Jasper Dicks was an unlikely scoring champion in the West Coast Senior Hockey League this past season and he knows it.
“I never expected it,” admits the 24-year-old Port aux Basques Mariners centre.
His offensive prowess was undeniable though, as he racked up 24 points (9G-15A) in just nine games to help power the Mariners to an 8-4-0 regular season record, second in the three-team setup.
That total was one point better than both Iain Pilgrim of the Corner Brook Royals (10G-13A) and Mariners teammate Greg Edgar (13G-10A) in three less games than they played. It was also a remarkable jump from his point production last season, where he accumulated eight goals and three assists in eight games.
Hailing from the tiny town of Middle Arm, Dicks played his minor hockey with the association in Baie Verte, before suiting up with the Northeast Sabres of the Central Newfoundland Hockey League, a senior recreational setup consisting of four teams.
Considering the hockey pedigree of a few of the WCSHL’s top players, picking the five-foot-nine, 165 pound centre to win the scoring title might’ve made a killing on Bodog — if the option to do so actually existed, of course.
“I was more dedicated to it this year,” the understated Dicks said simply.
“I tried to make it to most of the games and practices.”
His knack for piling up points will be crucial for the Mariners this weekend as the stare down the Stephenville Jets in the final two games of a double round robin semifinal. The Royals already clinched a spot in the best-of-seven championship series with a 4-0 record in the playoff round, so whichever team emerges victorious this weekend will join them.
Even though the Mariners regular season record was well above the Jets’ mark of 2-8-2, none of that matters here. Both teams are currently 0-2 and it’s all about the best record in the double round robin. If they split the two games, it will come down to a goals for/goals against differential tiebreaker.
“We’ve got to get the first one,” Dicks said of the weekend set.
“We can’t underestimate them,” he added. “They struggled early, but they picked up a few players and they’re a lot better now.”
The Mariners did sport a 5-1 head-to-head record against the Jets this past season, though the teams split the final two games they played.
With the league’s top goaltender, Ryley Nadon, backstopping them, and a ferocious offence led by Dicks and Edgar, the Mariners should be the favourite to win.
“I’ve got to say we’re pretty confident, hey?” Dicks said of how he feels his team will fare this weekend. “I hope so, anyway.”
The Jets host the Mariners 8 p.m. Friday at the Stephenville Dome, before the two teams lock horns again 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bruce II Sports Centre in Port aux Basques.