Abitibi Eskimo Chris Green — who considers himself a defensive defenceman — has scored power-play goals in each of the team’s last two games.
And it’s no coincidence that the team has won both of those games — in convincing fashion.
Green, however, isn’t your typical Northern Ontario Junior ‘A’ Hockey League player.
Oh sure, the league has plenty of American-born players and even has a franchise — the Soo Eagles — located in theUnited States.
Few of those players, however, hail from the heart ofTexas.
That could change in the future.
The arrival of the Dallas Stars for the start of the 1993-94 National Hockey League season gave youngsters like Green another option to consider.
“I watched the Stars on TV and the sport just caught my eye when I was young and I stuck with it all the way through,” Green said.
The defenceman played all of his minor hockey in theDallasarea.
“It’s very competitive inTexas,” Green said.
“There are quite a few rinks and it has become a very popular sport in the past few years.”
Green is one of two American-born players on the Eskimos roster this season.
Right winger Chris Gartner, currently out with concussion-like symptoms, is a native of Anthem,Arizona.
Being a right-handed shot and playing defence, it isn’t surprising that Green likes to pattern his game after Washington Capitals blue liner Mike Green, although the two are not related.
“I just like the way he plays,” he said. “He’s a good defender.”
With four points — including three goals — in his first six games with the Eskimos, the younger Green’s production has been close to the level of the Capital he admires. In fact, injuries have limited Mike Green to just six points this season in 10 NHL games.
With six games under his belt, the Eskimos Green is starting to feel more comfortable in black, gold and white.
“I’m starting to get used to the players and the way everything works … how everyone plays and getting the feel of being with the team,” Green said.
For the most part, Green has been teamed with Justin Kord — one of the NOJHL’ top offensive defenceman — on the Eskimos blue line.
“He’s really good to play with,” Green said.
“He’s got good vision, he always makes good passes. He is a good defensive partner.”
Green is confident about the Eskimos chances of making some noise once the playoffs start.
“We just have to work as a team, be consistent and work hard,” he said.
Green and his teammates will play host to the Soo Eagles Saturday at the Jus Jordan Arena inIroquoisFalls, starting at 7:30 p.m.