Pavel Gogolev always had the tools, now he's showing what they're capable of creating.
After a slow start, the Guelph Storm winger caught fire this weekend, recording back-to-back four point games Friday and Saturday before cooling off Sunday as the Storm fell to the Sudbury Wolves 4-2 at the Sleeman Centre.
Gogolev now has 15 points in 10 games to lead the Storm in scoring.
"I think playing with Hillie (Cam Hillis) and Ralph, all three of us are building our confidence together. If we stick together the rest of the year we'll be building chemistry and hopefully just keep rolling," Gogolev said after Sunday's loss.
"Today was hard to play. I should have been better today," he said.
The 19 year old native of Moscow had 28 points in 37 games last season, a season cut short due to a serious ankle injury.
Gogolev, who is not drafted by an NHL team, attended his second NHL rookie camp this year, this one the Las Vegas Golden Knights after attending the Detroit Red Wings camp last year.
"I don't try to focu son that a lot," he said of trying to get signed by an NHL club. "I just focus on the season and whatever happens happens. I focus on how hard I work and how well we do."
While his offensive talents are easy to see, Gogolev has earned the praise of his coach this year for playing a better defensive game.
"I had to do that," he says. "Over the summer and over the course of the years I have to stop cheating so that I play better defensively so that every coach now and in the future can trust me."
With both teams playing the final game of a three-in-three weekend, the play was understandably sluggish.
Nolan Hutcheson scored what proved to be the winning goal at 5:50 of the third period, finishing off a two-on-one and breaking a 2-2 tie that was created when Guelph's Eric Uba scored two minutes earlier.
Hutcheson iced the game with 1:23 on the clock with an empty net goal.
Jacob Roach had Guelph's other goal.
Both goaltenders — Nico Daws for Guelph and Christian Purboo for Sudbury — faced 35 shots.
"Our mistakes today were tired mistakes," said Storm coach George Burnett. "We had our chances today against a real good hockey club, but didn't capitalize.
"I think we played a little tentative, like we were waiting for something bad to happen, instead of being assertive. We were a little off, and it showed."
Burnett acknowledged that Sudbury was also playing its third game of the weekend, but said they have done it a couple of times already this year and were a little better at it than his team, which was playing its first three-in-three.
Guelph will play a school-day game Wednesday in Erie, with an 11 a.m. start against the Erie Otters, before hosting the North Bay Battalion on Friday and the Mississauga Steelheads on Sunday.