The bright shining light coming out of the Permian-Basin in Odessa, Texas, in what has otherwise been a difficult season, is forward Lawrence Cornellier. The 20-year-old from Machesney Park, Illinois, has made his third and final season in the NAHL his personal best, and his performance in the month of January put a huge stamp on it. Despite the fact the Jackalopes posted just a 1-8-0 record during the month, Cornellier was outstanding in his personal performance. Cornellier (6’0/180) had 16 points nine games, which included seven goals and nine assists. He was also just a -1 during that stretch despite the fact his team won just a single game. In Odessa’s win during the month, Cornellier recorded the game-winning goal. He also had six multi-point games during January. His 48 points to date is not only a personal best, but are 29 more points than anyone else on the Odessa roster. His 24 goals currently rank 4th in the NAHL and his 48 points ties him for 6th among all league scorers.
Odessa head coach Paul Gillis said that Cornellier has been about as good and steady as a player can be during a season. “Lawrence has been terrific and our best and most consistent player all season long. He has such a great habit of making something out of nothing and he is where he is because of his tremendous hard work and consistency,” said Gillis. “He never gives up on the puck and is persevering in circumstances that most other players would not.” Gillis said that the things that stand out most about Cornellier all revolves around his determination. “He is always hunting down loose pucks and has the ability to score from anywhere. That makes him a threat every time he is on the ice because he doesn’t necessarily need the perfect scoring chance to put the puck in the net. Combine that with his great work ethic and tremendous attitude in the lockerroom and I think the future is very bright for him.”
Cornellier is quick to put a positive thought on things, even though his team hasn’t had the season they have wanted. “You just try and work hard every day and work hard for your teammates. I set a goal for myself this season to be a guy who could put up points on a consistent basis and in every game and so far that has gone well,” said Cornellier. Now in his third season in the NAHL, Cornellier said that his improvements have been steady over the course of the three seasons. “It is tough to score in this league, so the fact that I have improved a lot there gives me some satisfaction. I have also learned to play a lot better defensively. I understand if you can’t play two-way hockey then the chances of moving onto the next level aren’t good.” Cornellier will be playing the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament as a part of Team Texas, something he says will be a highlight and a great opportunity for him. “It was a real honor to be selected and I am looking forward to playing against the best in our league. I just want to keep doing what I do and show what I can do and hopefully in the near future an NCAA Division I opportunity will be there for me.”