January 14, 2015
By Derek Holtom
MJHL Web Correspondent
The Winkler Flyers are one of the elite teams in the MJHL this season, battling it out with the Winnipeg Blues and Steinbach Pistons for positions two through four. And a big part of the Flyers’ success this season has to be the play of forward Tristan Keck, who is doing this year what he’s done his whole career – score goals.
Keck, who hails from Morris, leads the league with 33 goals in 40 games – two more than he scored as a rookie in 60 games two seasons ago. Add in his 20 goals scored in a shortened season last year, and Keck has already scored 84 MJHL goals, with lots of time to add to that total.
The personable 19-year-old was quick to credit his teammates for helping him pile up the goals this year.
“Going into this season I set big goals, and one of them was to lead the league in scoring, and I’ve been put with some great guys who can give me the puck,” said Keck, who also has nearly 20 assists this year. “I was looking to get a goal a game, but I’m a little under that but still trying to reach that (level).”
Keck also displayed this sort of offensive prowess in his high school days as he scored 44 times in just 20 games for Morris.
“In the past I’ve usually had more goals than assists – in my first year (with Winkler) I was pretty even in goals and assists, but usually I’m a shoot-first kind of guy,” he said.
“My coach wants me to shoot, but if the pass is there, I’ll definitely take it.”
As for how Keck has managed to dent the twine so often, he said he make a point at getting rid of the puck before the goalie has time to set himself.
“I really work on my release a lot, and I really work at trying to catch the goalie off-guard,” said Keck, who stands five foot nine inch weighs 175 pounds.
That quick release is important, as Keck is drawing a lot of attention from the shutdown players from other teams.
“I find guys are cutting me off a little bit more, and I’m not getting that space – sometimes they’re right on me, so I find I have to skate around more to look for open space.”
As Keck keeps scoring, he also has some short and long-term goals in mind.
“This year I want to win it all – I think that’s the goal everyone has,” he said. “And long-term, I’d really like to play college hockey in the States somewhere, and if things go well, play professionally.”