Royals’ Bailey Peach named WHL’s Player of the Month for December

Bailey Peach has scored often, and in many different ways during a hot streak that has earned him WHL Player of the Month for December. (File)

Bailey Peach has scored often, and in many different ways during a hot streak that has earned him WHL Player of the Month for December.

“Things have been clicking and things have been just going the right way for me and the puck’s just been finding the back of the net,” said the 20-year-old Peach from Falmouth, Nova Scotia.

Over his current six-game goal streak, Peach has a remarkable 11 goals and 19 points and is among the top 10 in WHL scoring.

He has scored in all situations over that time; even strength, power play, short-handed, on a penalty shot, in an empty net, and even the Royals’ Teddy Bear Toss goal on Dec. 17 against the Tri-City Americans.

Not bad, for a player that lost an overage spot in Charlottetown at the start of the season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“It was a big shock for sure. But took me a little bit to settle in, but once I got settled in, I got to know the guys, got to know the coaching staff, the people around me and stuff like that and it’s helped a lot and I couldn’t be happier to be in Victoria,” said Peach.

And the man who called Peach to bring him to the West Coast is just as happy.

“His game hasn’t changed, it’s just steadily progressed day-by-day, fundamentally sound, really strong work rate, highly competitive, high-percentage plays, both sides of the puck, every situation including defensive situations, it’s just such a pro-style game,” said Royals General Manager and Head Coach Dan Price.

The hot-hands from the Nova Scotia product included a record-setting night against the Vancouver Giants on Dec. 30, with a Royals’ franchise single-game high seven points, collecting three goals and four assists.

“Guys were on the bench saying ‘I bet you won’t get one more’ and stuff like that, but I was just still focussed on the game and just, things were going right and it was pretty cool to get that. I’ll remember that one for a lifetime, that’s for sure.”

“I had no idea, no idea that he had seven points. I knew he had a good game and he created some offence etcetera, it’s just because he’s so steady and fundamentally sound,” said Price.

“You know these big spikes in point production, again as odd as it sounds, they don’t really stand out cause he’s always doing things in a very similar way.”

And making things even more fun is the Royals’ turnaround.

After just one win in their first 14 outings, the Royals have gone 11-3-2 since, and into the Western Conference playoff picture.

“Obviously, it helps winning and getting those wins against bigger teams, and helps our team and helps every player individually too,” said Peach.

“You know like I said, once you get going on a roll and you get hot things are just going right and that’s how the team is right now.”

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Andy NealAndy Neal

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