June 14th, 2024

Hilworth looking to build off prolific scoring season

By JAMES TUBB on February 18, 2023.

NEWS PHOTO JAMES TUBB Medicine Hat Cubs forward Cooper Hilworth celebrates one of his four goals in a 7-3 win over the Mountainview Colts on Feb. 11 at the Kinplex.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

Cooper Hilworth is still all smiles when talking about winning the HJHL scoring title.

The 21-year-old Medicine Hat Cubs forward never expected to lead the league in scoring when the year began and he wasn’t on pace to for most of the season. Entering December, the Jasper product had 12 goals and 25 points in 14 games before he took off and rattled off 24 goals and 45 points in the remaining 19 of the season.

Hilworth says it feels great to achieve the title but credits the team around him.

“It’s a great individual achievement there but I didn’t do it myself, obviously,” Hilworth said. “It’s just a good achievement and great feeling to come out with my last season and win the scoring title.”

In his five seasons in the HJHL, all with the Cubs, Hilworth has 101 goals and 204 points in 143 games.

According to hockey statistics website eliteprospects.com, Hilworth finishes his Cubs regular season career in third place of the franchise’s all-time points list, trailing first place Kyle Funk by 28 points. Hilworth is also second in all-time goals and third in all-time assists for the club.

He does have claim to first place in one of the franchise’s records, holding the all-time games played honours, passing Mackenzie Fritzler who donned the Cubs logo for 141 games from 2016-2020.

Hilworth’s scoring title is the first time a Cub has led the league in scoring since Funk held the honours in 2011-12.

Cubs head coach and general manager Randy Wong says it was a treat getting to watch Hilworth make the run for the points lead.

“He worked his tail off and he deserves that,” Wong said. “Certainly in his last year it was a pleasure to kind of watch that because of how far back he was. He was injured at the end of the year, was well back at Christmas time, didn’t think that was even an option. For him to kind of just come out of nowhere and then finally pass it was like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty impressive.'”

Wong jokes that Hilworth had better keep some goals in the tank with the playoffs just around the corner for the Cubs. The winger is well prepared to keep his offensive touch going into what will be his last postseason in the HJHL.

“I definitely have more juice in the tank for the playoffs, I’m going to empty the tank and make sure we have a long, long playoff run.”

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