During a tough start to the men’s hockey season, the play of Andrew Shewfelt has been a bright spot for the Dalhousie men’s hockey team. With 17 points in 17 games, he’s having a breakout season.
A changing roster with only eight out of 25 players being above their second year, meant there was a chance for second-year Shewfelt to be more of a presence.
“I knew we were going to have a young team and that meant there was a lot of opportunities for anybody to step in and be a factor,” he says.
This season, Shewfelt got off to a hot start with a goal and two assists in the Tigers’ 5-1 win against Acadia University in their first regular season game. He continued to get points in 10 of the next sixteen games, for a total of six goals and 11 assists for 17 points before the winter break. He’s the team’s leading scorer and tied for 13th in league scoring.
Swiss army knife player
He’s always been a quick skater, but he hasn’t been known for being a high scorer until now.
After playing three years with the Halifax Mooseheads, Shewfelt’s most successful season statistically was 2016-2017. He scored 35 points in 55 games playing for the Amherst Ramblers of the Maritime Hockey League (Junior A) and the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Playing for the Tigers last year, Shewfelt scored six points in 30 games and was shuffled around the lineup. He calls himself a “Swiss Army knife” kind of player, someone who will do whatever Head Coach Chris Donnelly asks of him and plays in any situation.
“They’re both great players. They both see the ice really well and I think we all kind of build off each other,” Shewfelt says.
He says Cyr and Playfair help his offensive game because they match his style of play – which is playing with speed and battling hard to retrieve and protect the puck. And he says the strength and conditioning training he did in the off-season has helped him this year.
“I was just working on getting stronger and getting faster and I think I accomplished both of those over the summer.”
The Tigers are last in the AUS league during the winter break with a record of four wins and 13 losses. Shewfelt is an important part of what success the team has had so far, but it’s difficult for him to be satisfied with his personal game.
“We want to win games,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if I have points in games or not, at the end of the day if we’re not winning it’s unsuccessful for me.”
The Tigers put together some solid games right before the winter break, including two wins in their last four games: a 5-2 win against St. Francis Xavier University, currently sitting third in the league, and a 6-3 win against Université de Moncton.
Shewfelt says that he wants to continue that momentum after the break when the Tigers face the University of Prince Edward Island.
“We’ve got to build off that off the hop here on January 2nd and continue that through the rest of the season,” he says.
The Tigers did beat UPEI 3-2 in a shootout.
Dal made a second-half come-back into the playoffs last year, maybe with Shewfelt leading the way they can do that again this year.
Correction: In the print version of this story, it stated that Shewfelt and Cyr assisted on Jackson Playfair’s goal against UPEI on January 2nd. The assists are officially awarded to Connor Welsh and Duncan MacIntrye.