The St. Thomas University men’s hockey team’s newest acquisition, goalie Philippe Trudeau, earned STU their second win of the season last Saturday night against Dalhousie after a rough first couple of starts.
“It felt great to get the win against Dal last weekend,” said Trudeau about the Tommies 6-2 win against the Dalhousie Tigers. “It was a solid team effort.”
In the first half of the 2014-15 season, Trudeau played eight games for the Stockton Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League. He posted a 4.15 goals-against average and .886 save percentage.
Trudeau split the 2013-14 season between the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s and the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He made a combined 2,225 saves in 67 games and recorded a combined .895 save percentage and 3.7 total goals-against average.
His junior career included 100 games over four seasons with the Moncton Wildcats, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Val D’Or Foreurs.
His first couple of games as a Tommie didn’t end as well on Saturday’s contest against Dalhousie. He was between the posts for STU’s 6-3 loss to the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues, along with the final Battle of the Hill of the season, which the Tommies lost 6-1 to the UNB Varsity Reds at home.
STU head coach Pat Powers said Trudeau faced a difficult situation when he joined the struggling Tommies (2-16-3), who had only tasted victory once at the time. The Tommies already have rookie netminders Tyson Teichmann and Luke Lee-Knight. STU dropped third-year goaltender Tyler Piercy to make room for Trudeau.
“It’s always difficult for a goalie to come into a new team midway through the season and have such a spotlight on a single individual, but I feel he has the demeanour to handle the situation,” said Powers.
Powers said Trudeau is a quiet but confident person off the ice, and he strives to improve his game in practice and in the weight room.
“Once Phil gets his feet grounded in this city, in the institution and on this team, I feel he has the tools to elevate his game and bring stability to the Tommies,” said Powers.
Trudeau, who plans to major in economics, doesn’t feel getting grounded will be an issue. He likes STU’s small class sizes, which he said can help students have positive interactions with professors.
“Fredericton is a bit small, but it has everything you need.”