Morrison quietly becoming offensive leader

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Veteran forward among league’s top scorers

Brock Morrison has quietly become among the Maritime Junior Hockey League's elite scorers.

Brock Morrison has quietly become one of the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s top forwards. The 20-year-old Howie Centre native is among the league’s scoring leaders heading into this weekend’s action.

AMHERST –Brock Morrison gave Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers’ fans a taste of what he could do during last year’s Maritime Junior Hockey League playoffs.

This year, the 20-year-old Howie Centre native has quietly become one of the league’s top scorers. Not bad for someone many pegged as a secondary scorer when the Ramblers acquired him from the Summerside Western Capitals at the beginning of last season.

“I’m happy with the way things are going. Shuter (Brett Shute), Cazzy (Ryan Caswell) and I have really good chemistry. I have two linemates who like to shoot the puck and I feel like every pass I make to them has a chance of going in the net,” Morrison said.

Morrison endeared himself to Rambler fans last year when he had six goals and nine points in 12 playoff games, including a dramatic overtime winner in Yarmouth that helped the Ramblers eliminate the Mariners in the first round of the playoffs.

He’s not surprised his offence has carried forward into this season.

“I gained a lot of confidence last year during the playoffs. It helped me set my focus this past summer. I worked really hard and trained a lot and it has showed so far this season. The big thing is the three of us have great chemistry and are playing very well together,” Morrison said.

The veteran forward said Caswell, who had 16 points in a defensive role in his rookie season last year, has rounded into an offensive threat, while Shute has grown from a gritty defensive forward into a goal scorer with 20 goals in 29 games.

“Shuter is a goal scorer and he’s showing that this year. He didn’t really get the opportunity before to shoot the puck like he is this year and Cazzy and I are feeding him the puck as much as we can,” Morrison said.

Morrison sees a lot of similarities with last year’s squad that took the eventual Fred Page Cup winning Truro Bearcats to six games in the division final.

“It’s tough to compare one team to another, but I like the makeup of this team. Jim (Bottomley) has done a great job putting together a team that’s tough to play against. We’re just now showing how good we can be,” Morrison said. “We’ve added some key ingredients in the last couple of weeks and we’re pretty deep up front. We don’t have one guy we rely on to do all the scoring and that’s going to help us.”

After playing in New Glasgow Thursday, the Ramblers are home to the Woodstock Slammers on Saturday at 7 p.m. They also play Sunday at 2 p.m. in Truro.

“These are three big games,” he said. “Woodstock is a team we’ve struggled with both times we played them, but we’ve had a lot of changes since then and we’re more prepared as a team. We’ve made a lot of improvements since then and they’ll see a much better hockey team on Saturday.

“As for Truro, we’ve had this date circled on the schedule since the last game (a 7-1 win for Truro). That was an embarrassing loss and the boys won’t forget that one when we go there on Sunday.”

Morrison is coming off an impressive week in which he was named the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s third star. The winger/centreman picked up three points (as well as a shootout-winning goal) in three games. He had both goals last Sunday in a 2-1 win in Summerside against the Western Capitals.

Billy Clarke, who was picked up from the Bridgewater Lumberjacks, was the league’s top star stopping 67 or 68 shots in a pair of wins last weekend. Clarke had a shutout against his former team on Saturday and gave up just one goal against Summerside.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Maritime Junior Hockey League, CIBC Wood Gundy, Howie Centre Summerside Western Capitals Mariners Bottomley

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Summerside, New Glasgow

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