Jacob McKendry has been honoured for his outstanding presence between the pipes.
The Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League recently named their top stars for the 2011-12 regular season. McKendry, of the Windsor Royals, earned the Top Goaltender award.
For the six-foot-one, 200-pound goalie, the award came as a bit of a surprise.
“It's awesome. I wasn't really expecting it. There's lots of good goalies in the league, but to be named top goalie was a real nice treat,” said McKendry.
For the 2011-12 regular season, McKendry played 19 games, five of which he recorded shutouts. He played for a total of 1,128.80 minutes in nets for a goals against average of 1.70. Total goals against were 32.
He was also named the top goaltender in the Fred Fox Division for the NSJHL's First All-Star Team.
In the 2011-12 semi-final playoffs, he played a total of five games for 325.55 minutes and had a goals against average of 3.5. The Royals were eliminated from further playoff contention by the East Hants Penguins March 2.
McKendry, who wears the No. 1, credits much of his regular season success to his teammates.
“Definitely our defense,” said McKendry. “They've done a real good job at blocking shots and keeping the guys to the outside, making it easy for me to make those saves.”
Fans of McKendry and the Royals may be surprised to learn he wasn't always a goaltender. The Barrie, Ontario native started playing hockey when he was about eight years old, but only switched to goaltending after being cut from a Triple A team.
“I tried out as a goalie for the Double A team back home and I made it so I just kind of stuck (with it),” he said, adding he enjoys the position.
“I love the pressure. It's fun being able to make those big saves to help your team to win a game or keep them in the game." - Jacob McKendry
“I love the pressure. It's fun being able to make those big saves to help your team to win a game or keep them in the game,” he said.
McKendry admires NHL goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Pekka Rinne.
Also earning NSJHL awards this year were Jordie Shaw of the Cumberland County Blues (Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer), Mitch Coady of the St. Margaret's Bay Ducks (Best Defenseman), Joel Isenor of the East Hants Penguins (Coach of the Year), Tim Mannette of the Eastern Shore Jr. Mariners (Rookie of the Year), Darcy Gillis of the Brookfield Elks (Most Gentlemanly Player) and the Glace Bay Miners (Executive of the Year).