Colemans Western Kings goaltender Ian Woolfrey does laps with the rest of the team during practice Wednesday at the Pepsi Centre. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy
Ian Woolfrey just wants to embrace the opportunity to lead his team to a repeat.
Woolfrey will be in goal for the Colemans Western Kings against the top-seed Central IcePak when the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League best-of-seven final gets underway this weekend at the Lewisporte Stadium.
The Kings won their first provincial major midget league crown since the 1996-97 season by disposing of the St. John’s Privateers in five games last season.
Woolfrey played a back-up role to Daniel McCarthy for a championship run that saw McCarthy win eight out of 10 games with two shutouts in the final.
Woolfrey remained patient and returned with a desire to be the No. 1 this year with Luke House also competing for crease time.
The Kings earned a shot at a repeat after Woolfrey rose to the occasion by getting the win in four-game sweep of the St. John’s Maple Leafs two weeks ago at the Pepsi Centre. The opening game of the series is slated for 8 p.m. tonight in Lewisporte and Woolfrey believes the Kings will be in good shape if they can achieve success in the first game.
“First one is key because it sets the tone for the series,” Woolfrey said Wednesday on his lunch break at Corner Brook Regional High.
“Even if we split on the road, then I think we’ll be fine.”
Woolfrey knows solid goaltending can win a series, so he will have to be ready for the IcePak’s talented offense, led by scoring champion Jordan Maher.
“I just have to give my team a chance to win every night and keep pucks out of the net,” he said.
He doesn’t plan on paying any extra attention to Maher, choosing instead to focus on his own game. He also has placed a lot of trust in a defence corps that has been solid in its own end and a big part of the quick transition game the Kings have displayed during their run at a repeat.
“No, not really,” he said bluntly when asked if Maher is a concern of his.
“It’s one player and I’m confident our defence will do a good job of shutting him down and he won’t get too many opportunities.”
Despite it only being his second season, Woolfrey doesn’t feel any pressure being in the spotlight.
“I’m going to embrace it. I don’t think the pressure is too great,” he said. “I’m fully confident that we can repeat.”