Rookie Goaltenders – by C. Scott Holland

Not often does a GOJHL rookie goaltender carry an unblemished record after having appeared in a minimum of 10 plus games in which he has started. But for Leamington’s Tyler Wall that is exactly where he stands at the Christmas break. Holding a spectacular 16-0 record with one tie is something few GOJHL goalies have achieved.

In the decade since the GOJHL was formed and since 1980/81 of the known records of the West Conference (formerly the Western Jr. B H.L.) only one other netminder has played a minimum of 10 or more games and not had a loss. That player was Chad Davis of the Leamington Flyers who in 1998/99 started 20 games and ended the campaign with a record of 11 victories no losses and a tied game. Wall has toppled that mark easily.

Four GOJHL goaltenders have been only beaten once in their rookie campaign – Mark Sinclair (Caledonia 2014/15), Andrew Lefebvre (Kitchener 2014/15), Taylor Edwards (London 2009/10) plus the Western Jr. B’s Brandon Kohuch (2001/02 Chatham).

That’s some pretty excellent company to be among.

Brantford’s Bryce O’Hagan set the record for most appearances with 43 and most wins with 34 in 2011/12 and St. Catharines’ Knick Dawe is second in wins with 27.

In the West conference (and Western Jr. B), Torrin Lauziere started 37 games for London in 2007/08 while Chatham’s Sean Robertson holds the rookie wins mark with 26 in 2001/02 while the Maroons’ Bryan Worosz is second with 24 in 1999/2000.

Currently Wall is just three wins short of the Leamington Flyers’ rookie record held by Jure Penko (18-1- and 1 tie in 1998/99). More remarkable is the fact that the 1998/99 Leamington team used Davis and Penko from November onward and the two combined for a 28-1 and one tie record.

One can only wonder how a recent visit (on Wed. Dec. 16) by Detroit Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard has had on his play and fellow netminder Michael Barrett. If anything the workout supplied by the NHL goaltending coach should aid him in miraculous rookie season.

If all continues to go as smoothly as it has, Tyler Wall should be on track to set several team and GOJHL marks by the season’s end.

(photo credit – Tyler Wall by Colleen Wiendels Photography – Strathroy Rockets facebook)

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