KAMLOOPS --- It is perhaps no coincidence that after Jermaine Loewen missed six games with an injury, the Blazers snapped a nine game losing streak in his first game back. In his four seasons here Loewen has grown from the rawest of rookies as a 16-year old to a veteran expected to provide leadership as a 19-year old.
"He's finally reaching the age of maturity where he's going to be that kind of player for us every night" says coach Don Hay.
Hay has always wanted more from the 6-4, 221 pound Loewen, the Blazers biggest player, and now he appears to be getting it.
Since returning from injury Loewen has been one of the teams top scorers, with two goals and three assists in four games --- including the Blazers first three wins of the season.
"It's been a process with Jermaine over the years to get him to be that kind of guy...he's figuring it out, he's doing it, and that's good for us" says Hay.
Loewen says "just being hard on the forecheck playing my game, being simple, taking pucks to the net --- once you bring that kind of energy and play consistently hard, guys will follow --- if I can do that, that's big, and I'm trying to do that for my team."
Dylan Ferguson knows all to well what it's like to see a big body bearing down on you creating a distraction for the goaltender.
"There's a bunch of guys in the league who have big size and the coaches plant in front of the net for that reason, and it's intimidating --- having him (Jermaine) back, he's a great big presence for us, and it's awesome for our team."
The Blazers are back home this weekend for games Friday against Everett and Saturday against Tri-Cities.
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