Trevor Kalinowski and Keegan Paulette will form a 1-2 goaltending tandem to begin the 2014-2015 season for the Espanola Rivermen of the new Canadian International Hockey League.
Espanola general manager Chad Clarke told HockeyNewsNorth.com that the Rivermen — formerly of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and now of the CIHL — have committed roster spots to the 5-foot-10, 160 pound Kalinowski and the 6-foot-1, 195 pound Paulette.
Kalinowski, a 1995 birth year who hails from the Detroit suburb of Commerce Township, played the past two seasons with the Metro Jets of the North American 3 Hockey League.
Paulette, who was born in 1997 and is from Kingston, spent the 2013-2014 season in the NOJHL as Espanola’s no. 3 goalie.
As part of a three-goalie rotation with Metro in 2013-2014, Kalinowski posted a record of 11-10-1 with a 3.38 goals against average and .896 save percentage on a Jets team that finished just below the .500 mark and made the playoffs in the NA3HL’s East Division on the final day of the regular season.
Kalinowski, who heads to Espanola following an impressive showing at a recent tryout camp of the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League, said he is “thankful for the opportunity to play for the Rivermen” and be named the starting goalie.
Meanwhile, the Michigan-born Kalinowski had plenty good to say about the Metro organization that he was part of the past two NA3HL seasons.
“Leaving the Metro Jets organization I’d like to thank (owner-general manager) Butch Wolfe for making each season happen and giving local hockey players an opportunity to develop themselves.
“I’d also want to thank my coaches with the Jets, Jason Cirone, Randy Wilson, Justin Quenneville and Tom Krajewski. All of these coaches have done wonders for my game and have moulded me into an all-around better goalie and better person. Randy Wilson, especially being my goalie coach, is a big contributor to my skill set as well as my character. I wish them the best of luck in their future seasons,” Kalinowski added.
Kalinowski said leaving the Jets, the NA3HL and the comfort of his parents home in Commerce Township to move to Espanola and the CIHL “is surreal but a great feeling all in one. I am going to give everything I have to offer to make sure there is success for the Rivermen as well as further developing myself.”
Clarke, the Espanola GM who scouted the Eagles recent NAHL tryout camp in the Soo and focused on Kalinowski on the recommendation of a hockey contact, said he came away impressed with the skill set and work ethic of the veteran NA3HL goalie.
“After being part of a three-goalie rotation with the Metro Jets we feel that Trevor can come to Espanola and have a breakthrough season as a 19-year old starter,” said Clarke.
Clarke, meanwhile, is happy to have the younger Paulette returning to Espanola and becoming the full-time backup to Kalinowski.
“He’s a great kid with a great attitude and we see Keegan as being part of a very-good 1-2 tandem with Trevor,” offered Clarke.
Paulette played in parts of two games with Espanola in 2013-2014 and had a 1.50 goals against average and .952 save percentage.
PHOTO: Goalie Trevor Kalinowski, formerly of the Metro Jets of the NA3HL, now of the Espanola Rivermen of the CIHL, has plenty good to say about his old team. (Photo by Matt Mackinder.)