Bearcats forward Morrison picking up where his brother left off

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TRURO - The Morrison name is becoming synonymous with piling up points for the Truro Bearcats.

Tyler Morrison is off to a hot start this season for the Truro Bearcats. The 19-year-old leads the team with 26 points (11G, 15A) in 20 games and has taken advantage of the expanded role he's been given with the Hubtown's junior A club.

TRURO - The Morrison name is becoming synonymous with piling up points for the Truro Bearcats.

Just as his older brother Kyle did in thrilling fashion a season ago on his way to a Maritime Junior Hockey League scoring title - the first for the Bearcats - Tyler Morrison is pacing the Hubtown squad in offensive statistics this year and is right there among the league's elite, too.

"I learned a lot from him," Morrison, a 19-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., said of his older brother. "I think it helped me a lot seeing him last year and playing together gave him a chance to show me a lot."

Before Friday's road game against the Yarmouth Mariners, Morrison had 26 points (11G, 15A) in 20 games this season, already equaling his 2012-13 total set over 46 contests. His production had him just four points off league leader Thierry Comtois (21GP, 9G, 21A) of the Dieppe Commandos (15-5-1-0).

Morrison and the Bearcats host the Bridgewater Lumberjacks (2-18-1-2) tonight at 7 p.m. at RECC.

"It feels pretty good," Morrison said of his blistering start to the season. "We've won quite a few games, which has been great. Things have been going in for me and my linemates and everyone around me has been scoring too, so it's been fun."

But Bearcats head coach Shawn Evans isn't surprised by the way Morrison has been playing so far this season and said he caught a glimpse of it during last spring's playoff run which carried the Bearcats to their first Fred Page Cup title and on to the RBC Cup national championship tournament.

"He had an excellent finish to the year last year," Evans said. "But because we had a lot of older players he had to take a back seat. Now he's getting more of an opportunity and he's taking advantage of it."

Morrison credited much of his success to his linemates Mitchell Robillard (8G, 10A) and rookie Kyle Tibbo (6G, 8A). All three are offensive threats and have become a potent trio for the Bearcats, earning themselves extra ice time and work on the power play, which has helped to give them more opportunities to put the puck in the net.

"We have really good chemistry together," Morrison said. "We've been playing well together and that obviously helps."

But part of his success is also thanks to the work Morrison has put in since the conclusion of last season's campaign. Over the summer, the six-foot-one, 189-pounder dedicated himself to getting stronger and worked out in the gym five times per week. He also skated two to three times per week and was one of the final cuts made this fall by the OHL's Belleville Bulls.

"When he returned he wanted a more prominent role and to this point he's a top-five scorer in the league and he can still improve," Evans said.

The coach and general manager said Morrison has the potential to be a complete player. He's already shown he can play a hard-working, energy style, as he did in last year's playoffs, and thus far this season has proven he knows how to collect points.

"If we can get him to combine both he'll be a whale of a player," Evans said. "Once he gets himself to that point, there's extra ice time for him on the penalty kill and those areas as well."

Thanks to the expanded role he's been given this season, Morrison has been able to take advantage of his vision on the ice and his patience with the puck.

"He's a very quiet guy in the dressing room but he's very intense and takes a lot of pride in his game and we need that to continue," Evans said.

That's just what Morrison has planned. In spite of posting such strong personal statistics thus far, Morrison is focused only on one thing; winning.

"I just want to keep contributing and helping the team win every night," he said. "That's my main goal. I don't really have any individual goals. It's more about the team. We want to win a championship."

On Twitter: @tdnmatt


Organizations: Maritime Junior Hockey League, RBC, OHL

Geographic location: Mississauga

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