ANTIGONISH, N.S. — Spencer Barron of the Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs is off to a sizzling start in his second Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League season.
In his first 15 games, the Antigonish County native has 14 goals, including a first-period natural hat-trick in an 8-2 thumping of the rival Strait Pirates Nov. 17 at the Antigonish Arena.
In 30 games last season, the now 20-year-old had 16 goals and 30 points. With eight helpers, so far, he already has 22 points in this campaign.
"It feels good — I think I have been playing well," he said prior to a recent Tuesday evening practice.
Barron added he has been playing with "a lot of confidence."
His head coach agrees.
"Spencer has been playing great, without cheating to get his points," Donnie Grant said.
He credited Barron for his strong effort on both ends of the ice.
Grant praised the second-year St. F.X. human kinetics student for his speed and shot.
"In this league — in any league — that is a deadly combination," the first-year Bulldog head coach said.
When it comes to his team, Barron said they have been "pretty good," while improving with each outing.
At the time of the conversation, the 'Dogs were second in the Sid Rowe Division, sporting a 9-3-1-1 record.
"It is a new group, so we are still getting to know each other. We are really starting to gel," Barron said.
He has also taken on a higher leadership role in his second season.
"We have quite a few guys who are going to X and are far away from home, so I try my best to help them out and make them feel welcome," Barron said.
The talented forward has played the bulk of his minutes with line mates Fearghus MacDonald and Cory MacLellan.
"They were getting a little stale, so we wanted to change things up a bit," Grant said of a recent break-up of the trio.
While they were separated, Barron teamed up with Will Kelly and Ryan Kennedy.
"He has picked up where he left off," Grant said of the reunion of Barron, MacDonald and MacLellan,
Barron, a product of the Antigonish Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), Nova Major Bantams and Cape Breton West Islanders, said the Bulldogs are a tight-knit group.
"Right now, I think we have the parts to do it," he said, when asked about the prospects of the Bulldogs challenging for a league crown.
"And, I think, we are only going to get better as we play together more and more."
The Bulldogs will be back in action Sunday, Dec. 1, when they host the Valley Maple Leafs at the Antigonish Arena.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.