War­riors goalie liv­ing the dream

Strat­ford’s Tyler Parr earns first shutout in 3-0 win over Cam­bridge

The Beacon Herald - - SPORTS - CORY SMITH SPORTS ED­I­TOR BEA­CON HER­ALD

Tyler Parr spent many Fri­day nights at the All­man Arena as a kid watch­ing Strat­ford Cul­li­tons goalies and won­der­ing what it would be like to stand in the same crease.

Now the 18-year-old from Strat­ford is mak­ing the most of that op­por­tu­nity. Parr picked up his first Ju­nior B shutout Fri­day night against Cam­bridge, turn­ing aside 20 shots in the War­riors’ 3-0 win.

“It meant a lot, es­pe­cially in this build­ing, just to be able to do it in Strat­ford with th­ese guys (who) have been there all sea­son for me,” he said. “It just feels more con­fi­dent get­ting it. It feels good.

“You get goose­bumps ev­ery time that horn goes off. I get ner­vous still in this build­ing. I don’t know why, but it’s weird.”

Parr was mak­ing his fifth start of the sea­son but his first against a team that wasn’t Brant­ford or Bramp­ton. He stopped nine shots in the first, six in the sec­ond and five in the third.

He got some help from the left post when a Cam­bridge player broke in alone in the mid­dle frame.

“I just stuck to keep­ing it sim­ple,” he said. “Nelly (War­riors goalie coach Mark Nel­son) told me to watch the pucks in, and that’s what I stuck to all game, and it made it real easy.”

Parr im­proved to 5-0 and low­ered his goals-against aver­age to 1.76 while rais­ing his save per­cent­age to .924.

“We’re just try­ing to get him on the right learn­ing curve,” Nel­son said.

At five-foot-nine, Parr isn’t an im­pos­ing pres­ence, but his sim­ple style is sim­i­lar to that of an­other Strat­ford goalie he idol­ized in the late 2000s.

“I watched Even Groen­estege for sure,” he said. “I used to be the big­gest fan of him. I just found him so fas­ci­nat­ing to watch. He was just so calm and he watched the puck re­ally well. I got to meet him once, so it was pretty cool.”

Given the War­riors’ of­fen­sive chal­lenges at times, Parr and fel­low Strat­ford goalie Zack Weir (2.47 GAA, .921 SV%) have stepped up when needed. They’ve also formed a close bond while push­ing each other to greater heights.

“They work pretty hard at prac­tice and they both lis­ten,” Nel­son said. “I’m not a guy who just pounds my phi­los­o­phy of goal­tend­ing. I just sug­gest things, and if they like it, they like it, and if they don’t at least they tried it. They work hard, and they’re just good kids.”

Evan Dowd, Drew Welsch and Hugh An­der­son scored in the win. Sean Ross and Ryan Cullen had two as­sists apiece.

Redhawks goalie Rea­gan Gies made 22 saves. Cam­bridge dropped to 5-11-0-1.

“At the end of the day we didn’t cap­i­tal­ize on our chances, and they cap­i­tal­ized on a cou­ple turnovers and missed com­mu­ni­ca­tion we had, and then they get a power-play goal and it ends up 3-0,” Cam­bridge head coach Adam Wal­lace said. “But I thought from a five-on­five stand­point for a ma­jor­ity of the game I thought it was an even game. The boys played with in­ten­sity, and sys­tem-wise they played within our struc­ture, which is good to see. For such a young group play­ing against a team like this at the top of the league ... you gotta be happy with the way things are trend­ing.”

NOTES: War­riors head coach Dave Wil­liams served the first of a two-game sus­pen­sion he re­ceived at the end of Strat­ford’s 4-3 win in Elmira last Sun­day. Af­ter the War­riors scored in dou­ble over­time, the play­ers spilled onto the ice to cel­e­brate while Ross and Elmira’s Luke Is­rael were in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion. That earned Wil­liams a game mis­con­duct for play­ers leav­ing the bench too early and a week­end spent watch­ing from the stands ... the War­riors held their an­nual Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony be­fore the game ... At­ten­dance was 1,147, which was a sea­son high ... Next: Strat­ford vis­its Lis­towel Sun­day at 1:30 p.m. co­smith@post­media.com

CORY SMITH/THE

Strat­ford’s Ryan Cullen and Cam­bridge’s Austin Forsyth go for a loose puck Fri­day night at the All­man Arena. Strat­ford won 3-0.

CORY SMITH/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

Strat­ford War­riors goalie Tyler Parr makes a save in traf­fic dur­ing the first pe­riod of Fri­day’s GOJHL game at the All­man Arena. Parr made 20 saves for his first shutout.

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