February 29, 2012
Brendan is Shinn-sational!
By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency
CALGARY - “Did you know ... Sidney Crosby has been playing games in the WHL for his rehab, wearing jersey number 24 TC Americans.”
— Tweet from @Hughdog17
(Americans LW Adam Hughesman)
Obviously, it wasn't The Kid who's been tearing apart the WHL.
But Brendan Shinnimin's month-long scorefest certainly looks like something only Crosby could duplicate.
The Tri-City Americans sniper has piled up 41 points in 13 games prior to last night’s tilt against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
And he’s only getting hotter.
Shinnimin scored 11 goals and 19 points in four games last week.
“I was looking to shoot every chance I got,” Shinnimin said. “When things are going your way, you want to be out there all the time.
“Luckily, we’ve had a lot of games this month, so it’s been easy to stay in a groove.”
He’s had three hat-tricks — including a four-goal outing — and one six-point night in the last week, prompting Calgary Hitmen (and former Americans) defenceman Brock Sutherland to tweet “@ShinboSlice okay enough is enough. Guys don’t even score like that in summer league.”
Shinnimin agrees. He can’t remember ever having a red-light run like this one.
Not in bantam. Not in pee wee. Not in Timbits hockey.
“It’s not something I could have done,” Shinnimin said, racking his brain to think of a previous super-human streak.
“Certainly not at a high level like this. This is pretty special — to put up that many points in that few of games.”
He was named CHL player of the week Tuesday and has garnered attention across the country.
Hughesman, his linemate, is not the only teammate giving the 21-year-old praise.
“Yeah, they’re giving it to me,” Shinnimin said with a laugh. “Just ‘you shouldn’t be playing in this league anymore’ and stuff like that.”
It’s not an obscene demand if you talk to opposing goaltenders. The Winnipeg product took a 10-game goal-scoring streak (21 markers in that span) and 13-game point run into Tuesday night.
He began the week six points off the WHL scoring lead. Seven days later, he has a 10-point cushion atop the leaderboard.
“It would be a nice accolade,” Shinnimin said of winning a scoring crown. “But I’d rather enjoy first place.
“I’m just trying to help the team win every night.”
The Americans have won six straight and are tops in the WHL. But with the Portland Winterhawks, the Kamloops Blazers and the Edmonton Oil Kings in the hunt, these wins are crucial as the quartet heads into the stretch-run.
“Coming down the stretch with Portland and Kamloops, it’s going to be a tight race,” said Shinnimin, who is undrafted. “We’re going to need these points.
“I’ve been the lucky one to get the credit. But really, the credit should go to the entire team. If we get first, it’ll mean home ice until the final, or if we’re first overall, (it means home ice) right through the playoffs. And home ice could be a factor.”
On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher