Sunday, February 28, 2010

#21 John McInnis

An Okotoks Junior A Oiler set a goal back in September of scoring 40 goals this season. It was a quite a lofty mark considering the Oilers’ team record was 34 goals in a season.

Turns out, Oiler John McInnis was selling himself short. The Oiler forward scored six goals in the Oilers’ final three games of the Alberta Junior Hockey League season to finish the year with 42 goals.

“I set my goal for 40,” McInnis said after scoring his 37th in the Oilers’ 5-0 victory over the Canmore Eagles on Thursday in Canmore. “I like to put pressure on myself and hopefully it all works out.”

The native of Plymouth, Mass. got to 40 goals with a hat trick in the Oilers’ 8-5 victory over the Calgary Canucks Friday night at the Centennial Arena. (Number 40 was into an empty net).

He notched two more in the Oilers’ last game of the season, a 7-1 win over the Drumheller Dragons, to finish the year at 42.

At the start of the season, McInnis was on pace to score a less-than-whopping six goals in the 2009-10 campaign.

“In the first 10 games I only had one goal,” McInnis said. “I was really struggling, the whole team was. Then I got a couple and started to relax.”

McInnis finished the season with 42 goals and 31 assists. He credits much of his success to linemates Brandon Hoogenboom and Cody Dion. All three members of the line finished in the top five in team scoring.

“I think we all bring something different to the table,” McInnis said. “We also share some of the same things. Whenever one of us gets the puck, we go to the net.”

Both Dion and McInnis take shots on goals like they were using a Gatlin gun rather than a stick — the more shots on net, the more likely one will get by a goalie.

“I might not score a lot of pretty goals, but when the situation presents itself, I do what I have to do,” McInnis said.

The previous record of 34 was set last season by Corban Knight, who is playing for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, one of the top NCAA teams in the United States.

There is no comparing the two players, according to the new record holder.

There is no comparison,” McInnis said. “Knighter is in a league of his own. He was so smart with the puck and saw the ice so well.

“I am more of a guy who has to work for everything he can get.”

Hoogenboom said neither he nor Dion did anything different to get McInnis his record.

“We were too focused on getting first place, we were playing the same way,” Hoogenboom said.

“He is just a guy who gets in the right spot at the right time.

“It also doesn’t hurt that he has one of the hardest shots in the league — either a slapshot or a wristshot.”

McInnis is close to committing to Union College in New York.

No comments: