Scorin’ Goren looking to make it big In Beantown

By pbadmin
Lee Goren was once a forgotten man. No longer. Goren, the 2000 NCAA Tournament MVP, is also the 3rd round draft pick Washington traded to Boston in the infamous Adam Oates deal way back in March of 1997. Until now, that part of the trade has garnered little attention, but with the year Goren had with the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, there is reason to be optimistic in Boston about the sturdy winger’s future with the Bruins. With 60 goals in his last 82 games, many of those coming at crucial moments, his teammates and fans have affectionately taken to calling the Winnipeg native “Scorin’ Goren.”

In the 1997 draft, the Bruins called Lee Goren’s name 63rd overall(their 5th choice)even though he had not played in the entire 1996-97 college season after spending the previous year with the Minot Top Guns of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and seeing action in two games as well with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League. In the SJHL, Goren demonstrated a nose for the net and the type of toughness that every team looks for in a player. Until recently, Goren had been playing in relative anonymity on the talented and well-coached University of North Dakota teams under Dean Blais. In 1998-99, Lee led the Fighting Sioux in goal scoring with 26 tallies in 38 games. This year, Goren eclipsed his scoring totals from all of last season with 34 goals and 63 points in 44 games. Goren found his scoring touch at the right moment, posting 6-3-9 totals in three WCHA playoff games and making a name for himself as a big-game clutch player. In the NCAA Championship Game against the Boston College Eagles, Goren added to his reputation as a big game player. Going into the third period with his team down by a goal, Goren fired a shot through BC goalie Scott Clemmensen’s legs to tie the game at 2 goals apiece.

Minutes later, he blasted a shot from the right wing that Clemmensen stopped, but a streaking Jason Ulmer picked up the rebound and put the puck home for a 3-2 lead with about 5 minutes remaining. Goren potted an empty-netter from center ice and with a BC player all over him, to secure the win and take home Most Outstanding Player honors.

Goren has a powerful shot and great hands to go with it. He gets a lot of his goals in close where he can best utilize his quick release and accuracy. Goren is a hard worker who is not afraid to battle for the puck against the boards and in the corners. At 6-3 200 pounds, Goren wins a lot of one-on-one battles down low and often makes himself an immovable force in front of the opposition net. His dedication and skill earned him selection as one of UND’s assistant captains for the 1999-2000 hockey season.

The biggest weakness in Goren’s game is his skating. Scouts say that he must work on his stride to be more effective, especially when playing the faster and stronger pro game. In Lee’s defense, he may not be the most graceful of skaters, but he does manage to efficiently get where he needs to go on the ice. Because Goren has such good hands, he is able to create a lot of offensive chances despite his awkward stride. Strong enough on his skates, Goren simply manhandles opposing defensemen when they try to move him away from the front of their net. People who get wrapped around the axle over his perceived skating weakness cannot see the forest for the trees. This kid is good. The comparisons between Goren and former Bruin Dave Andreychuk are accurate, with Goren having more
of a physical edge to his play than the veteran 500-goal scorer in the NHL.

Scorin’ Goren has emerged as one of the top players in college hockey this year despite not being selected as a Hobey Baker Finalist or even as a 1st Team All-American. When the games have counted most, Goren has been there throwing his weight around and putting the puck in the net. He will have his work cut out for him, though. Despite their implosion this season, the Boston Bruins have a good deal of young talent up front and with a probable Top 10 choice in the 2000 Draft, could possibly add to their growing stable of forwards. The Bruins have lacked a consistent and durable scoring presence on the wing ever since Cam Neely retired and Lee Goren coud be a guy to help fill the void. He has managed to stay healthy over his entire college career and if he can bring his scoring touch with him to the NHL, he’s a sure-fire bet to be skating up and down the ice in a Bruins uniform for years to come.