Big Rob Flick scored four goals in his first OHL season with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors last season.
None, the Londoner figured, was sweeter than the one he put past Knights goalie Trevor Cann in his lone visit home to the John Labatt Centre on January 11.
"That was probably the best one (on the highlight-worthy scale), too," the 18-year-old said. "It's always exciting to play here. Last year, it took me about a period-and-a-half to get into it but after that, it was great."
That Sunday afternoon, Flick felt a different kind of energy in the rink. He knew he and his Majors mates were merely minor players in the plot since it also happened to be John Tavares' first game with London after the big trade.
There was an unmistakable Memorial Cup fever in the air.
But this time around, the grown-up Majors are afterthoughts no more. They're Cup contenders just like the Knights this season.
"We knew we had a good team last year, too," Flick said. "All it means this time is there's a little more pressure to do well. We all know the expectations. We've got a real good group of players here and guys who want to win and take that next step (after a second-round loss to Eastern champ Brampton last year)."
There are six NHL-drafted players on the Majors. Flick wasn't one of them.
"It was draft year this year and I didn't get picked," the six-foot-one, 190-pounder said, "but there's always next time. We have a lot of good forwards and I'm trying to take on a little more scoring this time. Our scoring is pretty spread out (among four lines). I still have to play physical but I also hope I can put up some numbers this year."
Flick went to Mississauga after a stellar minor hockey run with the Junior Knights. He also played high school for the Mother Teresa Spartans and won the city title in 2007 in one of three epic battles with the Lucas Vikings.
He's still in high school in Mississauga -- "for a victory lap (Grade 13)," he said -- at Philip Pocock Catholic. Fellow Londoner Dylan DeMelo, another ex-Junior Knight and Majors second-rounder, also attends.
"We see each other every day (and at practice)," Flick said.
"I try to help him out and show him around because I was here last year."
DeMelo will play for the Majors soon but he didn't make his debut at home last night. The 16-year-old defenceman is currently skating for the Mississauga Chargers of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League.