By Alexander Cole
Whether it’s the QMJHL or the CIS, Jessyko Bernard has always been a successful hockey player. Bernard is currently second in team scoring while being one of the top forwards in the RSEQ division.
At 205 lbs and 6 feet 2 inches, the Moncton native is hard to check and even harder to stop. The 24-year-old finance student is currently in his fourth year with the Stingers and is on pace to record his best season in terms of points with the team.
Ten games into the season, Bernard has scored seven goals and six assists. His current point total is just one shy of his total from last year, a season in which he played 22 games. For Bernard, it’s his teammates who have allowed him to be successful.
“I’ve been playing with Olivier Hinse and Dany Potvin for three years now,” Bernard said. “It’s our fourth year together so we’ve built chemistry. They’ve had good starts too and I’ve been the lucky one so far.”
Bernard’s linemate Hinse, who is also the team captain, is leading the team in points with 14, which proves that the line is a force to be reckoned with. Bernard also believes that his point totals have gone up because of his increase in effort out on the ice as opposed to last season.
Despite having a great individual season, Bernard is more focused on his team and making sure that they can prove to be a different team than they’ve been in the past.
“We’ve kind of been losing here for the past three years,” Bernard said. “We just want to prove that we’re winners in this league and we’re going for a championship. We want to go to Nationals and we have the firepower to do it.”
Before becoming a Stinger, Bernard played five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. His first two seasons were with the Halifax Mooseheads and his next two were with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Before joining the Stingers, Bernard finished his QMJHL career with the Prince Edward Island Rockets.
Bernard’s experience with the game has allowed him to become a leader on the young Stingers team.
“We have a big crop of rookies this year,” Bernard said. “It’s important to show them how it’s done in this league. It’s a little different than junior. It’s good to just give the guys a few pointers and show them the way.”
Bernard has also felt that his time with the Stingers has shaped him into a better hockey player and has been a great step forward in his hockey career.
As it stands, the Stingers have a record of 3-5-2 which they will need to improve upon if they want to make the playoffs. Although, with Bernard and his linemates continuing to generate offense, the team has the potential to turn the season around.