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Vees captain takes team accomplishments over personal ones
Brad McClure would like to win the Brett Hull Trophy as the BCHL’s leading scorer, but he’d rather have the Interior Division regular season championship and Ryan Hatfield Trophy that goes to the Interior Conference champ.
“It’s more important about the team, especially when we’re fighting for the first place,” said McClure, the Vees captain. “Home ice is a lot more important than that to me. That’s just where my mind is at. It would be nice to come out on top, but I think team success is a lot more important than personal success.”
Nic Pierog, who has played on McClure’s line, said the captain is a great player and if he continues playing the way he has, with six points in his last three games, he could surpass Salmon Arm SilverBack forward Landon Smith for the BCHL scoring crown.
As of Tuesday, Salmon Arm SilverBack forward Landon Smith had 43 goals and 80 points in 55 games. They are in action Wednesday in Merritt against the Centennials. McClure has 39 goals and 77 points in 56 games.
“I think Brad has a good shot at beating him. If not beating him, tying him,” said Pierog. “I know he doesn’t really care about the points. If we win, he’s happy.”
Defenceman Paul Stoykewych is confident his teammate can pull it off.
“We will do whatever it takes to get him a couple points,” said Stoykewych. “I’m sure he will do whatever it takes. He’s pretty good at doing it himself.
“As a defenceman, I will do whatever it takes to keep Landon Smith off the board and that’s all I can do,” continued Stoykewych. “If I have that empty net, I will dish it to Brad for that extra point. It’s going to be a nice accomplishment for him if it happens. If not, he still has had an unbelievable season. We’re proud of him, he’s done everything he can.”
While McClure’s teammates will help him be at the top of the scoring leaders list come season’s end, there isn’t talk about it in the dressing room.
“He’s never brought it up,” said Stoykewych.
McClure also doesn’t spend too much time thinking about it. The Brett Hull Trophy for top scorer will be decided this weekend as Smith and McClure meet in a home-and-home finale.
On Saturday against the Vernon Vipers, McClure did what he could to try and help the Vees win, scoring a goal and assisting on a Shane McColgan goal, in a 4-3 loss. The Vees trailed 3-0 after the first period with the help of a couple of bad bounces.
“I think we responded well for being down 3-0,” said McClure. “I think we were pretty happy with the way we played. We just need to work on coming out on top.”