TRURO – Life is good right now for Kyle Morrison.
“I feel really good and I love my linemates,” the 20-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., said. “Things are working out really well for me right now.”
That’s putting it mildly. The Truro Bearcats centre has been an absolute nightmare for opposing Maritime Junior Hockey League defences of late, lighting up game sheets with 17 points in his past five games.
The outburst has propelled him into a tie with Summerside’s Danny Chiasson for tops on the league’s points-scoring list with a whopping 73 in 42 games. His 29 goals are the most on the 11-team circuit.
His form is showing everyone the type of potential Bearcats head coach Shawn Evans envisioned he was getting when he acquired Morrison in the offseason.
“The guy’s on fire,” Evans said. “He’s good. Tell me who in the league is better when he’s motivated. Right now, he’s highly motivated.”
Morrison’s recent charge was highlighted by back-to-back five-point nights on Feb. 2 and 5 against the Pictou County Crushers and Bridgewater Lumberjacks, respectively.
He hopes to add to his totals this weekend as the Bearcats (30-9-0-5) host the Metro Shipbuilders (4-41-0-1) Saturday at 7:30 p.m. before the Miramichi Timberwolves (21-21-1-1) visit Sunday at 7 p.m. Truro is tied for top spot in the EastLink Division with the Yarmouth Mariners (31-8-2-1) with 65 points apiece.
What makes Morrison so deadly with the puck is what Evans calls his “pro” shot.
“It’s hard and quick,” Evans said.
That shot has been helped by the return of forward Jordan Coccimiglio, who missed nearly three months of action from November to January due to injuries and family matters. The roommates form a lethal combination on the ice with their scoring and passing abilities and a keen awareness of where the other is on the ice.
“I’ve seen a difference in Kyle’s game since Jordan came back,” Evans said. “They really compliment each other and I think it’s helped Kyle.”
Morrison agreed with his coach.
“It’s definitely helped,” he said. “We work well together. It’s good to have him back and healthy and the team moving in the right direction. You can’t do it all yourself, it’s a team game.”
However, Morrison’s point production comes as no real surprise. The six-foot, 191-pounder was nearly a point-per-game player with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques last season, with 28 (15G, 13A) in 35 games.
After a rookie junior campaign in 2009-10 with the Ontario junior A circuit’s St. Michael’s Buzzers, which produced 23 points (11G, 12A) in 48 games, Morrison came into his own as a junior-level player the following season, notching 72 (35G, 37A) in 50 outings.
His talent is attracting the attention of several CIS schools, and playing university hockey is something Morrison says he would love to do next season.
But for now, Morrison is focused on the here and now. With the end of the regular season in sight, Morrison is a legitimate contender for the league scoring title. It’s something he prefers not to think about, but admits the thought has entered his mind.
“It’s hard not to think about it when you look at the (MHL) website,” he said. “But more importantly I want to finish at the top of the standings and string some wins together. Winning is the most important thing. If that happens, everything else will work out.”