SUN Hockey Pool

Pouliot relieved to snap slump

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

In search of his first goal of the season, Oilers winger Marc Pouliot did everything short of picking up the puck and throwing it in the net.

There was a time where it appeared he would never score, having squandered opportunity after opportunity through the first 18 games of the year.

But finally Pouliot was able to convert, collecting Edmonton's third goal in Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"Finally I was able to get that first goal. I had a lot of chances the game before," he said prior to last night's 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Rexall Place.

"Now all of a sudden I have more confidence. I worked hard the last little while, and the puck finally went it.

"I had thought about it for the last little while, so now I want to keep that going."

Pouliot, 23, is in his first full season with the Oilers since being taken in the first round -- 22nd overall -- in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

He's bounced between the big club and their American Hockey League affiliate for the previous three seasons.

This year, the Quebec City native had an outstanding training camp and appeared ready to become a regular contributor.

However, despite getting a number of great opportunities he was unable to score until collecting a pass from Andrew Cogliano against the Blue Jackets and firing it past goaltender Pascal Leclaire.

"There was a point where I felt that I couldn't score a goal anymore," Pouliot said. "But after I scored the first one, now I know I can score more.

"It gives you a lot more confidence than you think. I was getting a lot of shots that I was missing the net with, now when I shoot, I feel like I can put the puck in the net."


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