Victor Provencher has a lot of different ways he can help his team win.
The P.E.I. Rocket power forward can score goals, skate like the wind, deliver a crushing hit or drop the mitts, if called upon.
“I always liked to hit and skate and finish my checks,” the third-year forward said.
The left-winger is skating on the Rocket’s second line with Louick Marcotte and centre Erik Robichaud.
“I think we have a great line with Robichaud,” Provencher said.
There is obvious chemistry with Marcotte, as the two have played together since midget at College Charles-Lemoyne. The Rocket drafted both players in the first round of the 2010 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft. Provencher went 11th overall and Marcotte 16th.
“He’s very talented,” Marcotte said of his linemate and friend. “He brings a lot of energy (to the team). . . . He likes to hit. Sometimes just by fighting or hitting he can just change a game. He’s an impact player.”
Both said having a friend on the team helped the transition to the Quebec league and being away from home.
“That was nice,” Marcotte said. “It gave me a chance to come on this adventure with someone that I knew. It’s far from home, so to come here was less hard.”
Provencher started skating when he was two years old and has always enjoyed hockey. He progressed through the minor hockey system before being drafted by the Rocket after scoring 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 38 games and chipping in 83 penalty minutes for Charles-Lemoyne.
The agitating Provencher has 15 points in 22 games this season with 57 penalty minutes.
“He prides himself on being a guy that’s tough to play against,” coach Gordie Dwyer said. “Victor plays his best when he brings that physical element. He’s putting pucks deep and he’s using his speed.”
He added Provencher got off to a good start last season, but tailed off after Christmas.
“He’s come back hungry this year,” Dwyer said. “For him to be a top-six forward he has to use what he has. His tools are his wheels, his physical play and his release.”
After a tough season last year for the Rocket, Provencher is pleased with how things are going in 2012-13.
“I just want to win a lot of games this year and go far in the playoffs,” he said.
“The coaching staff has done a good job with us. We’ve changed a bit of our systems defensively and I think all of the guys have bought in.
“We try to work hard every night.”
They face another tough task tonight when the Baie-Comeau Drakkar comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest at the Civic Centre.