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Gabriel Beaupre’s rewards for blocked shots are bruises, respect – News Sentinel

With only two goals and five points in 41 games, defenseman Gabriel Beaupre is an easy Komet to overlook. Because of his concentration on stopping shots instead of shooting them, he’s the guy who is playing the best when he’s noticed the least. About the only time he’s noticed is when he’s blocking shots, which he does regularly.”I was drafted in the NHL for that and I’ve played in the AHL because of that,” Beaupre said. “I know my role and I know how to do it. Maybe the normal person in the stands thinks, `This guy doesn’t score, so why is he here?’ but I do block shots and that’s under the radar a little bit.”It’s under the radar for everyone but his teammates who are amazed at Beaupre’s willingness to sacrifice his body to stop a shot. He could be having a bad night, but he can erase it with a series of two or three blocked shots on a penalty kill. It’s something he does almost every game, and likely would be one of the league leaders in the category if statistics were kept.About the only thing kept about blocked shots, though, are the bruises. Beaupre’s ankles are sore most days because they never gets the time off necessary to fully heal, and he’s always throwing himself in front of the next shot.

“If you have a good technique, the puck will hit you in the pads,” he said. “You have good technique, you shouldn’t be getting hurt. During the summer, I practiced with soft pucks just to make sure I’m doing it the right way.”True, the Komets’ defensemen and some forwards like Kyle Thomas do wear extra plastic on their skates to protect their feet, and Beaupre wears extra padding on his gloves, but not every body part can be protected. Beaupre lost a tooth from a blocked shot during a recent game in Rapid City.”Ankles are the worst because we are in our skates all day and they never go away, and then it’s the inside of the hands,” Beaupre said. “After games, I always have bruises. At the end of the season, it’s important to take good time off.”What hurts more, a blocked shot or a fight?”During a fight, there so much adrenaline that you don’t feel it. You feel every blocked shot.”But he’s still regularly taking shots to the face and the rest of his body.Though he’s never scored 10 points in any of his four professional seasons, blocking a series of shots is one way Beaupre can change the momentum of a game.”Sometimes you make a mistake and you have to recover from it and the best way to do that is to throw yourself in front of the puck,” Beaupre said. “We need guys like that on your team. Teammates love it, and goalies love us when we do that.”For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at @blakesebring and at his blog tailingthekomets.com.

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