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Wednesday, 10 October 2012 15:56

Moser settles into overage contributing role

Written by  Brad Brown
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No doubt Ryon Moser has plenty of thanks to give for his recent emergence into one of the Western Hockey League’s elite scorers.

Maybe the most tangible among them belongs to the team that cut him.
Moser was released by the Lethbridge Hurricanes after posting two points in the final 29 games of his 18-year-old season in 2010-11.
Seven games into the next season he made them pay, scoring twice for his new team as the Swift Current Broncos beat the Hurricanes 9-3.
“After that game I felt like I could really step up my game and contribute more,” said Moser, who occupies one of the Broncos’ three 20-year-old spots this year.
Four months later he started to prove it. Moser closed out what was a forgettable 2011-12 campaign for the Broncos on a personal high, with 17 points in his last 15 games.
This season he’s picked up right where he left off. His game-winning goal Saturday against the Regina Pats extended his point-scoring streak to a career high seven games and cemented his status as a go-to guy not just for the Broncos but across the league.
“Growing up I was always a scorer, then my first two years in the league weren’t the best for me,” said Moser. “I was stuck on the fourth line there in Lethbridge and didn’t get much of a chance, but this is a role I’m used to, a top-two line kind of player where I can contribute offensively.”
His contributions this year also include the insurance marker in Swift Current’s first win of the year and assists on teammate Justin Spagrud’s first two career WHL goals.
Along the way Moser’s earned a promotion to the top line, replacing fellow 20-year-old Chance Lund alongside Coda Gordon and captain Adam Lowry.
Together, entering Tuesday’s home tilt with the Red Deer Rebels, the line had combined for 11 of the Broncos’ 30 goals, a plus-nine defensive rating and just 10 penalty minutes – by-and-large the Broncos’ Achilles heel through the first three weeks of the season.
If Broncos head coach and general manager Mark Lamb is surprised at Moser’s progression, he chooses his words carefully.
“We needed some skill in the lineup and he’s a very skilled guy,” said Lamb. “He’s really bought in. He’s a real good team player and ... I think he goes under the radar but probably not for much longer.”
The operative words there are “bought in.” Moser won’t win many accolades for his physical play, but he’s done what he’s had to do to mesh with the identity of an in-your-face kind of team too.
“Where he was playing before he didn’t really get a lot of opportunity and those guys have got to play the right role,” said Lamb. “They have to play in the top six and they have to play with good players. So we put Mo in that role and he’s really battled.
“He’s a good defensive player now, you can see him trying to block shots now ... and that’s the way we want to play. We don’t just want to play one way, we want everybody to do everything.”

Read 817 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2012 08:38