NLSHL leading scorer wants to light more lamps as Cataracts prepare for rival Flyers
Rob Henniger is leading the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League’s scoring race, but he feels he can be contributing even more to the first-place Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
Hennigar has 26 points from three goals and 22 assists in a dozen games going into the final Newfoundland Senior Hockey League games before the Christmas break.
“Playmaking,” says Hennigar, “is basically my game in a nutshell. I take pride in my playmaking,” but, he adds, “I’ve got to start shooting the puck a little more.
“Everyone is looking for me to pass now, so that can come back to haunt you. I’d like to chip in with some goals as well,” said the 30-year-old.
Hennigar, a who is from Jordan, Ont., is living in New Brunswick where he played for the Varsity Reds in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference from 2004 to 2008. He is helping out with some coaching at the University of New Brunswick while he’s working on finishing off his final class to earn his kinesiology degree.
Hennigar, who played three years in the ECHL and briefly in the AHL, skated the past few years in Europe, but when a few contracts “fell through” at the last minute this season, and with his wife pregnant, it made sense to stay in Canada. They are expecting their first child in March.
Having contacts is a key to any player looking for a game of hockey and Hennigar said he knew a couple of people in Newfoundland, including Brian Casey and Luke Gallant, which is how he came to play for the Cataracts.
“Luke played with me at UNB, so he was a big reason why I came to Newfoundland,” said Henniger, who played his junior hockey with Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.
Asked about the calibre of play in the provincial senior league, Hennigar said, “It’s not bad. It’s different than what I was used to in Europe. The game is played differently there.
“There are obviously some very good players here who have played at a pretty high level and then you have some younger players who are trying to make an impact,” he added.
Hennigar hasn’t decided where he’ll play next year, but he said he’d be happy to return to Grand Falls-Windsor at this point.
“The organization has treated me as good as I’ve been treated with any pro teams. It’s been a nice fit.
“I still love playing game and now I’m getting my feet wet as a coach, so I’ll see how that goes in the future.”
In the meantime, he has the Gander Flyers to play in a home-and-home series weekend, starting eight o’clock tonight at Gander Community Centre. The teams play 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium.
“We’ve got a bit of a rivalry with Gander. They are a hard-working team so it should be a good series,” said Hennigar.
In other games, the Western Royals play Clarenville Caribous eight o’clock tonight at the Clarenville Events Centre and the Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades play host C.B.N. Eastlink CeeBee Stars 8 p.m. at the Glacier.
Also on Saturday, the Royals and Caribous play at the CEC at 7:30, while the CeeBees play host to the Blades at 7:30 at S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium.