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MacArthur provides cause for celebration

by Lindsay Kramer || NHL.com

Even by the standards of an enthusiastic, young hockey player, Rockford IceHogs forward Pete MacArthur has been known to get quite excited when he or someone on his team scores.

He’s had a lot of experience in that department. He paced Boston University in points for his last three seasons there. As a rookie for the IceHogs last season, he contributed 14 goals and 11 assists.

The successful offensive attacks have sent him hurtling into the glass like he was trying to break down a door. Or zipping away from the group hug of the players on the ice to head down the row of glove-tapping along the bench way before anyone else.

"I don’t really know what it is. I just get really, really excited," MacArthur said. "Something sets off in my brain. I’ll give a good yell if I’m on the bench. If I’m on the ice and it’s something that’s caught my eye, I’ll definitely get going a little over-zealous."

MacArthur figures there’s only one thing that will shut him up — winning a championship. Not because he wouldn’t be ecstatic. Rather, he guesses he’d just go into system overload.

"I can only imagine what it would be like at this level," he said.

The way that the IceHogs are going, MacArthur may not have to consider it as a hypothetical in a couple months. Rockford’s defense of its home ice (24-8-1-1) has pulled it within six points of the Chicago Wolves in the West Division. A large element of that run has been the work that MacArthur has done on his line with Evan Brophey and Matt Keith.

While MacArthur’s goals total has dropped to seven this year, his assists haul has zipped all the way up to 30.

"People have been asking me that a lot," MacArthur said of his inflating assists total. "I don’t have a solid answer. Sometimes the puck doesn’t go in the net for you. When you get the puck to other people in good spots, sometimes they bury it."

Rockford’s balance has made MacArthur just one of the cast members this season. Unlike his college days, he’s not going to be found at the top of the team’s scoring leaders. But he knows there’s a lot more to yell about than just points.

"I wouldn’t say I’m ever going to be the leading scorer on a team professionally. I don’t think I’m one of those guys who carries a team. I’m one of those guys who helps out," he said. "Honestly, it doesn’t make a difference to me. It’s just gotten to a point where I want to win something big. That’s what we’re focused on — winning games and trying to win a big trophy."

Lindsay Kramer, the AHL correspondent for NHL.com, profiles an up-and-coming player each Monday during the season, and his AHL notebook appears each Thursday on NHL.com. Read today’s complete column here.