Sean Rowe is used to all-star games, as a former Canadian National ice hockey team member. But he still was surprised to be playing last Saturday in Vancouver, as the Tampa Bay Tritons' lone representative in the Roller Hockey International All-Star Game.
Perhaps Rowe's biggest shock was that he made an assist and scored two goals, including the winning score for the East All-Stars in an 11-5 victory over the West in front of 16,150 at the PNE Coliseum.
Rowe returned to the Tritons for a road trip that continues today at first-place Buffalo. Tampa Bay's next home game is at 7:30 Monday night against the Minnesota Arctic Blast, at Florida Expo Hall.
"I had no idea that I would be selected as an all-star," Rowe said, "but I took it in stride. I knew what to expect when I came into Roller Hockey. It actually helps me because I'm not the quickest skater and it helps me having only four skaters on the rink.
"It was great, playing in front of a packed house. We had a shaky first half, but we knew we had to come out strong in the second half."
Rowe started shakily himself, missing on a breakaway goal in the first half.
"I was nervous at first with the breakaway," Rowe said. "But after that, it felt great to start scoring."
In ice hockey, Rowe was not only a part of the Canadian National All-Star team, but a member of Acadia University's 1993 National Championship team that featured five members of the Tritons (Dennis Sproxton, Dwayne Dennis, George Dupont and Jeff MacLeod). Last winter, Rowe played with the Fort Worth Fire of the Central Hockey League.
In his first year of roller hockey, Rowe maneuvered to join his former college teammates in Tampa Bay. Originally drafted by the Atlanta Fire Ants _ he didn't find out he was drafted until two weeks later _ he asked to be traded to the Tritons.
"I was pretty excited about coming to Tampa," Rowe said. "It was great to be reunited with all my friends. I just had to prove that I could play."
Rowe, the team captain, has proven he can play. He scored the winning goal in a 12-9 victory over the Florida Hammerheads, a hat trick in a 12-10 victory over Atlanta, two goals and an assist in a 9-4 victory over New England, and two goals and an assist in their last game, a 9-6 victory over the Philadelphia Bulldogs. During the Tritons' recent, three-game winning streak, Rowe had seven goals.
"We have two tough games coming up," Rowe said. "While we've had time off, other teams have been playing games. We've been practicing real hard during our 11 days off. So far we've taken each game one at a time."
On a roll
Sean Rowe represented the Tampa Bay Tritons in the Roller Hockey International All-Star game. He has been a factor in most of the team's eight games:
Date Opponent G A
June 6 at Florida 1 0
June 11 Montreal 1 2
June 22 Florida 0 0
June 24 Buffalo 0 1
June 26 at Atlanta 3 1
June 30 at New England 2 0
July 2 Philadelphia 2 0
June 11 Montreal 0 0
Totals: 9 4