fast and come back and help out your team.”
- Dixon MacLeod
That injury came in the fall of 2015 during tryouts for the Mid-Isle Matrix and resulted in MacLeod hearing the news every hockey player dreads – he would miss an entire season.
“It was an injury and there was nothing you can do when it happens,” reflected MacLeod, who admitted it was tough watching and not being able to help his teammates on the ice that season. “You just have to look forward to working out and do the best you can.
“Hopefully, you get better fast and come back and help out your team.”
MacLeod did just that. He registered 47 points, including 22 goals, in his first year back with the Matrix and was named the 2016-17 Hockey P.E.I. male player of the year.
“I trained as hard as I could and came back and had probably the second-best season of my life,” said MacLeod, who lives in Cornwall. “Last year was my best.”
He recorded 45 points, including 22 goals, in 31 regular-season games with the Wild after a late start to the 2018-19 campaign. He missed the first four weeks of the season due to a broken hand suffered in the league’s pre-season jamboree.
This year, MacLeod is closing out his midget career playing important roles, on and off the ice, with the Wild.
“We were excited to get Dixon back this season,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “He is one of those guys who works and works every time he is on the ice.
“He pulls a rope and it’s great for everybody to watch him work.”
In the last five seasons, the 18-year-old son of Ron MacLeod and Sherri Dixon has shown his versatility by adjusting his playing style for the benefit of his team.
“I’m a little slower (offensively) this year, but points aren’t everything,” said MacLeod, who has 16 points in 22 regular-season games this year. “Everybody working, battling, playing together and coming out with success is better than points.”
Dunn says that although his offensive production may be down, MacLeod continues to make meaningful contributions.
“He is making up for it in different ways like controlling the dressing room, talking to the guys each night and leading on and off the ice,” said Dunn. “We have him penalty killing and on the power play and he’s a tough penalty killer to work against because he is constantly going.
“The points are probably a little frustrating for him, but the coaches see exactly what he is contributing.”
MacLeod has welcomed the leadership role.
“I always try to lead whenever I can and try to be the bigger person,” he added. “I want to help out anyone who needs help and push the pace as much as I can.”
The Grand Falls Rapids acquired the Maritime Junior Hockey League playing rights to Kensington Wild forward and assistant captain Dixon MacLeod on Jan. 10.
Grand Falls is coached by Charlottetown native Brad MacKenzie, who MacLeod pointed out was his boss with Andrews Hockey Growth Programs.
MacLeod pointed out he was fortunate to have a strong support system for him to lean on during his season on the sidelines.
“I went to Allan Andrews hockey schools my whole life and worked there for years as a demonstrator and he always taught me about adversity and bumps in the road,” said MacLeod. “I talked to him about it and he helped me, along with my parents, grandparents (Gage and Heather Dixon) and everybody who supported me.
“I worked as hard as I could working out in the gym off the ice and on the ice.”
Andrews, who coached MacLeod in spring hockey for five years, said it was tough for MacLeod to miss his first season of bantam.
“He’s a hard-working person and a great kid,” said Andrews, who feels MacLeod has the potential to make the jump to a higher level next season. “He has great talent and probably doesn’t realize how much he has.”
First-place Flyers visit Kensington Saturday night
Saturday's game being held in conjunction with peewee friendship exchange
The top two teams in the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League will meet on Saturday.
The Moncton Flyers, who are running away with the regular-season title and hold a 20-point lead over the second-place Wild, bring a 27-2-1 (won-lost-overtime losses) record to Kensington’s Credit Union Centre. The Wild is 16-7-3.
The opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and a lively atmosphere is expected as the game is being held in conjunction with the Kensington, P.E.I.-Bedford, Que., Peewee Friendship Hockey Exchange, which is celebrating its 52nd year.
“It’s always high intensity when we play Moncton,” said Wild forward Dixon MacLeod. "They are well-coached like we are and we always look forward to playing Moncton and will have to be ready to go.”
The Wild will travel to Cape Breton on Sunday to play the Sydney Rush in an interlocking make-up game with the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League. That game will start at 5 p.m.
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