When it comes to Cru leading scorer and assistant captain Garth Wallin, practice counts, but being able to read a calendar does not.
The current Crusader top point-getter is having a heck of a year. With 16 goals and 30 assists, his point total is up by 17 over the 29 he had last year with two remaining games in the season to go. Not having injured winger Andre Taverner has hurt Wallin’s point total as of late, but that doesn’t really seem to bother him.
“I’m not really a goal scorer, in any season,” Wallin said. “I’m usually the energy guy and try to get the hits going. This year, they’ve just gone in the net so it’s been good.”
Comparing last year to this year, presents a bit of a change. Still one to lead the charge into the opposing player’s end, Wallin believes that focusing more on the fundamentals of his game is what has made all the difference.
“I just work harder in practice and started bearing down,” he said. “Not taking anything for granted and making sure that I put the puck on the net.
“I don’t feel a lot of pressure because I’m not necessarily looked at as a goal scorer. It’s just kind of happened this year, so it’s good and it’s nice to get some recognition for hard work.”
As for his calendar reading skills, Wallin is more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants type of guy. The type of guy someone could wake up from a deep sleep, slap a stick in his hand and throw him out on the ice.
“I take it day-by-day, I don’t even know when we are playing actually,” Wallin said. “I know we have a practice the next day, but I don’t even know where we are playing on the weekend.”
A level-headed fellow, Wallin still sees hockey as a game, not a war or a battle or any other countless exaggerations of the sport, but something to have fun with and to challenge himself at.
“Hockey is more of a fun thing for me, I kind of did well in Bantam, but I didn’t go to the Western Hockey League, but I still like playing a hell of a lot and I’m having fun,” he said.
As for goals and assists, that is just gravy. Wallin has been a steady player for the Cru. Stepping up when they need him and playing his style of game.
“I just go out and shoot the puck,” Wallin described. “We do some video review, but I just kind of let things happen. Lately I’ve been surprising myself so.”
All in all, the only thing more surprising than Walling scoring this year is how his helmet encases the shock of seemingly un-tamable hair. Like his uncanny ability to put up points, I guess it just comes down to luck.