We all know who number one is. We all know who number two is, but who’s number 3?
That’s the question that will be confronting the Moncton Wildcats as soon as their star netminder Olivier Rodrigue leaves in the next few days to join Team Canada at its World Junior Selection Camp.
Actually a matter of fact Team Canada will be asking the same questions as well.
Check that every organization in the QMJHL is probably asking those same questions!
One would fully expect Rodrigue being one of three netminders that are almost guaranteed to make the roster, nevertheless, there’s no guarantees when it comes to the game and the goaltending position.
You see goaltending depth within your organization is critical, it’s vital, it’s everything.
It’s a type of question that no organization really wants to be confronted with because it means that you have an injury or in this case a long absence without your number one guy.
For the next three weeks the Moncton Wildcats are going to experience what life’s like without a bonafide star number one.
Charles Antoine Lavallée is more than capable of carrying the load; nonetheless the 17-year-old netminder has only played in 27 career games for the Cats.
The young backstop has paid his dues and this is his opportunity to really shine.
Nonetheless, that still doesn’t answer the question who’s number 3?
Who do the Wildcats have in mind to back up Lavallee in Rodrigue’s absence?
Obviously, the organization have other more pressing questions and things to deal with right now, but it would appear the team could be without Rodrigue for six to seven games if in fact he makes the World Junior roster.
What does the Wildcats goaltending pipeline look like?
Who is number 3 on their depth chart?
Paradis who is 18 years of age, had an average Training Camp this year, but is having a very solid campaign with Longueuil College-Francis in the QJAAAHL. Paradis is 8-0-1 with 1.53 GAA and a .934 save percentage in the backup role to former QMJHL netminder Gabriel Waked.
Dimattia who is 16 years old is currently backstopping the Cole Harbour Wolf Pack of the NSMMAAAHL. Dimattia has appeared in 13 league games this season and has a 6-6 record with a 4.03 GAA with .879 save percentage. Dimattia had a very good Training Camp with the Cats. Dimattia played Minor Midget a season ago and has really worked hard and progressed very well over the last year and half.
Sheehan is sharing the net with former Saint John Sea Dogs Draft Pick Mathis Savoie with the Moncton Flyers. Sheehan had a good camp and has looked very solid this season with the Flyers.
Sheehan is a very athletic netminder who is also on a very interesting and intriguing trajectory. Sheehan like Dimattia played half the season at the Minor Midget level a season ago before taking over the net for the Saint John Vitos. In 10 league games with the Flyers Sheehan has an 8-1-1 record with a 1.89 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
MacInnis who is also 18 years of age had a solid Training Camp with the Cats and is currently playing with the Fredericton Red Wings of the Maritime Hockey League.
MacInnis has appeared in 6 games for the Red Wings and has a 2-4 record with a 3.68 GAA and a .895 save percentage.
That’s the Wildcats goaltending pipeline.
So Who’s number 3?
Who’s going to get the call to back up Lavallee?
In my opinion Dimatti and Sheehan need more seasoning at the Midget ranks this season and will be no doubt pushing to play at the next level very soon.
That leaves Paradis and MacInnis.
I would say the organization maybe leaning toward MacInnis to fill the role as back up for the period of time that Olivier Rodrigue is away at World Juniors.
Every organization never wants to think about injuries or losing their starting goaltender or the back up for that matter, nevertheless, you can’t ever have enough goaltending depth.
It’s critical, it’s vital, it’s everything.
The Moncton Wildcats have other more pressing questions with regards to their roster.
What areas will the Cats organization address in the upcoming Trade Period and are they content with their goaltending situation heading into what they hope to be a very productive second half and long playoff run to a championship(s)?
Tons of questions surround arguably the best team in the QMJHL and the country.
Time will tell, but for now we still really don’t know who number 3 will be!