Trevor Cheek figured he was due for a goal.
Prior to the third period of Wednesday’s showdown between the Portland Winterhawks and Edmonton Oil Kings, his father, Brian, predicted something good was about to happen for Trevor.
Just over a minute into the third period, the Vancouver native got to the front of the goal and scored for Edmonton to tie the game at 3-3. The Oil Kings won on a late goal in the only regular-season meeting between the top two teams in the Western Hockey League.
It was the kind of play Edmonton acquired Cheek to make. The Oil Kings added Cheek at the WHL trade deadline, rescuing him from the last-place Vancouver (B.C.) Giants.
“He’s been a good fit for our hockey club,” Edmonton coach Derek Laxdal said. “He’s a big power forward that’s got some skill. Obviously he scored a big goal for us tonight.”
It was Cheek’s ninth goal in 24 games since the trade — his 27th overall this season. But Laxdal said that after a solid start, Cheek struggled in several games leading into the Portland visit.
“He’s got a little bit of inconsistency to his game,” Laxdal said. “This is a good test for him. To be part of an atmosphere like this is only going to help him in his career.”
Laxdal said it is the job of the coaching staff to push Cheek.
“Junior hockey players go through periods of (inconsistency). That’s a part of growing up. That’s our job as coaches to get him playing consistent hockey.”
For his part, Cheek was excited to score an important goal in front of friends and family to help beat the Winterhawks.
“I’ve been having a little trouble finding the back of the net,” Cheek said. “Sometimes it just takes a lucky bounce like that to get going again. Hopefully, I can keep it going.”