Versatility on his side, Andrew Antle has become an impact player in both ends of the rink.
Antle, a slick skater with speed as one of his best assets, has blossomed into a go-to guy for the Dennis GM Western Kings of the provincial major midget hockey league in his final season of eligibility.
The 17-year-old Level 3 student at Corner Brook High is the leading scorer in the provincial league with 19 points (7G, 12A) in 12 games with the Kings holding down top spot with an impressive 12-0 record heading into a two-game weekend against the East Coast Blizzard this weekend at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.
“I came back this year thinking I was going to be one of the main producers for the team and so far it’s working out,” Antle said.
Not too shabby for a guy who played the second half of last season back on defence because the coaching staff was looking for some stability in their own end of the rink.
Antle has no qualms about where he plays as long as he’s on the ice, but he’s liking the chemistry he continues to have with his two linemates Jonathan Anderson (3G, 11A) and Noah Legge (6G, 4A), who have also been big contributors on the scoresheet in the early going.
“We were consistent last year when we played together and we’re clicking pretty good this year so far,” the five-foot-11 pivot said earlier this week.
Kings coach Mark Robinson had high praise for his third-year centre, quickly pointing out that Antle has all the tools of a complete hockey player and a gifted skater who can cause grief for opposing teams with his speed.
“I was expecting pretty good numbers from him playing forward,” coach Robinson said. “He got a good knack around the net. He’s got good hands.”
The Kings may be entering the weekend with a little extra jump in their stride with an undefeated streak on the line, but Antle doesn’t want to get caught up in the early success because he knows it’s a long season and always keeps in mind that playoff hockey is a much different animal.
“I’m not thinking much about it because I know anything can happen in the playoffs,” he said. “One bad game and it could cost you the series in the playoffs. It’s obviously a confidence booster, but you don’t want to think about it too much because at the end of it it might not mean anything.”
Saturday: 7 p.m. — East Coast Blizzard vs Dennis GM Western Kings
Sunday: 11 a.m. — East Coast Blizzard vs Dennis GM Western Kings