Net of the Eagles nest
August 11, 2022
The graduation to the college ranks of 20-year old goalies Gabe Rosek and Ryan Gilmore has left the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League with a combination of fledgling puck stoppers.
Logan Raffaele, a local Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product who was the Eagles third string goalie in 2021-2022, is slated to form a 1-2 net tandem with newcomer Reid Ramsay in 2022-2023.
Raffaele, who has a 2002 birth date, performed well in cameo appearances behind Rosek and Gilmore in ’21-22. The 5-foot-10, 165 pound Raffaele fashioned a record of 3-0-1 with a 1.96 goals against average and .905 save percentage as the Eagles no. 3 goalie in ’21-22. Before joining the Eagles, Raffaele was a standout with the Soo Indians Under 18 AAA program. He also suited up for the Sault High Blue Devils.
As for the 6 foot, 190 pound Ramsay, the 2004 birth year goalie has come up through the ranks of the AAA Fox Motors program out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Notably, he is a son of former minor pro enforcer Bruce Ramsay, who is originally from Dryden, Ontario and played junior hockey in Thunder Bay before going on to a lengthy professional career. The elder Ramsay has since taken to coaching and has had considerable success in the ECHL minor pro ranks.
At any rate, Eagles general manager Bruno Bragagnolo is confident in the abilities of Raffaele and Ramsay as the NOJHL team’s top two goalies following the graduation of Rosek and Gilmore.
“Raffaele more than paid his dues as our no. 3 goalie behind Rosek and Gilmore and deserves the opportunity to have more of a role with us this season. He works hard and is a real competitor.” Bragagnolo told Hockey News North. “As for Ramsay, we really liked what he showed at our recent main tryout camp. We had some other really good goalies at our camp but Ramsay stood out among them.”
Meanwhile, Eagles head coach Doug Laprade seems comfortable with moving ahead with Raffaele and Ramsay as his main goalie tandem. Laprade referred to both as “very athletic and competitive.”
Meanwhile, long-time Eagles goalie coach Bill Vanderleest likes what he has in Raffaele and Ramsay.
“Both are really athletic … both are very competitive and they should push each other to get better,” Vanderleest began. “They both battle hard for every save, are both fundamentally sound and are both great kids. Ramsay reminds me a lot of (graduated former Eagles standout) Shane Brancato and we know how good he was for us. As for Raff, he brings a great work ethic and he knows what our league is all about. I can’t wait for the season to get going.”
Also in the mix as the no. 3 goalie this season is another local product in Caleb Horn. Horn, who practiced with the Eagles in ’21-22 and got into one game as their emergency goalie — and won it — will move up on the depth chart this season as the third stringer behind Raffaele and Ramsay.
“Caleb is a great kid who has been loyal to our program and he deserves to have a spot on our team,” Bragagnolo said of Horn, who has a 2002 birth date. “He gives us depth at the goalie position and he has shown that he can play in our league.”
The Eagles are coming off of a ’21-22 regular season in which they finished in second place in the West Division of the NOJHL with a record of 33-11-4, helped in part by the quality net minding of Rosek and Gilmore. Rosek, who won 16 games during the regular season, has since committed to play at Concordia University, which is a Division 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association school. As Rosek is headed to Concordia, Gilmore, who won 13 regular season games for the Eagles in ’21-22, is off to tend twine at Grand Valley State University, which is a Division 1, American Collegiate Hockey Association school.
What you think about “Net of the Eagles nest”
I am especially excited for Logan and Caleb. It is nice to see two Sault boys doing so well . Looking forward to seeing them in action.