No Shortcuts for Justin Dowling on Road to Stars' Captaincy

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Once again, I had the opportunity to write for the AHL's On the Beat feature. This time, concerning Texas Stars captain Justin Dowling.
Justin Dowling did not have the easiest path to where he is today, but the captain of the Texas Stars knows that he wouldn’t be there without the struggle along the way.

“You talk about adversity,” said Stars head coach Derek Laxdal. “You talk about earning everything you get, going through the process. He exemplifies who the Texas Stars are. He’s a perfect fit.”

Dowling was an undrafted center out of the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos in 2011. He had a fine first professional year splitting between AHL Abbotsford and ECHL Utah, but then the lockout hit hockey.

“The trickle-down effect came all the way to the minors and down to the ECHL as well,” said Dowling, who didn’t have much tale of the tape to sign a contract just when things got tight. Idaho head coach Brad Ralph took a flyer on the second-year forward, and he took off, racking up 46 points in 34 games.

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