Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers ride two goaltender system to hot start
He is the last line of defense, the best penalty killer, and the guy who can single-handedly win games for a team.
Having one that can come up big when needed is crucial to any hockey team’s success. Having two?
Well that’s just being spoiled. For the Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers, that’s exactly the situation that they’re in, and they are surely reaping the benefits.
Timon is off to a 7-1 start this season, and while the play of its offense has a lot to do with it, it’s the play of the goaltenders, Robert Milewski and Vincent Goodrich, that has carried them through its hot start.
Both goaltenders have combined to allow just 15 goals in eight games which equates to just under two goals a game.
When you’re getting that type of production out of both of your goalies, it becomes hard for coaches to determine which one will get most of the playing time.
“Neither goaltender has played poorly all year,” Timon head coach Eugene Overdorf said.
“Right now, Bobby (Milewski) is our number one goaltender, but we’ve been splitting time equally.”
A third-year member of the varsity team, Milewski has been splitting time in net during each of his three seasons.
He has seen the teams in front of him perform both well and poorly. This year’s team, he said, is the best team that he’s been a part of.
“We have a better team now than we’ve had the past two years,” he said. “It’s really good now, but we’ve just got to keep fighting, and we’ll continue get better and better.”
Goodrich, a first-year varsity player who transferred from Lockport last year, feels that the difference between his old team and his new team is night and day.
“Overall we have a lot better team here,” he said. “We have a good work ethic on the team, and I think that will take us far this year.”
While Milewski is a well-sized goaltender who is able to use his body to make necessary saves, Goodrich is a bit under-sized and often has to rely on his lateral speed to get to shots.
“He can challenge and take away the angle a little bit more than I can,” said Goodrich. “I have to move.”
Being a sophomore, one of just three, on the roster, one would expect it to take time to earn the team’s respect.
However, Goodrich feels that because of the team’s mentality, he doesn’t have to worry about whether or not he has his teammates’ respect.
“You definitely have to work harder to get it, but the respect is still there,” he said. “It’s just a good all-around team here.”
One can’t guess just how long or how well a two goaltender system will work throughout an entire season, but the dual-goalie plan, Overdorf says, will be the plan going forward until something changes his mind.
“Until one plays poorly I’m probably going to keep rotating these guys,” he said.