Oakville's own Cody Blight is happy with the way his first campaign went in Philadelphia.
The forward put up 17 points in 31 games during his first season in the National Collegiate Development Conference and says he really enjoyed himself. Blight reflects on year number one south of the border.
"We had a really young team, a lot of guys were playing in their first year of Junior Hockey. It took a while for our team to adjust, but once we did, we had a really strong second half," says Blight. "We made a big playoff push. Ultimately, we ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs. It was really good to see the team grow, and it was a fun ride to be a part of."
The Philadelphia Hockey Club had a record of 4-6-5 after their first 15 games but were able to turn things around and finished the year at 23-18-7, tied for the fifth-best record in the league. Blight talks about the biggest lesson he learned from this season.
"Things aren't always going to start off the best. We started really slow, but we stuck to the game plan and grew as a team," Blight explains. "It's not always a sprint, it's a marathon sometimes. We really learnt that as a team this year."
The forward just celebrated his 20th birthday this week and has one more year of junior hockey eligibility. Blight says he's unsure of what his plans for next season are at this moment, but regardless, he is glad he had the opportunity to be a leader in Philadelphia.
"Being one of the few guys that had some former Junior Hockey experience, it was really cool to be able to help the young guys get ready for what it's going to be like," Blight continues. "We all came together and became a tight-knit group while becoming a force to be reckoned with. I'm really proud of where we ended up and what we were able to accomplish."
He participated in 23 MJHL games in the last two years between the Portage Terriers and Selkirk Steelers, which helped him better prepare for this campaign. During his MJHL tenure, Blight scored two goals and dished out an assist.
Blight says this offseason he will be working out in Southport and at the RINK Training Centre in Winnipeg. The local adds he will also be helping out his family on the farm over the summer to work out in a different manner.