Brett Bulmer hopes his best on Saturday night was enough to get him mentioned on Monday morning.
With the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship just around the corner, Hockey Canada is expected to release its selection-camp roster today. Bulmer should be one of the 40 or so named to the list at 8:30 a.m., but, with a big, talented pool to draw from, there are no guarantees Hockey Canada will send the Kelowna Rocket forward an invitation to its camp, which runs Dec. 11-13 in Calgary.
Yet, considering what Bulmer did Saturday, scoring a hat trick in leading the Rockets to a narrow 6-5 victory over the Victoria Royals at Prospera Place, that effort may have cemented a roster spot. In 10 games this season, the 6-foot-3 winger from Prince George has six goals and 15 points. Further, the third-year forward is also sporting a plus-six rating in plus-minus; he was minus-seven as a rookie in 2009-10 and minus-13 last season despite scoring 49 points in 57 games.
“(Hockey Canada is) always watching and you have to be ready to go, every game,” said Bulmer. “I want to be there, so I have to put in the work.”
“Every game, I want to keep proving stuff,” continued Bulmer. “It’s about getting wins for this team; it’s what I want to help them do. If I play a good game, it’s going to help my team. The individual stuff will come, but it’s all about getting wins.”
The hat trick was the first of Bulmer’s WHL career, an effort which also broke a four-game goal slump.
“I was kind of slumping a little bit, and I wanted to respond with a goal,” said Bulmer. “(Scoring) is going to come when you’re working hard, and it was one of those nights where I thought I put in the work and I was rewarded for it, so it was good.”
Good, but not glowing, is how Rockets head coach Ryan Huska described Bulmer’s efforts since being returned to the WHL on Oct. 31 following a nine-game stint with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. Currently, Huska is wearing two coaching hats; one with Kelowna, the other being an assistant coach for Team Canada at the WJHC.
“Offensively, he was good (Saturday night),” said Huska. “Defensively . . . well, he has some ways to go. But he scored some big goals for us, and that’s what we need out of him.”
Asked if Bulmer did enough to make Canada’s selection-camp roster, Huska said: “We’ll have to see on Monday.”
ICE CHIPS: Kelowna (10-12-2-1) play its third of seven straight home games on Wednesday night, when they entertain the U.S. Division-leading Tri-City Americans (19-6-0-0). Game time at Prospera Place is 7 p.m. . . . The Rockets are 2-1 so far in their homestand. . . . Overall, Kelowna’s home record is 7-6-0-1; Tri-City’s road record is 8-4-0-0. . . . The Rockets are 5-3-1-1 in their past 10 games, while the Americans are 9-1-0-0. . . . Tri-City’s top scorers are LW Adam Hughesman (19-26-45), C Brendan Shinnimin (9-23-32), LW Justin Feser (11-16-27), RW Patrick Holland (5-21-26) and C Connor Rankin (7-13-20). Kelowna’s top scorers are C Shane McColgan (7-20-27), RW Colton Sissons (13-6-19), D Damon Severson (3-16-19), C Cody Chikie (9-9-18) and RW Brett Bulmer (6-9-15). . . . Tri-City is 8-0-0-0 when leading after the first period and 15-0-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes; Kelowna is 7-3-0-0 and 6-1-0-1.