Grizzlies’ goalies Liam McGarva and Noah Desouza know that they can let one or two goals in a game.
Of course they strive to shut out the other team, but everyone makes mistakes. Luckily they know their team has their backs.
“I have a lot of trust in our team,” McGarva said. “We score a ton of goals.”
It is McGarva’s second year playing for the Grizzlies and in Jr. B. Prior to that he played for Northern Alberta Extreme, a hockey academy based in Edmonton. He commuted from his home town of Fort Saskatchewan.
“I love it here. It is so much nicer than Alberta. It’s way more beautiful,” he said with a laugh.
Noah Desouza joined the Grizzlies this year, from Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna. He started there at 15, leaving his family in Boulder, Colo.
He said he loves living in a small town because it is so much easier to get around.
|Goaltender Liam McGarva in action against the Summerland Steam at the Revelstoke Forum on Jan. 12. (Photo by Matthew Timmins)|
So far this season McGarva has played 23 games and Desouza has played 11 but McGarva said they support and learn from each other.
“I don’t think it’s a one guy higher up situation at all.”
Desouza said it is nice to have a goalie partner who has played in the league longer.
“He has helped me out knowing other teams,” he said.
Desouza has also been working on handling the puck more, something he knew would be important coming from Midget to Jr. B hockey.
Both goalies got into the crease young. Desouza’s dad was a goalie and though he tried forward and defence, the position just stood out.
McGarva also knew right away that he wanted to be a goalie.
“It was cool scoring goals, but I got more mad when we got scored on and wanted to do something about it,” he remembered.
Desouza said that one of the hardest parts about the position is the pressure, but he focuses on controlling what he can control.
“Everyone knows it’s a tough job to do and everyone does their own job,” he said. “Mistakes happen.”
McGarva said that staying focused can also be tough, especially when his talented offence men keep the puck at the other end for five minutes at a time.
“I stretch in between whistles, if the puck isn’t in our end,” he said.
At the moment McGarva is ranked the fourth best goalie in the league with 20 wins, three losses and 548 shots saved. His save percentage is 91.3. Desouza is ranked seventh with nine wins, one loss and 289 shots saved. His save percentage is 91.7.
The Grizzlies play Tuesday night at home and back this weekend against 100 Mile House.