November 30th, 2019
HENSON REACHES HISTORIC MILESTONE
By Luke Clevenger
In the first period of the Saturday, November 9th matchup against the Saint Louis University Billikens Kain Henson netted the opening goal of an eventual Cougar victory, but what went unnoticed by the crowd at the East Alton Ice Arena was Henson quietly accomplishing a major milestone with the SIUE Cougars. That goal, just 2:25 into the first period, was Henson’s 100th point as an SIUE Cougar.
Henson, as of this articles publication, is up to 105 points during his tenure at SIUE. That number is good for 8th all-time in Cougar history, slotting just ahead of Jared Ippolito. But what makes that number even more impressive is that it comes from the defense. The only other Cougar Defenseman that has scored more points is John Wright with 116 points over his four years with the Cougars. It is possible for Henson to reach that milestone by the end of the season.
But Henson is quick to move the focus away from his points. “I know it’s a big milestone and can be looked at as a big deal, but I’m more happy that the team is being successful right now. I am glad that I got it, and it’s something I can say i did I suppose… But overall that’s not what I’m going to think about whenever I’m done with Hockey.” When asked what his favorite moment among his 100 points, Henson was quick to mention overtime wins. “I think the overtimes are coolest. I have a couple of assists on overtime winners, but whenever all the boys clear the bench and tackle that guy, there’s nothing like it. I haven’t been able to score that goal but just being a part of those wins is awesome.”
While Henson was more humble with his approach, the coaching staff was quick to lay praise on the 5th year D-man. “Kain has been one of our leaders since he came in as a freshman. Obviously 100 points is very exciting for him and the team but the leading aspect that he brings to games and practices is even bigger than any points he’s scored.” said General Manager Taylor Emerick. “He means so much to our entire program, especially to Coach Edwards, Zellmer and I, he’s a guy we lean on a lot. He’s a guy we point to the young players and say ‘this is how it’s done’” Defensive Coach Nick Zellmer said “It’s great to see a guy get rewarded like that. For me, as a first year coach, Kain is a guy who doesn’t need a lot of coaching. Any time I do give him something he’s very eager to learn and listen… He does all the things right.”
His teammates are quick to lump on praise as well. Goaltender Caleb Currie said “Obviously 100 points is huge. Kain’s a very defensive defenseman so he’s always great on defense, but when we need that offensive push he’s always the guy who initiates that offensive presence for us.” When asked about his defense Currie mentioned is great defense. “He’s for sure one of my favorite defenseman I’ve played with. That’s one of the things that has made him have 100 points, is his ability to play defense so well and transition that into offensive points” Currie continued “I remember last game against Illinois they had a pass in front that I wasn’t ready for and Kain jumped in front of the shot. That was definitely a huge play and it was another means for him to get the puck and get out of the zone, which he always does a great job of.”
Henson sits at 23 points in 19 games played this season, good for 1.21 PPG. Kain and the Cougars will be back in action at the East Alton Ice Arena Saturday, December 14th against the Maryville University Saints DII squad.