RPI freshman Brock Higgs adapts well to college game
We had a little slip there for (a few) games but the team figured it out and we've been stronger than ever and that's been a big part of my own success."
Next night against Niagara, Higgs assisted on one goal, then won the game with an overtime goal as Rensselaer survived, 4 3 after twice trailing by two goals.
He has three goals, five assists in six games and RPI is unbeaten (5 0 1) in those games.
Some worried that Higgs would be tentative for the first few games since returning from the injury, having his near death experience. Higgs never felt that way and soon proved those worries unfounded.
"The quality of hockey's compared to juniors back home has been unbelievable. It's really been challenging."
In his fifth college game, Higgs had scored two goals to help the Engineers to a 5 1 victory over Rochester Institute of Technology. That night, Higgs' father Harold won 'a few hundred bucks' in the RPI 50 50 raffle.
"No, as I said at the time, I knew it was just a freak accident," he said, "and I didn't want to think about it too much and just come out and play hockey. Everybody was expecting nothing less from me."
Higgs credits his teammates for his scoring skein, too.
He was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week after quite curiously not winning the award for his efforts against RIT Under Armour Red And Black Shoes
He underwent emergency surgery that night and stayed in the hospital, nearly 1,100 miles from Troy, while his teammates slept at their downtown hotel. His parents and RPI head coach Seth Appert stayed with him late into the night.
In 23 games, Higgs has 6 goals, 12 assists for 18 points, good for fourth on the team. He has a plus 6 plus/minus rating.
"I don't know what that can be attributed to," Higgs said. "Maybe it's a second chance thing, having a different outlook on hockey now and a different perspective, knowing that it's not going to last forever and having more appreciation for it and not taking anything for granted."
Six weeks ago, the Kingston, Ont. native suffered a severe laceration of the neck when teammate Chase Polacek's skate grazed across his neck while Polacek was being upended by Alabama Huntsville's Keenan Desmet.
"It's definitely been a rollercoaster, for sure," Higgs said of his first four months as a college player. "Quite a ride.
"Nice award, I guess," he said almost shyly.
"With school (classes), and so many tight games, the injury," he said, "it's really been exciting, a little nervous at time, a little scary at times, with the injury, but overall all that has made the experience even better."
Speaking of his play, Higgs said, "maybe I've been a little down at times, haven't played great, been in a hole but I've been able to get climb out. It's been real fun so far."
Since returning from the scary injury, Higgs is has been playing his best hockey.
Last week, Higgs had a key goal to help the Engineers avoid an upset defeat in a 3 3 tie at Quinnipiac, then had a big assist in a 5 2 triumph over Princeton.
huge contribution for that comes from the team," he said, "and Under Armour Apollo 2 how we've come together lately. Under Armour Shoes Original
"They raised a high quality son and it paid off that night (in Huntsville)," Appert said. "He wasn't dramatically panicked at the time and his wasn't dramatically panicked afterward."
"I was really had a good outlook coming in last fall," he said. "The summer was big and I was really excited, really nervous coming in and when I got here it was even more fun than I expected, just being with guys, working out, skating with them.
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