Top goalies gather for Hockey Canada camp
Flames prospect Brossoit among hopefuls in U20 category
By John Down, Calgary Herald
June 7, 2012
Edmonton Oil Kings goalie and Calgary Flames prospect Laurent Brossoit will be participating in a Hockey Canada goaltending camp, beginning Thursday at WinSport Ice Complex.
Photograph by: MATHIEU BELANGER , REUTERS
It’s a little after nine in the morning and Laurent Brossoit is groggy when he answers the phone in his parents’ Surrey, B.C. home.
Sleep and relaxation have been top priorities for the recently-turned, 19-year-old goaltender following a long campaign in the Western Hockey League and ensuing run at the Memorial Cup late last month.
But there is little time to reflect on the championship season with the Edmonton Oil Kings and what might have been at Shawinigan during the Memorial Cup because Hockey Canada has summoned the 2011, sixth-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames to its goaltending camp this week.
There’ll be another short break before he returns for the Flames rookie camp but first things first. Brossoit is one of 16 goalies from across the country who have been judged as leading candidates for starting and backup positions on the national under-20 and under-18 teams that will compete for world championships this year.
He is one of 11 puck stoppers on the under-20 radar, where neither goaltender from this year’s team are returning.
The importance of the four-day camp, which starts today at Winsport’s ice complex at Canada Olympic Park, is not lost on the six-foot-three, 202 pounder.
“Experience for one,” he says of what he expects from the sessions, which features Hockey Canada goalie consultant Ron Tugnutt and seven Canadian major junior hockey goaltending coaches. “Being able to get feedback from a lot of different goalie coaches and take advantage of different views. Being invited to a Team Canada goaltending camp is pretty cool so I’m just going to go out, give it my all and enjoy the moment. Being invited to this camp is obviously a huge compliment.”
The invitation was something well earned. Brossoit started 61 games during his second full season with the Oil Kings, won 42 of those while posting a glittering 2.47 goals-against average and lofty .914 save percentage. In the 20-game run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup, the GAA dropped to 2.04 and the save percentage rose to .928 in 16 wins.
“A huge part of it is confidence,” he says of vastly improved numbers from his rookie WHL season when he made just 34 starts as part of a young, green team. “I was kind of lacking it last year but I did a lot of work with my goalie coach this season.
“We kind of simplified my game, made me realize I didn’t have to come out of the box and use my reflexes to make every save. Plus I felt I controlled a lot of my rebounds this year . . . just kept everything simple and just played.”
But the Oil Kings couldn’t get the job done at the Memorial Cup, losing all games after an opening victory over eventual champion Shawinigan Cataractes.
“A ton of good memories,” he says. “Some from the regular season, some from the playoffs and then to top it off with a trip to the Memorial Cup . . . we were so proud to be there but kind of shot ourselves in the foot.
“We got a little intimidated and played a little timid and didn’t get the result we wanted but we’ve got a lot of returning players so we have to take that experience and make sure we get there again next year.”
There is, however, one lingering bad memory.
After sticking around Edmonton to say goodbye to the Oil Kings’ 20-year-olds, Brossoit jumped in his vehicle and headed down the highway for Surrey. He made it within 20 minutes of Hinton before he was stopped cold in his tracks.
“Turns out I need a new fuel pump,” he says. “The car is still there (Hinton) and I’m still trying to figure that out . . . kind of a nightmare.”
Hockey Canada goaltending camp — June 7-10 at WinSport Ice Complex
Under 20 invitees
Lauren Brossoit, Edmontn (WHL); Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound (OHL); Corbin Boes, Brandon (WHL), Maxime Lagace, P.E.I. (QMJHL), Etienne Marcoux, Blainville-Broisbriand (QMJHL), Matt Murray, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), Jake Paterson, Saginaw (OHL), Mackenzie Skapski, Kootney (WHL), Malcolm Subban, Belleville (OHL), Matt Tomkins, Sherwood Park (AJHL), Brandon Whitney, Victoriaville (QMJHL).
Under 18 invitees
Eric Comrie, Tri-City (WHL), Zach Fucale, Halifax (QMJHL), Tristan Jarry, Edmonton (WHL), Spencer Martin, Mississauga (OHL), Storm Phaneuf, Blainville-Broisbriand (QMJHL).
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