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Article on former hockey player Daryl Moore
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Article on former hockey player Daryl Moore
Quote:Moore rediscovers love of hockey with Cyclones

Brian Smiley

After four years of playing hockey at Western Michigan University, Brantford's Daryl Moore entered the world of professional hockey last summer.

It was a world he wasn't sure he wanted to enter.

"I kind of lost a little bit of desire to play after playing at Western Michigan," said Moore. "But I didn't want to leave hockey not loving hockey."

Now, after completing this past season with the Pee Dee Cyclones of the Southern Professional Hockey League, Moore's desire is back. And he may be better than ever.

Moore, a North Park Collegiate graduate, had a stellar career with the Mid-Western Junior B Hockey League's Brantford Golden Eagles. Although the son of Tim and Nancy has always been a bit on the small side, he was a flashy forward with the gift of being able to find each team's opposing goal.

When Western Michigan came knocking, offering a scholarship to the five-foot-six 170-pounder, he took it.

Moore began classes at WMU in 2002, hoping to earn a degree in exercise science. He also began playing hockey with the Broncos but didn't get to see much ice during his first two years in Kalamazoo.

In Moore's first two seasons, he played in just 23 of WMU's 70-plus contests. In those games, he failed to record a single goal or assist.

Part of his inactivity was due to injury and part was due to his inexperience.

Finally, in his junior season, Moore was able to get into 37 games, scoring four goals and adding 12 assists.

Last year, in his senior season, he scored six goals and added 11 assists in 33 games.

Following the completion of last year's NCAA season with the Broncos, Moore was looking at playing professionally.

"I talked to some teams but I had the hardest classes in my major so I couldn't leave to go play at the end of the college season," he said.

However, the 24-year-old did sign to play with the Memphis RiverKings in the Central Hockey League for the 2006-07 season.

"When we tried to go to training camp, we had visa problems," recalled Moore. "We tried to get across the border but we got sent back. I didn't get to Memphis until a Thursday.

"I played in games on Friday and Saturday with a couple of fighters who couldn't skate and then I got cut."

Fortunately, on the same day he got cut from Memphis, he hooked up with Pee Dee. He eventually wound up making the team and began his professional career in the SPHL.

"It was a lot better hockey than I anticipated," said Moore. "A lot of people say the league isn't that good but that's not true.

"The defencemen are smaller (than other leagues) but for the most part there's a lot of good forwards in the league."

Moore quickly became one of those forwards.

Starting out at centre, Moore struggled at first with his new team, notching nine goals and three assists in his first 26 games. But after Christmas, he exploded.

"After Christmas, I had a game where I scored a goal and had two assists," Moore said of a Jan. 12 contest against the Knoxville Ice Bears. "I also had a nine-game goal-scoring streak that started with that game."

Moore actually tallied 10 goals and seven assists during that period. The nine-game goal-scoring streak tied a league record.

The difference for Moore seemed to be a change of position.

"I don't know if playing wing allows me to be more offensive or not," he said.

And although Pee Dee (16 wins, 32 losses and eight overtime losses) finished seventh in the eight-team league and missed the playoffs, Moore finished his season with a flourish.

By the time he was done, he had scored 33 goals and added 23 assists for 56 points in 56 games. That helped Moore win Pee Dee's rookie of the year and most likely to succeed awards.

He was also named to the league's first-team all-rookie squad and was awarded the league's player of the week trophy for the final week of the season.

All this has helped Moore - who needs two classes and an internship to graduate from WMU - find something that was missing.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "(Professional hockey) is less structured than school. You do your own thing and just make sure you perform."

So, will he continue playing professionally? It looks like it at this point.

"In my mind, if I can't play in the (East Coast Hockey League), I'd like to go back to the SPHL."
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04-12-2007 12:11 PM
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