HUMBOLDT — Humboldt Broncos goaltender Rayce Ramsay doesn’t shy away from the pressures of his position.
“I love the challenge that comes with being a goalie,” said Ramsay, a Saskatoon product who became a full-time netminder in his first year of peewee hockey. “Games can be won or lost depending on how well the goalie plays and I find a lot of satisfaction in being able to take on that pressure and perform to the best of my abilities under it. It’s a very unique and rewarding position.”
As a rookie, in his 17-year-old season, Ramsay has impressed. He had an 11-5-0-1 record and a 2.66 goals against average, as of Sunday. He ranked fourth in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with a .926 save percentage. Humboldt head coach Scott Barney said that he sees nothing but great things for Ramsay, who has formed a strong netminding duo with veteran Dane Dow.
“He’s just really patient in there and makes the save,” Barney said. “As our goalie coach said, ‘he plays the perfect style you want out of a goalie.’ He is really giving the boys a lot of confidence in the nets. He gives the coaches a lot of confidence.”
It is not just Ramsay’s ability to stop pucks in games that has impressed.
“He battles hard in practice every day.... In my career, the difference between good and great goalies is guys who battle hard every day in practice and do not want to let any goals in,” said Barney, a former NHLer who had a long pro career, who noted that approach also makes other players better.
Ramsay’s talent and work ethic could help him succeed at a higher level of hockey. He started this season with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers and has twice been called back there. In two WHL games, Ramsay has a 1.99 goals against average and a .931 save percentage.
“My time in Kamloops has definitely helped my game immensely,” he said. “Everything is a little bit faster in that league so it pushed me to elevate my level of play and work for consistency every day. While I’m there we talk a lot about having good habits on and off the ice, so when I got back to Humboldt I made sure to keep sticking to those good habits and that has helped me out a lot.”
In the SJHL, Ramsay has enjoyed the group of guys on the Broncos.
“We have a lot of character guys in the dressing room, coaches and players, who want to do whatever they can to help this organization succeed and I think that has translated into our on-ice performances,” he said.
Ramsay emphasized how much he has enjoyed and appreciated the support of the Humboldt fans and volunteers. “I love how tight knit Humboldt is as a community,” he said. “The support the town has for our team and each other in general is really awesome to see and I’m grateful to be a part of such a great community.”