Alex Jensen finished last season with 14 points.
So far this season, he has 14 assists. And eight goals.
The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey junior put in some hard work during the offseason and shifted to the wing, and he’s having the best season of his career while leading the team in scoring.
“He’s been playing on a whole new level this year, compared to what I saw last year,” sophomore Connor Gorman said. “Obviously he was great last year, but he’s playing unbelievable this year. Quick, scoring, making plays.”
The fourth-ranked Cardinals (15-2-2, 8-0-2 SUNYAC) may have to get by without Jensen this weekend when they visit Geneseo and Brockport for their final regular-season road trip. Jensen said he sprained his MCL at Potsdam last Friday, and by early this week he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play tonight.
Through 19 games, the Helsingborg, Sweden native has career highs in goals, assists and points, and his 22 points are six more than anyone else on the team.
Jensen credited his increased productivity to his work during the summer and to the play of his linemates.
“I was trying to get faster, so I worked on my explosiveness a little bit,” he said. “And then I shot a lot of pucks. So it’s paying off right now.”
Coach Bob Emery said Jensen requested a move from center to left wing this season, and the coach put him with Dillan Fox and Mark Constantine, who are second and third, respectively, on the team’s scoring list.
“Both Constantine and Dillan are pretty good guys at scoring goals,” Jensen said. “Dillan has somehow an ability to just find an open area. And he’ll be right there and just pop in a rebound. Or feed him a pass; you know he’s going to score the goal.
“Constantine, he’s kind of a sniper, so when you find him in an open area, you know he’s going to do something with the puck.”
Both Emery and Gorman said Jensen hasn’t just contributed points he’s also shown leadership.
“Alex has been strong, and he’s been a good leader all year, mostly by example,” Emery said. “We look for him to step up at the right time and get the big goal or get us going.”
Before this season, Jensen often skated on a line with his brother, Nick. Since Nick has been converted to a defenseman, Alex has tried to fill his shoes up front.
“I’ve kinda taken on his role a little bit,” Alex said. “Like he was really good in the corners. And Constantine being as tiny as he is, I have to do a little bit more in the corners now. I took a little bit over (Nick’s) job.”
And with Nick on the blue line, Alex has been easily outscoring his older brother.
“I try not to give him a hard time,” Alex said. “But I get to score more goals, so I get a little bit of family bragging rights, I guess.”
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