© Herald photo by Perry Bergson
Prince Albert Raiders forward Carson Perreaux (flanked by linemate Shane Danyluk) waits for a pass in front of Brandon Wheat Kings netminder Curtis Honey in Prince Albert on Friday. Perreaux had a hat trick that night.
Carson Perreaux wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of his hometown Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Prince Albert Raiders winger has scored exactly one-third of his WHL goals against the team he grew up watching.
The big forward isn’t sure why it has worked out that way.
“Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you,” Perreaux says. “It might just be the fact that it’s the hometown thing but it could be just the nights that it clicks. I enjoy playing them, both home and away. It’s fun.”
On Friday he had his first career hat trick against the Wheat Kings. He clinched an 8-6 win with a late empty netter after two first period goals, including one shorthanded.
He then salted away the win on Saturday with another empty netter in a 4-2 victory.
He now has 18 goals in 118 career WHL games, with six markers in just 11 games over three seasons against the Wheaties.
After scoring the hat trick goal on Friday, he quickly swooped into the net to grab the puck, which he presented to his parents Mike and Joanne after the game.
“It felt good,” Perreaux said of the third goal. “Shane (Danyluk) told me after that he wanted to go and pick up the puck for me but I didn’t think he was going to and I wasn’t sure if someone was going to shoot it over the glass. I had to take it when I had the opportunity.”
Danyluk is Perreaux’s linemate and former roommate. While he says Perreaux’s speed allows him to swing wide and take the puck to the net, he brings a lot to the dressing room too.
“Carson’s a great guy,” Danyluk says. “He’s probably one of my best friends on the team, we hang out all the time. He’s just a good person on and off the ice. He works hard every day in practice and games.”
Perreaux has never had anything given to him. He made the team as an undrafted player in 2011-12, suiting up for 43 games.
Last year he scored 12 goals and added 12 assists in 71 games to go with 29 penalty minutes.
Perreaux spent a lot of time in the gym over the summer, with additional work at the track and also the boxing club. The 6’3” winger also tightened up his diet.
Like his teammates, he was watching as Cory Clouston was hired as the team’s new coach during the summer.
“It’s kind of a clean slate for everybody,” Perreaux says. “With this group of guys it’s all hard work and everybody’s a leader. We all get along great and we’re starting to buy in on the new systems. Everybody has confidence in everything that’s set out for us.”
Perreaux says his team has started games well this season as they’ve gone unbeaten in their first four against division opponents. It’s a product of the quiet confidence in a dressing room filled with veterans.
“This is the year to do it, we have everything that we need,” Perreaux says. “We can see the potential that we have and if we put in all our effort and work as hard as we can every time we get the opportunity, we can go as far as we can.”
Perreaux’s role last season on the team’s top checking line and his work killing penalties didn’t go unnoticed. He was named the team’s most improved player after they were ousted from the playoffs last March.
Prior to that, he was perhaps best known to some as one of three players -- including Danyluk and Josh Morrissey -- who saved a freezing young dog in January of 2012 after leaving a movie. When they spotted someone dropping the shivering puppy into the back of a pickup truck, they went over and rescued it.
Perreaux wrapped the pup in his sweater to warm it up before they handed it over to police.
The puppy was eventually adopted into a home in Vancouver.
Perreaux is obviously hoping for similar happy endings for his team and his personal goals this season.
After four games, his four goals lead the team and he’s tied with three others for second in scoring with five points.
“I’m pretty happy with it,” he says of his hot start. “I want to keep going with it like this as long as I can. If it could be the whole year, that would be unreal. Whoever I’m with, whatever line I play on, whatever opportunity I get, I’m going to make the most of it.”