Xtreme forward increasing scoring touch as playoffs near
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 11:28 am
In the second half of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL) season, Airdrie Xtreme forward Cody Gibson has become a key cog in his team’s scoring attack.
The 14-year-old left winger from Airdrie has found the back of the net on 10 occasions and assisted on 11 other goals this year in 28 games, which has helped the Xtreme to a 15-3-3 record and third place in the Ram South division.
But despite his scoring record, Gibson is quick to point out the team’s success instead of his own performance.
“We have just been going out and playing hard as of late, and we have just been trying to score more goals on offence,” Gibson said. “As a team, it seems to be working for us.”
“If we can continue to work well as a team and continue to pull together, I think we have a really good shot of going far in the playoffs,” he added.
While Gibson is a team-first kind of guy when it comes to his scoring success, Xtreme Head Coach Josh Zimmer said Gibson’s improvements have come since the new year.
“He has always been a complete player, but he’s really been putting the puck in the back of the net for us over the last four to six weeks, which is nice to see,” Zimmer said.
“Cody is one of our glue guys that does a lot of the little things really well,” he added. “He’s a great skater with a great shot, and he’s been going to the net really well over the last month or so to bang in rebounds.”
As a self-described power-forward who is a big fan of New York Rangers star player Rick Nash, Gibson has also noticed that his game has improved since the start of the season, especially as he became used to the playing style in the AMBHL.
“Something that I had to adjust to was the speed and the skill in this league, as those were the two biggest things that I had to get used to,” Gibson said. “But as the year has moved along, I have been skating harder, keeping my head up, and moving the puck quicker.”
“Our entire team is very skilled, and I think we actually have all been moving the puck well since the season started, and we have been able to score on our chances more often as a result,” he added.
Looking towards the future, Gibson plans to play minor midget hockey next season for the AC Avalanche, before progressing his way up the hockey ladder to his main goal of playing college hockey.
“I would like to play midget in a couple of years time, followed by a couple of years in the Junior A ranks before I play college hockey,” he said. “The chance to get an education while playing hockey is a huge thing for me, and I would play for anyone that would want me to play for them.”
Gibson and the rest of the Xtreme are on the road this weekend to conclude its 2013/14 AMBHL season.
The Xtreme will visit Lloydminster on Feb. 8 to take on the Heat, before wrapping up its campaign on Feb. 9 against the Leduc Oil Kings in Leduc.
The AMBHL playoffs will get underway the following week, with the dates and opponent for the Xtreme still to be determined.