Having to sit out games this week due to a suspension, Kelowna Minor Hockey product Shawn Hochhausen has a chance to see his teammates on the Westside Warriors from a different vantage point.
Hochhausen, 19, missed a 2-1 loss to Vernon on Tuesday night and will sit out tonight’s BCHL game in Salmon Arm before getting back into the lineup Saturday when the Warriors host Penticton.
He was suspended after an accidental hit from behind when he collided with a Trail player in the second period of a 3-2 overtime loss.
“We were going into the boards, he slowed up and I hit him a bit early and he flew into the boards,” explained Hochhausen.
Not that the Warriors needed any more bodies on the sidelines, what with five regulars out of the lineup due to injury, but Hochhausen used the time in the stands to analyze the game from above.
“You see a lot more when you are watching,” said Hochhausen this week. “You see all the plays that should have been made and you can see the options. It makes the game look simpler.”
And sometimes simpler is better. But you might not have to tell Hochhausen that. By the sounds of his coach, the Kelowna kid is good at making the right decisions on the ice.
“Shawn is a good two-way hockey player who works really hard and is good in both ends of the rink,” said Warriors coach Rylan Ferster. “He’s strong on the puck and makes good decisions. I think he’s a centreman who makes the players around him better.”
This year, Hochhausen’s second with the Warriors after playing one year with the Nelson Leafs in the KIJHL, the 6-foot-1 centre is playing a shut-down role with the Warriors, skating most nights against the other team’s best players.
He’s got a great shot and has had plenty of chances to score, but like a lot of Warriors recently he isn’t finding the back of the net. The team has scored just seven goals in its past five games going 0-4-0-1 over that time.
It doesn’t help that injuries have sidelined five players including two of the Warriors top three scorers.
Hochhausen says they just have to stick with the plan and good things will happen.
“We have to get our guys healthy and then make the most of our scoring chances,” he said. “We have to start scoring more goals and just keep playing hard every night.”
As a player now in his second year in the BCHL, Hochhausen says he is ready to step up this season.
“I feel like I have a bigger role, more opportunity to do things and bigger expectations this year,” he said.
Hocchausen will be back in the Warriors lineup Saturday when the Penticton Vees come to Royal LePage Place.