Sunday, March 7, 2010

Martin Ouellette belongs among the best of a strong goalie crop

I saw the Montreal native in two games this weekend and he was outstanding for the tiny Kimball Union Academy (KUA) in Meriden, N.H.. He's the prototype goalie these days: big (6-1), lean, athletic, poised, and a very fundamentally sound butterfly-style player.

Nothing fazes him...even when he gave up a late goal to Tilton yesterday with less than 2 minutes left, he shrugged it off and stopped a flurry of shots to preserve a 2-1 win.

Anytime the puck comes anywhere near his glove, he catches it cleanly and holds either for a faceoff or dishes off to a teammate, not providing any chance at an opponent to swoop in, gather the rebound and slip it past him.

"I thought goaltending was huge for us all year," said KUA assistant coach Gino Riffle. "I think he loves to work at it. He grew so big so early, so that last year he was technically sound, but he didn't grow into his athleticism yet. This year, you're starting to see him become more and more athletic because he's starting to mature into his size, so the sky's the limit for him."

Nice kid, too. I chatted with him as he left the rink after winning the Piatelli/Simmons small school tournament today. He says that he idolized Roberto Luongo when he was a kid, but nowadays, tries to pattern his game most after Carey Price. Yes, Bruins fans, he loves the Montreal Canadiens. Ugh.

But, the young man can play, and don't be surprised to see him go as high as the early third round come June. He's a gamer.

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