Carter Smith, who leads the University of Regina's men's hockey team in both goals and points so far this season, hopes to continue filling the net for the Cougars.
Although Smith wasn't always counted upon to provide offence throughout his five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL), it's not a role he's unaccustomed to.
Smith played his final two WHL seasons with Red Deer, showing his offensive touch with 20 goals and 18 assists last year as a 20-year-old with the Rebels. The skilled first-year forward has transitioned nicely to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level and has continued to help out on the scoreboard this year with the Cougars, as he has notched three goals and an assist through the team's first eight Canada West games.
"It's a lot of the same things (in the CIS) as in the WHL, but everyone's a little older, a little stronger, and a little faster," Smith said. "I just need to continue to make sure I'm playing to my ability every shift and every game, and I'll keep chipping in here and there."
Cougars head coach Blaine Sautner likes what he's seen so far from Smith, who hails from Eyebrow, a village with a population of just over 100 located 70 kilometres northwest of Moose Jaw.
"Carter brings a skill level that we need on this team," Sautner said. "We've got a lot of players who can crash and bang effectively, but we obviously need guys who can work the puck and shoot, and Carter has been one of those guys for us. If he can end up with 10 goals for us, it'll be a pretty successful first season for him."
Smith and the Cougars are at home this weekend against the University of Lethbridge. The teams will face off at 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night at the Sherwood Ice Sports Centre located east of Regina.
U of R This Week: On the Road
Men's & Women's Basketball - at Lethbridge, Friday & Saturday
Rams Football - at Saskatchewan, Saturday (Canada West semi-final)
Men's & Women's Volleyball - at Thompson Rivers, Friday & Saturday
Men's Wrestling - at Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open, Saturday
Women's Wrestling - at Hargobind Open & Clan International, Friday & Saturday