Penguins prospect Sam Poulin had a historic performance for Sherbrooke of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Sunday. He recorded eight points - two goals and six assists - in the Phoenix's 9-4 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Poulin, who was Pittsburgh's first-round pick (22nd overall) this past summer, set new franchise marks for the most points and assists in a single game, breaking the previous record of six.
The 18-year-old forward also became the first player in nearly 10 years to record eight points in a game after Tomas Kubalik of the Victoriaville Tigres also did so on Oct. 30, 2009.
"For sure it's fun," Poulin told Penguins.com. "You don't have too many nights like that in your career. When it happens, you have to enjoy it. Sometimes there's games that you work hard and nothing is happening. Other nights you work hard and the puck just goes behind the goalie. Last game was a really fun game."
With Poulin factoring in on all but one of Sherbrooke's goals, he kept hearing his name being called and kept track each time.
"The PA guy was announcing all the goals and after every goal call my name was popping up," he said. "So at the end of the game, I knew how many points I had."
While Poulin was aware of what was happening, that doesn't mean it wasn't surreal.
"Me and the centerman on my line, Felix Robert, he had seven points so both of us were just laughing almost all game long," Poulin said. "We had some fun. Who doesn't like to score goals (laughs)? Everybody loves it and when you're having a lot of points like that, for sure it's going to be fun."
Their line with Alex-Olivier Voyer was just absolutely dominant. Poulin said that they've been playing together since last year's postseason, and the chemistry has carried over into this year.
When asked why they click so well, Poulin used a phrase that Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan repeats often.
"We're hard to play against," Poulin said. "We're three really hard-working guys. Teams don't like to play against our line, I guess. We know where to find each other on the ice. We're moving the puck a lot and we're creating some offensive chances like that. It's really fun to play."
Overall, Poulin is off to a scorching hot start as he has nine goals and 22 points in his first 11 games. The captain of the Phoenix has been setting the tone for his team during their seven-game win streak (they are 11-1-1 overall).
"I think my consistency this year is better than it was the past few years," said Poulin, who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Penguins on Sept. 22. "I've been working hard since I came back from Pittsburgh. I've been doing good things on the ice and off the ice. I think overall, that's why I'm having some success right now."
While his point totals may not reflect it, Poulin said it was somewhat difficult to adjust to the pace of junior hockey compared to the professional level after going through his first NHL training camp. He felt that his first three games weren't as strong as he expected them to be. But now that he's gotten used to it, watch out.
"Now, I think I've found my pace and things are going pretty good right now," Poulin said. "Just going to try and keep doing that all year long."