By Ken Wiebe
The Winnipeg Sun
Adam Keefe took a couple big strides forward in an attempt to make the most of his second chance with the Manitoba Moose.
Keefe, 21, came to Moose training camp in the fall as the leading candidate to win the enforcer’s role but got a thumb in the eye during a fight with Joe O’Connor during the first scrimmage and never really found his game after that.
The rookie winger, who signed a two-way contract with the Moose this summer, went down to Toledo of the ECHL and promptly picked it up.
After scoring 10 goals and 21 points, and wracking up 174 penalty minutes in 28 games, Keefe was recalled by the Moose.
So was the demotion a blessing in disguise?
“I took it as a learning experience. I went down and played my game and was waiting for the opportunity to get the call,” said Keefe, who made his Moose debut on the weekend and appeared in both games against the Philadelphia Phantoms. “I’m glad it happened, and I’m trying to make it as hard as possible for them to send me back.”
But while Keefe enjoyed the experience gained in the ECHL, he’s in no rush to return.
“My goal is to stick here for the rest of the year,” said Keefe, who spent five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and won a Memorial Cup with the Kitchener Rangers in 2003. “I didn’t have a very good camp, and I was disappointed, but I had to work through it. I’m just trying to improve my game. I played a lot (in Toledo), and I got to work on my skills and the offensive side of things.”