Title - Kevin Lajoie
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Laliberte shooting his way into record books
Kevin Lajoie

Laliberte shooting his way into record books
Colts captain Jacob Laliberte is within five points of matching Hugo Boisvert's individual Colts scoring record of 130 points.
PHOTO CREDIT - Robert Lefebvre

Cornwall - Feb. 21, 2011 - Growing up in Rockland, Jacob Laliberte would often pass the hours by firing pucks in the family garage with his brother Yanik.

"There's pucks everywhere and there's dents all over the garage door," Laliberte tells OurHometown.ca.

Those countless shooting drills in the family garage may help to explain the origin of Laliberte's terrific shot, which has helped make him one of the best goal scorers in the Central Hockey League, both past and present.

The 20-year-old forward now has 221 regular season goals to his name, good for second all-time in the league. He also sits tied for fourth place in the league record books for regular season assists (218) and third in points (439).

The Colts captain is having his most productive season yet in junior hockey, with a league-leading 125 points (58 goals, 67 assists) in 58 games played. He's now tied with Jeff Legue for points by a Colt in a single season, and he's just five points away from the team record of 130 points, set by Hugo Boisvert in 1995-96. With a handful of games remaining in the regular season, there's a good chance Laliberte will reach - and possibly surpass - Boisvert's mark.

Laliberte said he wasn't aware of his standing in the league record books, however he was aware of Boisvert's individual record with the Colts.

"It would be awesome to have my name up there," he said. "There's been some great players that came out of Cornwall."

Still, Laliberte said he's less concerned with individual outcomes and more concerned with the team's progress.

"I think about it (the Colts' scoring record). It's in the back of my mind but right now, our focus is on entering the playoffs and playing well," said Laliberte, who is expected to play NCAA Division I hockey with RPI next season. "We want to get back on the winning track."

Laliberte's assault on the record books doesn't surprise Colts head coach Ian MacInnis, who describes his captain as a "videotape shooter."

"What you want in a shot, he (Laliberte) does," said MacInnis, who was a prolific junior hockey goal scorer in his own right with the Cornwall Royals.

MacInnis said Laliberte is one of the best shooters he's ever seen - at any level.

"His hockey IQ is above average. His patience with the puck and ability to shoot . . . . He's right there with the best shooters in the game," the coach said.

What makes Laliberte's shot so good is the timing of his release, or lack thereof, MacInnis said.

"There's no indication he's shooting the puck. There's no indication when the release is going to happen," he said in describing Laliberte's shot. "It's a special quality. It's a real lost art. I don't know if kids work on it as much as they should."

For his part, Laliberte is quick to credit his coach and his linemates - the Spink twins - for his solid offensive production with the Colts this season.

"Things are clicking with the Spinks and Ian puts me into situations where I can produce," Laliberte said.

While a league scoring title will certainly be a nice addition to his junior hockey resume, Laliberte seems more interested in winning a team title, namely the league championship.

"We have the tools to go all the way," he said.

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