SUN Hockey Pool

Thor's hammertime?

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Patrick Thoresen was beginning to feel a little left out.

Having started the season in Springfield, the forward watched as player after player kept getting the call to the big club ahead of him.

Yet there came a point where the Edmonton Oilers could not ignore him any longer.

Leading the Springfield Falcons with 12 goals this season and sitting behind Rob Schremp in team scoring with 20 points, the native of Oslo, Norway, finally got the call, joining the Oilers yesterday in Anaheim.

"I was very happy. I've been waiting a long time for this and been working for this to try and get the call-up," Thoresen said. "Things have been going good for me in Springfield. I started well, then I struggled a little bit for four or five games, but I've been able to get my game back together and it's been going well for me the past four or five weeks."

Last season, Thoresen proved to be a pleasant surprise, making the team out of training camp. However, after a strong start, he tailed off and was eventually sent down to the American Hockey League. He finished the year in Edmonton after a rash of injuries hit the club down the stretch.

"I was disappointed not to start the year in Edmonton this year, especially after playing so many games up here last year," Thoresen said. "But I was not good enough in camp and other guys out-battled me. So I tried to look myself in the mirror and told myself that I was going to battle (in Springfield) and try to make my way back to Edmonton.

"I knew at some point I was going to get the chance again, so I'm going to try and grab it now."

HEMSKY, SANDERSON OUT

The Oilers decided to call up Thoresen after Ales Hemsky and Geoff Sanderson were not able to make the trip to California.

Hemsky banged his knee in a 5-1 win over the Ducks Friday in Edmonton. Sanderson was unable to play due to a bad back.

"Thor had such a good training camp last year, I think he fell off a little bit as the year went on," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "I really thought this year the best thing for him and his development was to go down to the minors, play down there and get his confidence offensively at this level.

"He was pretty productive at training camp, then his production dropped off. I think given the ice time and finding his game is going to help him long-term for his career in the NHL."

PLUS-FIVE RATING

In 23 games with the Falcons this season, Thoresen had 12 goals, eight assists and a plus-five rating. Last season he scored four goals and added 12 assists in 68 games with the Oilers.

"At the beginning it was tough to swallow, not making the team this year," Thoresen said.

"But when I first got down there I said to myself that I was going to try and be a leader and use the 68 games that I played here last year and try to bring something extra to the team. I tried to take a leadership role down there and I think I was able to do that."


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