Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has solidified its goalie tandem ahead of the looming 2021-2022 season.
The Crunch has added incoming goalie Ben DiGiallonardo by way of the Brantford Bandits of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
A 2003 birth year product who has previously tended twine for the under 15 Burlington Eagles, the under 16 Brantford 99ers and the under 18 Oakville Rangers, DiGiallonardo will join 2001 birth year net minder Michael Nickolau in the Cochrane crease.
Nickolau was a huge presence in the net for the Crunch during the abbreviated 2020-2021 NOJHL season.
As a first year goalie in the NOJHL, the 6-foot-4, 200 pound Nickolau faced a barrage of shots for Cochrane, which managed to win just four of 21 games.
And not only did Nickolau win all of Cochrane’s games in posting a 4-10-1 record with an .898 save percentage and 4.79 goals against average, he did so while facing a whopping 683 shots in 914 minutes of action.
Do the arithmetic and Nickolau faced an average of 46 shots per 60 minutes of action — which makes his save percentage all the more impressive and noteworthy.