CANMORE – Puck-stopper Andreai Proctor-Ramirez and the Canmore Eagles took the Blackfalds Bulldogs to the doghouse in the goalie's first AJHL career regular season shutout.
The hometown squad won 5-0 on Saturday (Oct. 9) at the Canmore rec centre against the league's newest team, snapping the Eagles' five-game losing streak in the process.
With 21 saves and winning a seventh player of the game award this season, Proctor-Ramirez has been turning heads this season as an undersized, but competitive goalie in the AJHL.
"Being how small I am in net compared to most goalies in our league, I have to be a lot more patient and it makes me work harder to stay up at this calibre of hockey so I guess what drives me is that size isn't always a factor," he said.
Standing at five-foot-nine, the 19-year-old rookie has yet to face a goalie shorter than six feet tall this season, with Blackfalds' William Dyke standing the tallest at six-foot-six.
When Proctor-Ramirez was being scouted by Canmore two seasons ago, his competitiveness and mentality of continually trying to improve caught management's eye and got them seeing the bigger picture.
"He's always been a guy that's put up good numbers," said Andrew Milne, head coach and general manager. "I think everyone just looks at his size and thinks he won't be able to play and that's so far from the truth. Everyone is trending to big goalies and that's the trend. We're going to buck that trend and prove like [Proctor-Ramirez], he's so competitive, he tracks pucks so well, he sees traffic really well and is able to find pucks when nobody is and that's one of the biggest difference between his game and other goalies."
With a 3-4 record this season, Proctor-Ramirez's goals against average is 3.27 and his save percentage is .918.
The humble goalie is quick to credit the team in front of him.
"The guys made my job a lot easier that day and they kept the shots to the outside and limited good scoring chances to they made my job pretty easy," he said.
Over the past three games, the Eagles penalty kill has gone one-for-12, including shutting down the lethal Brooks Bandits power play in the team's 4-1 loss.
"I think after our Brooks game last week, our guys kind of bought in more and kind of trust the structure and system coaches are implementing," said Proctor-Ramirez. "We kind of carried over to that game against Blackfalds and it worked out for us."
The Eagles' goal scorers last Saturday were Emanuel Hudson, Cale Lyons, Kyle Young, Max Monette, and Kayden Smith.The Eagles also added to their roster last week and signed former Western Hockey League Winnipeg Ice forward Evan Waldie to the team. The 18-year-old Sherwood Park product had one helper in his debut against the Bulldogs.
Up next, the Eagles take on the Bandits, the CJHL's current ranked seventh-best team in the country, in back-to-back home games Thursday and Friday (Oct. 14 and 15).
Puck drop in both is at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday (Oct. 19) at 7 p.m., the Eagles head west down the Trans-Canada Highway to play in their first of two Banff games this season against the Olds Grizzlys.