Eberle settles back in

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Jordan Eberle's off to a hot start for the Regina Pats this season.

The sniper has six goals in eight games since returning from his first training camp with the Edmonton Oilers.

"I think my start last year was even better, I had 16 goals in my first 16 games, and then I started to slow down in November and December," said the 2008 first-round pick yesterday after the Pats held their pre-game skate at Rexall Place.

"With this being my third year, I have to be more consistent. Last year, I could have a four-point night and then for a couple nights you don't get a point. But you learn as you get older that the four-point nights don't mean much if you can't consistently follow it up."

Eberle has recorded at least a point in all but two of his eight games. He has five multi-point games to start the season.

Last season, Eberle had 42 goals and led the Pats with 75 points in 70 games. Those high totals were under the guidance of Curtis Hunt, who's moved on to be an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators. Hunt was known more as a defensive coach. Under the Pats new head coach Dale Derkatch, Eberle's totals have the chance to explode even more. Derkatch has an offence first mentality.

The Pats sit in fifth spot in the tight Eastern Division with a 4-3-1-2 record. They are tied with 11 points with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Both Brandon and Regina were the preseason favourites to be WHL championship contenders.

"There are a lot of new faces to the team, and we lost our first four games because guys were trying to get used to everybody and the system," said Eberle, who earned an assist on a Kyle Brodziak goal in his only exhibition game with the Oilers in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

"We've played hard in all our games and we've come up short a few times, but it shows we have to play a little harder to win."


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