|Peter Quenneville hoping Wednesday starts a hot streak|
Peter Quenneville scored both of Brandon’s goals, matching his goal output for the previous 17 games combined.
The 20-year old Wheat Kings’ captain hasn’t been his normal goal-scoring self so far in 2014-2015.
After scoring 21 goals in 44 games last season, Quenneville has endured goalless streaks of six, seven and seven games so far this year and, even after Wednesday’s outburst, has seven goals in 29 games this season.
“I’ve just been trying to work on all aspects of my game and hope I can shoot my way out of it. I think we saw the hockey gods help me out on the first one, I don’t know if I’ve ever scored a goal like that before,” said Quenneville after Thursday’s practice, “Let’s hope this is some good luck mixed with a lot of good opportunities to come.”
Quenneville’s been a scorer throughout his junior career, scoring 31 goals and 81 points in 53 games in 2011-2012 while winning MVP honours with the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the AJHL, and notching 33 goals and 70 points in 63 games in helping the Dubuque Fighting Saints win the USHL title in 2012-2013.
However, it was apparent in recent games that the frustration of not being able to put the puck in the net with the frequency he would like this season was weighing on him, especially in his body language following some good scoring opportunities.
“It gets to a point that you work so hard to get those opportunities and then it’s just like you drill a goalie right in the chest or you miss the net by four feet and it’s kind of frustrating in that it’s work wasted,” said Quenneville, “I think it’s just staying positive, maybe mixing in a little visualization and seeing myself scoring. I think it might have helped me (Wednesday) night.”
Despite his struggles in scoring goals, Quenneville is still averaging just under a point per game this season, with 20 assists to add to his seven goals in 29 games.
Being the Wheat Kings’ captain also meant the Columbus Blue Jackets’ draft pick had to balance being an example to his teammates with his internal frustrations of not contributing offensively as much as he would like.
“Being a leader and being a captain, what it forced me to do was just understand that I’m not scoring, but there are a lot of other things I can do to help the team,” said Quenneville, “I felt that I was playing sound, two-way hockey and, eventually, it would come to a point where I just kind of get on a roll and things start going well for me.”
If Quenneville is a streaky scorer, as has been the case in the past, Wednesday’s game may be the start of the Edmonton product denting the twice a little more as the Wheat Kings come closer to finishing the first half of the WHL’s regular season.
Chaff...D Mark Matsuba, who was injured in Wednesday’s game in Regina, did not practice Wednesday...F Rihards Bukarts (lower body) and D Kale Clague (upper body) were also observers on Thursday...F Ty Lewis, who’s been sidelined the entire season, has gotten clearance to begin taking contact in practice and did so on Thursday...D Eric Roy is slated to play his 280th career game Friday, moving him past Eric Fehr and into 12th-place on the Wheat Kings’ all-time list...former Wheat King Colby Robak was traded from the Florida Panthers to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.