Sens' Cowick's hard work pays off
Working on mental approach to the game
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|Senators forward Corey Cowick is trying to keep a positive approach to the game at all times. (Darren Brown/QMI Agency File Photo)
OSHAWA — Not so long ago, Corey Cowick was the local kid, living the dream when he was drafted by the Senators.
Selected 160th overall from the Ottawa 67’s in 2009, Cowick made an impact wearing a Senators uniform on Saturday, with three points in Ottawa’s 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins to open a four-team rookie tournament.
“It was a really good start to get off to, that’s for sure. It’s going to help me get my feet under me and hopefully I can build as we get to main camp,” said Cowick.
Trying to build on a rookie season that saw him split time between minor-league affiliates in Binghamton (AHL) and Elmira (ECHL), Cowick scored twice and set up linemate Derek Grant for the opening goal. Swedish winger Andre Petersson also scored for Ottawa, while Robin Lehner had the shutout.
Cowick’s performance didn’t go unnoticed and neither did the ‘A’ he was wearing on his chest.
“I would say that in the year I’ve spent with him, that’s about as good as I’ve seen him play — which is a good thing,” said Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst, who is behind the bench for the rookies.
“We put an ‘A’ on him for a reason. He’s been with us for a year now. He just looked strong, he looked confident. He had positive energy.”
Cowick, 22, suited up for 30 games with the Baby Sens and won a Calder Cup, but didn’t see any playoff action. He was told to try to work hard at staying positive in all situations.
“The biggest thing for me was the mental part of the game,” said Cowick. “Gaining confidence. Knowing that I can play at the next level. I think physically I’m strong enough. Yes, there are things you can work on every summer, but I think the majority of my time was spent trying to get mentally stronger.
“It was definitely tough at times last year, especially going down to Elmira. At first, I thought I was getting punished, but when I kind of understood the situation was to get more ice time and get more minutes, it was a positive.”
Kleinendorst said he noticed a different Cowick.
“He worked hard,” said Kleinendorst. “He does a lot of things well. The one thing I emphasized was negative energy: He gets frustrated and then he shows his emotions by banging his stick or rolling his eyes.
“That’s an important part of his development and if you watched him, you didn’t see anything negative out there.”
Since they didn’t keep a shot count, Lehner wasn’t sure how many he faced for the shutout, but thought it was “between 25 and 30. No more than 30.”
“We played the way we had to play and that led to the win,” said Lehner, who stopped Pittsburgh’s Nick Petersen on a breakaway in the second.
The Senators face the Chicago rookies Sunday at 2 p.m.