Captain McClure is clutch

Brad McClure is looking like he was the perfect choice for captain of the Penticton Vees.

Emanuel Sequeira

Emanuel Sequeira

Brad McClure is looking like he was the perfect choice for captain of the Penticton Vees.

The Stratford, Ont., product leads the Vees in scoring with nine goals and 19 points in 15 games. Stats are not everything and there have been lots of captains who are great in their role and don’t pile up points. However, I think McClure’s numbers are a reason that make him a good choice to wear the C.

McClure reminds me a bit of retired Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic. My comparison is only in the sense that McClure has a tendency to come up in clutch moments when his team needs him, much like Sakic did throughout his career for the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avanlanche franchise.

In the Vees’ 10 wins this season, McClure has three game-winners, which now leads the team. He has also set up a winner. McClure set up Ben Dalpe to tie their game with the Langley Rivermen on Oct. 19 and leave the Langley Events Centre with a point from a 1-1 final.

In the Vees’ come-from-behind 4-3 double-overtime win against the Powell River Kings, McClure said there was much to be gained from that performance.

“I don’t like to put ourselves in that situation, but when we do, I think we have that confidence to come back now,” he said.

McClure also believes he’s capable of coming up clutch and it’s something he likes to do.

“I like to score those big goals,” he said. “Hopefully I can do it more.”

Cam Amantea said McClure’s performance against the Kings, in which he scored twice, was one in which he carried the team “like a captain should.”

Based on what McClure has done in the past, there is no reason he shouldn’t be a difference maker. He has a great wrist shot that he doesn’t hesitate to use. As a rookie last year, he scored 27 goals in 53 games. I can see him being a 40-goal scorer. It’s one of the things he can do to lead on the ice, which he wants to do. Crucial goals are bigger in motivating players than a hit as it can give them a sense of hope.

Crank it up, McClure.

Vees notes: During the Vees’ 3-2 double overtime loss to the Merritt Centennials, Vees assistant captain Travis Blanleil played in his 200th career game, including playoffs. Blanleil, who needs just 26 more games to hit 200 career  in the regular season, said it’s cool to reach the milestone but said he just tried to treat it like any other game.

“It has kind of flew by to be honest,” said Blanleil of playing in the BCHL as long as he has. “I remember walking into training camp (with the West Kelowna Warriors) as a 16-year-old and  found my way onto the team. I think just getting into the league as a 16-year-old is a highlight for me. The playoff run last year I’d say is my biggest highlight.”

Emanuel Sequeira is the sports editor of the Penticton Western News.