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Beaver Brook’s Babineau answers the call for the UPEI Panthers

UPEI Panthers defenceman Casey Babineau keeps the puck in at the blueline during recent AUS hockey action.
UPEI Panthers defenceman Casey Babineau keeps the puck in at the blueline during recent AUS hockey action.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Head coach Forbes MacPherson could be excused if he wrote No. 5’s name on the lineup sheet before each game without giving it a second thought.

Casey Babineau has dressed for all but one game during his four seasons with the UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team.

“He’s a very intelligent, stay-at-home defenceman, (who competes hard) and has a very high pain threshold,” MacPherson said Tuesday. “He’s just one of those guys who, knock on wood, you can count on every single night, every single week.”

MacPherson said Babineau has been banged up a lot since coming to Charlottetown and joked the trainers have had to piece him together at times like a MASH unit.

But the 24-year-old from Beaver Brook brushed it off, saying he has been fortunate to avoid a major injury and he wouldn’t play if it would be detrimental to his team.

“I don't mind playing with a little pain,” he said, but “there are injuries that will hurt you and hurt the team.”

Babineau is not the flashiest of blue-liners, but his skillset is important to the Panthers lineup.

“He’s a specific type of defenceman,” MacPherson said, “but within the skill set of that defenceman, he’s as good as they come.”

The bench boss wouldn’t call him a riverboat gambler by any means, but said he helps move the puck up ice.

“He passes the puck very well. He’s a very heady player. There’s probably a handful of players in the league that can escape a forecheck like him and actually have a zone exit as smooth as him.”

– – – – – – – –

Panthers recruited Babineau after initial doubts he would be interested

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Casey Babineau wasn’t initially on the UPEI Panthers radar.

The defenceman was playing his final season of junior hockey with the Rimouski Oceanic in 2012-13 as the Panthers were looking for recruits.

“French name, playing in a French city in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, you kind of assume an English-speaking school is not a good fit for him,” head coach Forbes MacPherson admitted.

But as team officials did their due diligence, they found out he was from the Maritimes and former teammates and his general manager in Rimouski gave glowing endorsements of the player and person.

“He has all those qualities that everybody is looking for,” MacPherson said. “He has a very strong character, he competes hard, he plays hard, he plays injured (and) he’s been a captain.”

The personable MacPherson sold Babineau during a visit to campus.

“He said something to me that was different,” Babineau recalled. “ ‘Wouldn’t you want to be a builder of something special?’ ”

Babineau also received a straight-forward idea of what to expect at UPEI from friend Dana Fraser, a Tatamagouche native, who was playing for the Panthers at the time.

Babineau, now an assistant captain with the Panthers, said his goal for the rest of the season is simple: win.

“You can say everything you want, but it comes down to winning, it comes down to results,” he said. “You want to catch stride and give yourself a chance to win, but the end goal is to be in Fredericton and play for a national championship.”

Profile

Casey Babineau

Who – A fourth-year defenceman with the UPEI Panthers.

Personal – Five-foot-11, 192 pounds from Beaver Brook, N.S.

What’s next – Babineau is concentrating on this season and completing his business degree while keeping the doors open for next year.

Season          GP      G         A         Pts.

2016-17         24       1          5          6

2015-16         27       2          4          6

2014-15         28       0          2          2

2013-14         28       0          1          1

Casey Babineau has dressed for all but one game during his four seasons with the UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team.

“He’s a very intelligent, stay-at-home defenceman, (who competes hard) and has a very high pain threshold,” MacPherson said Tuesday. “He’s just one of those guys who, knock on wood, you can count on every single night, every single week.”

MacPherson said Babineau has been banged up a lot since coming to Charlottetown and joked the trainers have had to piece him together at times like a MASH unit.

But the 24-year-old from Beaver Brook brushed it off, saying he has been fortunate to avoid a major injury and he wouldn’t play if it would be detrimental to his team.

“I don't mind playing with a little pain,” he said, but “there are injuries that will hurt you and hurt the team.”

Babineau is not the flashiest of blue-liners, but his skillset is important to the Panthers lineup.

“He’s a specific type of defenceman,” MacPherson said, “but within the skill set of that defenceman, he’s as good as they come.”

The bench boss wouldn’t call him a riverboat gambler by any means, but said he helps move the puck up ice.

“He passes the puck very well. He’s a very heady player. There’s probably a handful of players in the league that can escape a forecheck like him and actually have a zone exit as smooth as him.”

– – – – – – – –

Panthers recruited Babineau after initial doubts he would be interested

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Casey Babineau wasn’t initially on the UPEI Panthers radar.

The defenceman was playing his final season of junior hockey with the Rimouski Oceanic in 2012-13 as the Panthers were looking for recruits.

“French name, playing in a French city in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, you kind of assume an English-speaking school is not a good fit for him,” head coach Forbes MacPherson admitted.

But as team officials did their due diligence, they found out he was from the Maritimes and former teammates and his general manager in Rimouski gave glowing endorsements of the player and person.

“He has all those qualities that everybody is looking for,” MacPherson said. “He has a very strong character, he competes hard, he plays hard, he plays injured (and) he’s been a captain.”

The personable MacPherson sold Babineau during a visit to campus.

“He said something to me that was different,” Babineau recalled. “ ‘Wouldn’t you want to be a builder of something special?’ ”

Babineau also received a straight-forward idea of what to expect at UPEI from friend Dana Fraser, a Tatamagouche native, who was playing for the Panthers at the time.

Babineau, now an assistant captain with the Panthers, said his goal for the rest of the season is simple: win.

“You can say everything you want, but it comes down to winning, it comes down to results,” he said. “You want to catch stride and give yourself a chance to win, but the end goal is to be in Fredericton and play for a national championship.”

Profile

Casey Babineau

Who – A fourth-year defenceman with the UPEI Panthers.

Personal – Five-foot-11, 192 pounds from Beaver Brook, N.S.

What’s next – Babineau is concentrating on this season and completing his business degree while keeping the doors open for next year.

Season          GP      G         A         Pts.

2016-17         24       1          5          6

2015-16         27       2          4          6

2014-15         28       0          2          2

2013-14         28       0          1          1

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