By Annie Fowler | Tri-City Herald
Each Western Hockey League team has its premier players who score the big goals and grab the headlines.
While coaches pile on the praise for their top players, they also know their teams couldn’t win games if not for the unsung heroes who block pucks, battle for pucks in the corners and shut down their opponent’s top line.
For the Tri-City Americans, Marcus Messier fills the role quite nicely. He has the bruises to prove it.
“He’s one of those guys at the end of the night when you add up the good things and subtract the bad, he’s always on the plus side,” Americans coach Jim Hiller said. “Sometimes the game happens so quickly, you don’t realize all the good things he does. Marcus has turned himself into a competitor and does the dirty things to help us win.”
In his third year with the Americans, Messier, 19, has come into his own. He played two seasons here with older brother Jordan, who was traded to Moose Jaw at the overage deadline in October.