Scoring goals was Reid Gardiner’s forte during his time with the Prince Albert Raiders. The Humboldt, Saskatchewan native potted 106 of them during his four seasons with the junior club, including 43 last year, good for fourth overall in the Western Hockey League.
And after going scoreless in his first six games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Gardiner is starting to show that scorer’s touch in the American Hockey League as well.
The 20-year old right wing picked up his first pro tally – the game-winning goal – in the Penguins 7-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on November 5. And his more experienced teammates made sure to let their young compatriot know they were award of his first tally.
“It was pretty cool,” Gardiner said of his first goal. “Guys were giving me a hard time on the bench, so it was good. I got lots of texts from my family and friends. It’s something I won’t forget for a long time.”
Since that time, Gardiner has suited up in three more games for the Penguins, and put home two more goals. But even when he’s not scoring goals, Gardiner knows there are other ways he can contribute to the team’s success.
“You want to play as much as you can and contribute in any way possible, he said. “I think the key for me is when I’m not scoring to be productive in other ways, which is making good passes or making good plays in the D zone.
“Where the team needs me to play, hopefully I can then fill that role and fill it well.”