The man they call Lavigne
Ceebees No. 1 keeper impressed by new team, league
Any goaltender growing up in the late 1980s and early 1990s undoubtedly paid close attention to the Montreal Canadiens and the man between the pipes at the time — Patrick Roy.
Those keepers would’ve tried to mirror Roy’s butterfly style, watching how he controlled rebounds and handled pressure.
They might’ve even had posters of “Saint Patrick” lining their bedroom walls.
Charles Lavigne, the newest goaltender for the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars, was one of those goaltenders. Growing up in the small Ontario town of St. Bernardin, Lavigne looked up to the winner of four Stanley Cup trophys.
In a favourable twist of fate, the 24-year-old would get the chance to play for his childhood idol when Lavigne joined the Quebec Remparts organization of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“It was quite an experience,” he told The Compass last week. “I learned a lot.”
Lavigne had his finest amateur season with the Remparts. After backing up Nicola Riopel with the Moncton Wildcats in the 2007-08 season, Lavigne got his chance to start with the Remparts.
He posted a record of 33 wins, 11 losses and two ties, posting a goalsagainst average of 2.37 with six shutouts in 51 starts with the organization.
“(Patrick Roy) rode me all year,” said Lavigne. “I couldn’t ask for more. I fed off him.”
After his time in major junior, Lavigne chose to take his considerable talents to St. Thomas Universi- ty in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
“It seemed like the perfect fit for me,” he said.
The Tommies struggled during the three years Lavigne was in town. The team was abysmal from 2009-12, losing 58 games while winning only 15.
However, the Tommies’ record does not reflect the work Lavigne did to keep his team in games. Lavigne faced an increasing number of shots on goal, going from 682 to 738 to 763.
ABOUT CHARLES LAVIGNE:
• Age — 24; • Hometown — St. Bernardin,
Ontario; • Resides — Fredericton, New
Brunswick; • Family — parents are J.P. and Judith; has a 26-year-old brother named Alexander; • Occupation — student at UNB,
doing masters in business; • Position — goaltender; • Team — Conception Bay North
CeeBee Stars; • Favourite goaltender — Curtis
Joseph; • Favourite team growing up —
Toronto Maple Leafs; • Beer or wine — beer; • Burger or pizza — burger; • Favourite television show —
How I Met Your Mother; • Favourite movie — Oceans 11; • Top 3 artists on iPod — the Black Keys, Swedish House Mafia and the Foo Fighters; • Personal accomplishment —
doing my MBA.
Lavigne said he “owes a lot” to St. Thomas and the university’s hockey program.
“I didn’t think I could do so well in school,” he said.
Lavigne does not buy into the notion that major junior is the highest level of amateur hockey in Canada.
“The AUS is stronger,” he said. “You’re playing against men. It’s insanely good hockey and in my opinion, the highest amateur level.”
Charles Lavigne (right) watches practice with assistant coach Peter George in this Compass file photo. Lavigne is the newest man between the pipes for the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars.