Felix Allard thrives in EWU’s rink


Courtesy of Felix Allard

Felix Allard is a senior forward on the EWU hockey team. Allard scored two goals against the University of Idaho in the season opener.

By Drew Lawson, Reporter

Felix Allard was two years old when his father, Pierre-Paul Allard, froze over the backyard pool and gave Felix his first pair of skates.

Allard was born into a French-Canadian family in Montreal. His first language was French, and he learned to speak English later in life.

“That always surprises people, like, ‘woah, your first language isn’t English?’” Allard said.  

At the age of five, he began to play competitive hockey. The senior forward hasn’t stopped since, finding himself playing NCAA club hockey in Cheney. He has accomplished plenty along the way.

Allard’s family moved to Pleasanton, California when he was seven, and he continued to pursue hockey competitively. When he was 14, he left home to chase this dream. He played on many AAA, U-20 and minor league teams, racking up accolades. His high school team, Salisbury School in Connecticut, won two national championships while Allard was there, which he considers one of his proudest accomplishments as a player.

“Winning the two national championships, the second being in overtime, was a humongous accomplishment,” Allard said.

For the past four years, Allard has played center and right wing for the EWU Hockey Club. This means he is usually the first player into the offensive zone when EWU gains control of the puck. He takes more shots than many players on the team, but said his best skill is taking faceoffs.

Allard has played his role well. This season, he has scored three goals and tallied one assist through three games for the Eagles. This has helped his team to a 4-0 start (one game won by forfeit), including a two-game road sweep at the University of Washington over the weekend. In the season opener against the University of Idaho, Allard tallied two goals and an assist to help EWU to an 11-2 rout.

Allard cited a couple reasons for choosing to attend EWU. He wanted to play at the NCAA level, but many of the schools recruiting him were too small for his preference. EWU head coach Pat Hanlon reached out to Allard, and that recruitment, along with the opportunity to play closer to home, helped solidify his decision.

EWU was the nearest school to his parents’ home in Pleasanton, California to make Allard an offer. No other school to make an offer was on the West Coast.

“I was 18 years old, playing in Connecticut, and was still eligible to play two years of U-20,” Allard said. 

Pat was the man that recruited me. He pretty much just said, ‘Hey, come play for Eastern Washington.’ It was closest to home for me, too, which was a huge factor.”

— Felix Allard

Being closer to home for college is  important to Allard because he considers several family members, including his father, to be his greatest inspirations. He also looks up to his sister, Sophie, and his cousin, Phil Paquet. Paquet was a professional hockey player for Ligue Magnus and won a championship in France.

“My dad [is one of my biggest inspirations] because he coached me until I was 14. My sister played hockey and she was incredible,” Allard said.  “My cousin was a pro and just retired. He was probably the biggest idol I had growing up. [I was] trying to fill his shoes and follow in his footsteps to the dream of playing hockey.”  

Coach Hanlon has coached Allard all four years of his collegiate career, and has placed more  responsibility on him as the years have passed.

“We have high expectations for him,” Hanlon said. “We expect a lot out of him, being a four-year guy.”

When asked about the leadership Allard provides, Hanlon called him a quiet leader, but said that was fine because you need those types of players on a team. Allard seemed to agree with that sentiment.

“I’m definitely a ‘lead by example’ kind of guy,” Allard said. “I’m willing to voice my opinion, but my best way of leading is by scoring and setting up plays for the boys.”

Allard is 6’4” and weighs 210 pounds. He loves to take advantage of his large frame on the ice, and says those moments (outside of goal scoring) get him the most fired up during game play.

“Being a big guy, I love being physical,” Allard said. “The things that fire me up the most are when I hit someone really hard and listen [to the crowd reaction] for half a second.”

This year, Allard’s main goal is to help EWU get to nationals. It is possibly his last year of eligibility, as a decision is still being made on whether or not he will receive a fifth year next year.

“It’s up in the air,” Allard said when asked if he will be coming back to EWU for hockey in the fall of 2019. “I really couldn’t tell you right now.”

Off the ice, Allard takes academics very seriously. He is pursuing a double major in international business and operations management, and is considering a MBA in finance right after graduation, but would ultimately love to fulfill his dream of playing hockey professionally.

“If I get the opportunity, and I’m still up for it, I would love to fulfill all of my childhood goals,” Allard said. “It’s every kid’s goal growing up when playing hockey.”

So far this year, Allard’s four points is tied for third on EWU’s team overall. He will look to continue his strong start to the season this upcoming weekend, when the University of Oregon comes to Cheney. The two-game series will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6-7 at the URC. •