Saturday, October 6, 2012

WCHA Instant Impact: Quentin Shore (DU)

Freshman Quentin Shore is Denver's entry in  the Instant Impact series.

Previous Entries:
Joey Benik, SCSU                                           Austin Farley, UMD
Blake Tatchell, UAA                                         Adam Wilcox, UM
Hunter Fejes, CC                                             Juhjar Khaira, MTU
Nic Kerdiles, UW                                             Brad Robbins (BSU) 
Anthony Stolarz, UNO
Teddy Blueger, MSU

Quentin Shore, F, Denver
Vitals: 6' 1" - 185 lbs - 5/25/1994
Hometown: Denver, CO
Previous Team: USA Hockey NTDP Under-18

Last season's third place conference showing by the University of Denver marks the ninth consecutive year the Pioneers have finished in the top four of the WCHA standings, and there is no doubt that George Gwozdecky's team fully expects to extend that streak to a tenth year. Buoying the Pioneer spirit in 2012-13 will be a talented backend that is comprised of an array of skilled defensemen, led by the likes of Joey LaLeggia, David Makowski, and Scott Mayfield. In goal, Denver may be as deep as any team in the nation as it returns its full complement of goaltenders, including the standout duo of Sam Brittain and Juho Olkinuora.

The biggest question mark facing the Pioneers this season will be on the offensive end of the ice. Among WCHA teams, only Minnesota-Duluth lost more firepower this offseason, leaving DU with some big shoes to fill upfront. The Pios will be without the services of three of its top four point producing forwards from a year ago (Drew Shore, Jason Zucker, Luke Salazar), and they also lose talented winger Beau Bennett. Nick Shore (41 points in 2011-12) will be expected to lead the way offensively for DU this season, but the returning production drops off significantly behind him. The Pioneers will be counting on the continued development of its other returning forwards, but they will also be looking for immediate contributions from the incoming recruits. Freshman Quentin Shore is the top candidate to provide Denver with some additional offensive punch.

The third of the hockey playing Shore brothers to make his way to Denver, Quentin played the previous two seasons with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. Shore spent the 2010-11 season with the NTDP's Under-17 team, producing 18 points (4G, 14A) in 52 games. He put up 27 points (17G, 10A) in 60 games while playing with the Under-18 team in 2011-12, eventually capping the season off with a strong Under-18 World Championship effort that saw him pick up five points (3G, 2A) in six games for the gold-medal winning Team USA.

Shore is a very dependable player who should be able to step into the lineup for Denver and immediately become a solid two-way threat. As NTDP head coach Danton Cole states, "Quentin is a very smart hockey player. He has a very good feel for the game and is hard to play against. He was one of our top defensive guys upfront and an excellent penalty killer. On offense, he will probably surprise some people. He scored a lot of game-winning goals for us last year. He led the team with eight GWG [Note: second highest on the team had four] and many were huge goals for us. His feel for the game and moxie make him a very good two-way player."

Further commenting on Shore's offensive game and the knack to score the big GWG's, Cole commented that "Quentin is good at raising his level of play to fit the situation. Many of those goals were OT game-winners. He has the offensive ability, the shot, and the smarts to be a scorer and late in the game it would often jump out. I also have a feeling that the years of battles on and off the ice with his brothers instilled in him a late game toughness and confidence. The team and coaches looked to him to provide that leadership in tough games."

In terms of how Shore's abilities will transition to the college game, Cole stated that "Quentin's hockey I.Q. is his biggest asset, he understands the small parts of the game very well. Even when he is a bit outmatched physically, he can find a way to impact the game and get the job done. As his strength improves, I feel he will continue to be a big part of Denver's success going forward. He also has a great demeanor and likeability that is contagious around the locker room and coaches."


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