Steppin’ up

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Members of the men’s hockey team are putting up big numbers

What the Puck?!
Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

Eight games into the regular season and members of the University of Regina Cougars men’s hockey team are already bettering last season’s totals.

The improvement in statistics could either mean that rookies on last year’s team were adjusting to the CIS game, or maybe that they had an off-year. It’s also possible that veterans were snakebitten or that team just sucked. Whatever the case may be, things appear to be taking a turn for the better this year.

Regina has seen Matt Strueby put up eight points, just one shy of his total last season in 26 games. With his four goals and four assists so far in regular season action, Strueby sits eighth on the Canada West scorers list and first on the Cougars for overall point totals. He is also tied for first on the team in goal scoring. The conference list claims that Strueby is a rookie, which he clearly is not. According to the Canada West rookie scoring stats, Strueby is second in the league; way to drop the ball on that one, Canada West.

Lucas Isley, who is returning for his third year of eligibility, has been able to rack up seven points during the first eight games of the season. Isley also finished with nine points in total last year in 27 games played – barring a season-ending injury he will surely top that this year. Isley’s three goals and four assists put him at No. 12 on the Canada West top scorers list. Once again, the list claims that Isley is also a rookie, yet they don’t have him listed as a rookie in exhibition scoring. They’re really having trouble with this list of theirs.

Last season Terrance DeLaronde emerged as one of the teams go-to forwards. After racking up 14 points in 24 games last season, DeLaronde finished 38th overall in scoring and second on the Cougars just behind defenceman Dillon Johnstone. This season, DeLaronde appears to be at it again, posting six points in as many games. He is currently tied with Strueby for team goal scoring and is third on the Cougars for overall points. DeLaronde currently sits at first on the plus-minus scale, something that he will look to keep on the positive end after finishing with a minus 13 in 2010-11. 

Captain Russ Neilson sits fifth in Canada West for defenceman scoring with four points in eight games. The four points that Neilson has already plotted this season matches his season total from last year, which he earned over the course of 21 games.

Matt Sawa has also matched his point total from last season. Although it was only one, Sawa played 25 games to get one point last year, while he only had to play in six to get an assist on the board this year.

As far as true rookies are concerned, Tyler Henry is leading the way for the Cougars with six points in eight games. If the Canada West website was at all right with naming rookies, Henry would probably sit around third, but instead he is supposedly eighth.

Lucas Gore has had a stellar rookie campaign in goal for the Cougars thus far, sitting at a .912 save percentage after seeing action in seven of the team’s eight games. Gore was in goal during both of the team’s wins and they surly could not have gotten the W without Gore standing on his head on more than a few occasions. 

Despite the improvements from nearly every member of the team, the Cougars still sit in last place in the conference with a 2-5-1 record. The Cougars will look to get out of the basement this weekend when they are scheduled to take on the Calgary Dinos (5-3) at the Co-operators Centre. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

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