Model of con­sis­tency

MacArthur con­tin­ues to put up im­pres­sive num­bers in third sea­son with West­ern Cap­i­tals

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON SIM­MONDS

Two things clearly stand out when as­sess­ing Brodie MacArthur’s ca­reer with the Sum­mer­side D. Alex Mac­Don­ald Ford West­ern Cap­i­tals: con­sis­tency and pro­gres­sion.

The 19-year-old Sum­mer­side na­tive, who is in his third sea­son with the Mar­itime Junior Hockey League team, has been a key of­fen­sive per­former since join­ing the Caps as a midgetaged rookie for the 2016-17 sea­son. He also has the spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to now wear the jersey of the team he grew up watch­ing.

“It’s pretty awe­some (play­ing for the Caps),” said MacArthur. “When I was a kid I al­ways came to these games with my bud­dies, and al­ways wanted to be one of these guys. Now that it’s my third year here, it’s pretty awe­some to look back and un­der­stand that.”

MacArthur joined the Cap­i­tals af­ter two sea­sons with the Kens­ing­ton Wild. In his sec­ond sea­son with the Wild, MacArthur was named the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Ma­jor Mid­get Hockey League’s most valu­able player and a first-team all-star af­ter record­ing a league-lead­ing 60 points and 40 as­sists.

“I came in here my first year around 150 pounds or so,” said the now six-foot, 175pound MacArthur. “I was pretty small that year, and thought I got a lit­tle bet­ter over the year.

“I put some weight on over the sum­mer, and this year I came in here with a lit­tle bit ex­tra weight and strength, and it’s helped a bit.”

MacArthur, who de­flected praise to his trainer, Mor­gan McNeill, for that goal, has been a model of con­sis­tency of­fen­sively. He av­er­aged a point per game – 50 points in 50 reg­u­lar-sea­son con­tests – as he was named to the league’s all-rookie team for the 2016-17 sea­son and had 89 points in 45 games in his sopho­more sea­son while be­ing named a first­team all-star in 2017-18. This year, MacArthur is off to an­other tor­rid start with 38 points in 21 con­tests. Af­ter start­ing the sea­son on a line with T.J. Shea and Cameron Roberts, MacArthur has re­cently been play­ing with Kal­lum Muir­head and Calum MacPher­son.

“I like to cre­ate some of­fence, and try to be re­spon­si­ble in the D zone and at the same time make plays for our team and try to make some things hap­pen,” said the son of Rod­ney and Kim MacArthur, who is com­ing off a hat­trick per­for­mance in a 7-1 win over Grand Rapids on Dec. 1.

MacArthur, a first-round pick of the Caps in the 2015 draft, puts a strong em­pha­sis on the de­fen­sive side of the game as well.

“Over­all, most of us have tried to play a bit bet­ter de­fen­sively,” said MacArthur, who is study­ing busi­ness at UPEI. “If we can do that, we are go­ing to have a bet­ter chance of win­ning it all.

“This year, I am re­ally fo­cus­ing on that. Each game I want to make sure I’m play­ing a 200foot game, and ev­ery­thing else will come.”

Caps head coach Billy McGuigan said the key to MacArthur’s suc­cess is sim­ple – hard work and a de­sire to con­tin­u­ously get bet­ter.

“To be hon­est, there is that level you get to as a player, and some­times play­ers don’t find that next gear,” said McGuigan. “But he seems to have found it here.

“Even look­ing at him in prac­tices and games, his stride alone in his skat­ing has im­proved over the last six months. His stride is a lit­tle more flu­ent, his skat­ing pat­terns are a lit­tle more flu­ent, he’s cover­ing the ice quicker and seems to have gained that step he was miss­ing in the past.

“We talked about how he looked in prac­tice last week, and then he goes out and has a three-goal night. A lot of that work comes with prac­tis­ing hard ev­ery day, and he’s cer­tainly be­com­ing a more rounded player. That’s a trib­ute to his hard work.”

MacArthur is also part of the team’s lead­er­ship group this sea­son as an as­sis­tant cap­tain. Al­though his play speaks vol­umes on the ice, McGuigan said MacArthur’s value to the fran­chise ex­tends far be­yond the ice sur­face.

“Brodie MacArthur means a great deal to our team,” said McGuigan. “Brodie is a high­char­ac­ter per­son, is a great kid, very re­spect­ful, great man­ners, comes from a great fam­ily and back­ground and grew up here in Sum­mer­side.

“He is stereo­typ­i­cal of what we want a Sum­mer­side Cap­i­tal to be – a kid that is re­spected in the com­mu­nity, a kid that holds him­self with pro­fes­sion­al­ism and comes to work each and ev­ery day and is a good team­mate.”

JA­SON SIM­MONDS/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Brodie MacArthur of Sum­mer­side is in his third sea­son with the Sum­mer­side D. Alex Mac­Don­ald Ford West­ern Cap­i­tals of the Mar­itime Junior Hockey League.

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