Trystan Self of the Kimberley Dynamiters, Dylan Marshall of the Nelson Leafs, Colton Phillips-Watts of the Kamloops Storm and Frederick Larochelle of the Kelowna Chiefs are the divisional winners for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Top Goalie Award.
Self – Eddie Mountain Division – Self led the league with 22 wins in 29 games. The Calgary native said he was surprised to win the award and added “it was extremely nice to see that they think I’m one of the top goalies in our division, if not the league. To be given that, I was extremely happy and grateful for how the season went.”
Self is happy with how the regular season went for the Dynamiters as the group didn’t have many nights off. Heading into the final stretch they were able to accomplish their goal of winning the division.
“The other goalies in the league are great,” said Self. “There have been a bunch of times where some opposing goalies have made some unbelievable saves on our team. There are sequences where they make one, two, three, or four saves in a row to keep their team in the game.”
Marshall- Neil Murdoch Division – Marshall won 15 games this season and said he played “pretty decent.”
The six-foot, 170 pound goalie plays a butterfly style and likes playing the puck. He calls his greatest strength his focus and mental game.
“I’m pretty good at controlling rebounds. Playing confident in the crease,” said the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without the team.”
In a KIJHL Notebook focused on goalies, Leafs Assist Coach Adam DiBella said that Marshall is a very patient goalie, who doesn’t waste any movement in the crease, everything is controlled and with purpose, as he lets the game come to him.
Phillips-Watts – Doug Birks Division – Phillips-Watts won 18 regular season games. The Quesnel native said it felt great to win the award.
“As much as it is a personal award, it’s also a team award,” he said. “The team in front of me was really good this year. I felt I had a pretty good season and I had never really been a starter before so I definitely think this was a stepping stone for me in my career.”
Phillips-Watts also played eight games with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials as an affiliate player earning two wins. The 5-foot-8, 160 pound goalie said it was great getting experience at a high level.
“I felt I was pretty consistent this year,” he said. “I improved my mental game and have grown a lot and just being a guy that my team can rely on.”
Larochelle – Bill Ohlhausen Division – Larochelle said he had a great season winning 17 games. Receiving the award for his play “was just an extra.” I’m really proud. I came out here and didn’t expect much.”
The Montreal native enjoyed the season with his teammates, who helped him have success.
“I liked how I felt more comfortable during the year in goal. When we went to Revelstoke for a game on New Year’s Eve, it was packed,” he said. “I didn’t let myself get intimidated by the crowd. And the pressure, the confidence really was a key in my game to remain calm and help my team win.”
At six-feet, 180 pounds, Larochelle fights for every puck, plays quick and loves to handle the puck. One of the main areas he improved was communicating with his teammates. Larochelle’s play this season also earned him a call-up to the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.