Whitehorse native named MHL third-star in first week
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
David Stephens may be a rookie to the MHL, but with experience in the WHL, QMJHL and BCHL, the 20-year-old hopes to help the Weeks Crushers be successful this season.
NEW GLASGOW – David Stephens is doing exactly what the Weeks Crushers hoped he would do when they acquired him from the Prince George Spruce Kings – he’s contributing offensively.
The Whitehorse native had two goals and four points, including the game-winning goal, during the Crushers season opener in Dieppe on Saturday. He was also named the MHL’s third-star this week because of his offensive output in their 6-5 overtime win.
Stephens has started his season on a line with captain Nick Parker and Mitchell Deruelle. He said he hoped to have a good start, but didn’t expect to have a four-point night.
“Not like that, obviously the first game went pretty well,” said Stephens. “I wasn’t expecting to get four points, but I thought I played well and Mitch fed me a couple times and it worked out.
“I fit in pretty well (on the line), so hopefully I can keep contributing like I have. Personally it doesn’t really matter where I play in the lineup, so long as I’m helping the team.”
Although he finished his season in the BCHL last year, he started the year with the Moncton Wildcats. He played 12 games before suffering an injury, but made it back in time to play 17 games with Prince George where he had three goals and 11 points. Familiar with the east coast because of his time with Moncton, he said he enjoys living here and is glad to be back.
“I came out here last year for a bit to play with Moncton, so it wasn’t too bad of a transition and I like it out here,” said Stephens. “I have great billets so they helped make the move really easy on me. It’s also a great group of guys, so I’m just glad to be back out here.
“Jay (Malone) was saying he’s trying to put together a championship team, so hopefully – our team’s obviously pretty good. I’m hopefully just going to put some numbers up offensively and contribute both ways, defensively and offensively.”
Tonight Stephens and the Crushers host the Yarmouth Mariners at the Pictou County Wellness Centre for their home opener. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. He said he’s excited to play his first home game.
“I’m very excited,” said Stephens. “We’re hoping a big crowd comes out and that we can start here with a win.”
If they hope to be successful tonight they will need to be more structured according to Stephens. He said their systems were the main focus this week at practice.
“I think we just need to, like he (head coach Jason Malone) said, work on our systems,” he said. “We just need to be a little more structured out there. I think the first period of that game we were a little bit nervous and then settled down a bit and it worked out. The structure needs to be better throughout the year, so we need to keep focused on that.”
Related story: Stephens looking forward to challenge with Crushers
Goals for: 6
Goals against: 5
Vs. Yarmouth Mariners
Goals for: 10
Goals against: 6
2012-13 record against Mariners: 1-5
Game time: 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre