Devils' Stewart hangs tough

December 27, 1990|By Alex Yannis | Alex Yannis,New York Times News Service

In the spirit of the holidays, credit two priests and a monk in Saskatchewan in western Canada for helping Al Stewart put his life together and become a regular in the National Hockey League with the New Jersey Devils.

Stewart has had plenty of misfortune in professional hockey.

He was on the verge of making the Devils last season, but suffered a broken left leg during an accident in practice. He suffered fractures of the tibia and fibula while waiting his turn for a drill.

Along with losing a season as a hockey player, he lost his faith in life in general. He went back to his home in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

"I'm here because of a higher-power factor," Stewart said recently in the Devils dressing room. "I spent time with two priests and a monk near home who taught me how to pray and have faith in myself."

Stewart, 26, not only found faith in life, but his hard work and dedication helped him find a place in the big leagues after six years in the minors.

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