Ali Mac Eachern, who played four stellar season on the Halifax Mooseheads’ blueline, was named to the team’s All-25 roster to mark the Mooseheads’ 25th anniversary.
-by Bill Dunphy
Ali MacEachern’s stellar four years in the early days of the Halifax Mooseheads playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is still remembered today.
The Mooseheads are celebrating its 25th season in the league this year by honouring its top 25 players of all time.
Last week, MacEachern learned he was selected as one of the top six defencemen to ever play for the team.
“I wasn’t really expecting that; a lot of good players have gone through that club. It’s quite an honour,” the 38-year-old Inverness native said.
Halifax was granted a QMJHL franchise in 1994 and MacEachern played from 1997-98 to 2000-01. He was the fifth draft pick made by the Mooseheads in the 1996 draft, but opted to play his final year of Major Midget with the Rod’s One Stop Eagles (now known as the Cape Breton West Islanders).
After his tenure with the Mooseheads, MacEachern played two seasons with the UPEI Panthers and a season of semi-pro with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the South East Hockey League in 2003-04. The SEHL folded after its first year.
While with Halifax, MacEachern had 122 points (fifth all time among defencemen) and played 265 games (second overall).
He also scored in the Memorial Cup that was hosted by Halifax in 2000.
Nineteen years later, Halifax is once again slated to hold the Memorial Cup tournament where it’s likely MacEachern and the rest of the All-25 will be officially recognized.
“Time is going by fast. I’m going to be one of the oldest guys on that roster,” MacEachern joked.
He said he still keeps in touch with many of those he played with and played against, with several, including himself, involved in coaching at various levels.
MacEachern is in his fifth year as an assistant coach with the Truro Bearcats of the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League.
“Jason Troini coaches the Major Bantams in Bedford, Jeff Sullivan coaches Peewee AAA here (Truro), Nick Greenough is in the Valley; you never lose the friendships you make and I have a lot of good memories from my time in Halifax.”
MacEachern and his wife Peggy have three children: Griffin, 10; Stella, 8; and Rowan, 6. The two boys play hockey and Stella is into various sports.
“I don’t have time to play hockey anymore. The Bantams take up a lot of time with games and practice and I’m at the rink with my two young fellows as much as I can.”
MacEachern is also in the middle of a career change. After taking a course last September, he is currently training as a conductor with Canadian National Railway, where he hopes to eventually become a locomotive engineer or yard master.
“My playing days are over, but it’s still quite an honour to be recognized for my contributions to the team when I did play.”
MacEachern’s older brother, Liam, also had a great Junior career, playing three years in the Ontario Hockey League before going to UPEI and playing four seasons there while attaining his teaching degree.
Their parents, Isabel and Hughie, of Inverness, are now enjoying watching their grandchildren following in their daddies’ footsteps.
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