Guelph Storm rookie centre Parker Snelgrove is grateful for the ice time and is finally getting used to the level of play, but man would he like to pot a goal.
Snelgrove is one of four 16-year-olds the Storm kept with the team this season and he leads that group in points so far, with three.The third came on Friday night, assisting on Guelph's second goal as they ground out a 3-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs at the Sleeman Centre.
"I haven't been getting on the scoresheet as much as I'd like, but just keep working hard and it will come," he said after Friday's win.
It hasn't been from a lack of ice time. He and the other 16 year olds have been getting plenty of that.
"I know that not everyone even gets to play in their first year, and play this much. It's really nice I've been getting the chances," Snelgrove said.
He said he didn't really know what to expect coming into the season, but that his confidence has definitely increased.
"There's still a lot more to go," said, including getting that first goal.
After a 1-1 first period, with Max Namestnikov getting Guelph's goal, the Storm seemed to take over Friday's game in the second, controlling the play and being rewarded with goals from Charlie Paquette and Brayden Hislop, his first in a Storm uniform.
But it was back to a see-saw affair in the third, with Kevin He sniping the top corner over Brayden Gillespie's shoulder to make it 3-2 with a little under 13 minutes left in regulation.
Tight checking and some responsible defensive zone play saw them over the finish line.
"When you're in a bit of a slump you don't typically come out and win by six or seven goals, and that was the case tonight," Storm coach Chad Wiseman said.
"I thought we had the opportunity take over the game and expand the lead, but we didn't. When things aren't going well sometimes that happens, but we stuck to the game plan, we stuck to our structure and I thought we managed the puck well in the offensive zone."
Wiseman was asked about finding more playing time for goaltender Damian Slavik, who has been the victim of circumstance as Gillespie has been outstanding most nights in the Guelph net.
Slavik, an 18-year-old import, has started on three of Guelph's 19 games.
"He's got a great attitude and his work ethic in practice is good. He's developing every day," the coach said.
"Our schedule has kind of allowed Brayden to play more than he probably should. We haven't had a lot of three-in-threes. but our schedule gets pretty hectic here in December and we're going to rely on him."
Wiseman said they have talked the situation over with Slavik and he understands.
"His head's on right, he understands the process. He's positive and he's putting in the work."
Wiseman said it hadn't been decided who would get the start in Barrie Saturday night.