Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beckwith to Trail

(Beckwith during his stint with Westside)

Big news today for Smokies fans; they've received a commitment from KIJHL goaltender of the year Garrett Beckwith. The 1990 born New Jersey native will join the Smoke Eaters next season to form what should be a heck of a tandem with Paul Barclay. I imagine they'll push each other hard to earn starts, and that can only mean good things for Trail.

Beckwith started last season with the Westside Warriors. They opened the year with he and former Nelson Leafs goaltender Devon Murtagh, but then quickly added Kevin Jebson in a trade. Jebson took over the starting role while Beckwith and Murtagh were spot starting and taking turns as back up.

Beckwith's first BCHL start was actually a 4-2 win in Trail for the Warriors, so he's got a win at Cominco Arena already. His next action was a 7-5 win over Merritt in relief of Jebson. Beckwith only gave up a single goal despite his team being down 4-1 when he got into the game. In two games he allowed three goals and won both times. The numbers (while a small sample size) are excellent. He was 2-0 with a 1.75 goals against average and a 0.927 save percentage in two BCHL games. The reward for his fine play? He never played another game for Westside and was released to Nelson of the KIJHL.

Beckwith didn't sulk though. He went to a power house Nelson squad and put up unbelievable numbers. He lost once (in a shoot out) in 20 regular season games with a 1.84 goals against average and a 0.924 save percentage. He was just as good if not better in the playoffs. Beckwith won all fourteen of his starts to lead Nelson to a KIJHL championship with a 1.99 goals against average and a 0.921 save percentage.

Garrett also went 3-1 at the Cyclone Taylor Cup, but unfortunately for the Leafs their only loss happened to be in the championship game. The Richmond team that beat them went on to win the Keystone Cup to become Western Canadian Junior B champs.

When you put his entire season together, Beckwith played 40 games and only lost once in regulation and once in a shoot out. That's unheard of.

This move also means that Trail has recruited the top goal scorer in the KIJHL (Matt Wilkins) and the top goaltender in the KIJHL. Not a bad start to the off season with talk of a whole lot more good news to come.

In talking to Jim Ingram today he told me that more than anything else it was Beckwith's competitiveness that got the Trail coach's attention. Beckwith will not give up on any puck or any game. He plays a unique style that's hard for even him to describe, but it's one that Smokies fans are going to enjoy watching. Beckwith is also an excellent puck handler who will bring that added dimension to the team.

I watched him play quite a number of times during Nelson's playoff run and that's why I'm convinced this is an excellent move by the Smokies to more than solidify the goaltending position. I firmly believe that Beckwith and Barclay will be as good as any goaltending team in the Interior. If Garrett is anything like the last Nelson Leafs goaltender to join Trail (Grant Rollheiser) than there's lots to look forward to!

Tune in to Mountain FM's Overtime on Monday night for interviews with Jim Ingram and Garrett Beckwith. They both have some interesting things to say and you won't want to miss the interviews. If you don't live in our broadcast area, I'll have the audio up sometime after Monday. I've also got some interviews with Kevin Limbert, Grant Rollheiser and Cam Brodie coming up sometime this week.

(#30 Beckwith and the Leafs celebrate the KIJHL Championship)

1 comment:

Cialis Online said...

What can I say, I was in shock when I read the news...well I think one must get use to changes.