Hamilton Pistols LW Steven Alexander is one of the SHL’s brightest stars. He’s known as a top goal scorer, but at least within league circles, he’s equally well-known for his tempestuous personality. He is furiously competitive and never forgets a slight, tendencies that fuel his competitive edge but also makes him vulnerable to being baited by adversaries like New York coach Nick Foster.
As teammate and close friend Claude Lafayette put it, “I love Steve, but he’s a hothead. He’ll settle down one of these days, hopefully before he winds up in jail.”
This week, the 26-year-old Alexander took a key step toward settling down, tying the knot with his girlfriend Elizabeth Skyler in a ceremony that took place at Gunpowder Armory before Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Smoke.
“Hockey is my life, so it seemed like the only appropriate place for my wedding,” said Alexander. “Fortunately, Liz was cool with it.”
Alexander met Elizabeth, an adjunct history professor at McMaster University, at a party in Hamilton late last season. After a whirlwind courtship, Alexander proposed during a trip to New York City during the offseason. After Elizabeth enthusiastically accepted, they began looking to select a wedding date – and quickly ran into a snag. Between his travel, practice, and game schedules and her teaching commitment, the earliest practical date was the following summer. But neither of them wanted to wait that long.
“At that point, Liz said as a joke, ‘We should just get married at the arena,’” said Alexander. “And I said, ‘Hey wait, that’s actually a good idea!’”
The team was happy to accommodate the request, and several of Alexander’s teammates also participated in the festivities. As expected, Lafayette served as Alexander’s best man, and teammates Calvin Frye and Raymond Smyth also stood up for him. Pistols coach Keith Shields, who was a seminary student in college, officiated the ceremony. “I was honored that Steve and Liz asked me to be part of their special day,” Shields said.
Most amusingly of all, D Hercules Mulligan took the role of flower girl, flinging petals in the air behind the happy couple, to the great amusement of the 300 guests and 2,000 or so hockey fans who came out early to see the ceremony.
After the happy couple exchanged vows, the Pistols lifted the Alexanders up on their shoulders and skated them around the ice, as the fans and guests gave a standing ovation. “It’s good practice for when we’re hoisting the Vandy in a few months,” quipped Lafayette.
The Pistols proceeded to celebrate Alexander’s nuptials with a 6-0 whitewashing of Kansas City. The newlywed contributed a goal and an assist.
Shields expressed the hope that Alexander’s nuptials would improve his life on and off the ice. “Getting married is an important milestone in any man’s life,” the coach said. “I’ve seen Steve maturing here the last couple of seasons. The fact that he felt ready to take this step is a good sign that he’s really growing up.”
For Mulligan, the key takeaway from the wedding was slightly different. “Man, if Alexander can get married,” said Mulligan, “there’s hope for my [butt] after all.”