‘It’s not all about the stats’
Derek Schoenmakers is hitting the reset button on his season this year.
The fourth-year winger of the Wilfrid Laurier men’s hockey team has a knack for putting up points on the board — whether it be for the Hawks or for his previous club, the Kitchener Rangers. In his second season with the Hawks during the 2013-2014 campaign, Schoenmakers scored 11 goals and added 15 helpers to help the Hawks’ cause.
But last season, in a league that’s unforgiving, Schoenmakers went cold — scoring only six goals and adding eight assists for 14 points over the Ontario University Athletic’s 28-game season.
This year, he wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“It was a tough year,” he said. “Obviously it didn’t go as well as I hoped. It was just kind of important for me to go back to what I was doing well and you know make sure I have a strong rebound year.”
Schoenmakers has reached the same point total he did last year with nine goals and five assists — and it’s only the halfway point. Schoenmakers said he doesn’t think he had to change too much of his game and could not pinpoint a reason why he struggled.
“Maybe I settled too much, or took too little shots or things like that,” he said. “It’s easy especially in a short season when you get frustrated to let that build up a little bit more.”
“Rather than be able to turn it around, you put too much pressure on yourself and then it only gets worse,” he continued.
Schoenmakers said he wants to make sure last year was just an anomaly and not let last year’s negativity and troubles into this year — especially in the OUA, where going hot or cold at the wrong time can make a huge difference in the stats.
“Obviously this season is shorter in university than the one we used to play in junior so one hot or cold streak can make or break a season,” Schoenmakers explained. “I just wanted to get off to a decent start and go from there.”
As for goals this season, Schoenmakers said he “got too eager with it,” so he won’t share his point total that he has in mind, but he still has certain targets he wants to reach. Despite the lack of production last season, Schoenmakers says that the story is not always in the numbers.
“I have certain targets in my head that I want to get to, triggers on the high side, because I mean it’s extreme to aim for 50 goals and get 45 is better than aiming for 10 and getting 20, so yeah that’s the way I look at it,” he said. “I’ve definitely got numbers in mind but I mean at the same time, whether it’s 10 goals, 15 goals, whatever, you still have to play the right way and it’s not all in the numbers — you can still play well and not score, or there are games that you don’t play well and get a fluke goal,” he continued.
“It’s not all in the stats.”