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Local goaltender makes national deaf team


BROOKFIELD, N.S. – Brent Walters was contacted Dec. 1 by Don McKee, coach of the Canadian National Deaf Hockey Team.

It was very good news – Walters had been named to the 23-player roster and will play in the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., April 19-29.

“I found it really exciting to be named to the team,” Walters, 17, of Brookfield, said. “I’ve always tried to work hard as a goaltender, it’s definitely a positive thing – I’m looking forward to the experience. At this point, I’m waiting for more details.”

Walters, in his second season with the midget AA Truro Bearcats, is in his first year playing under veteran coach Sandy Murdock.

“I am very happy for Brent,” Murdock said. “He’s a kid who works very hard; he deserves an opportunity like this, it’ll be great exposure for this young goaltender. Right from day one of our tryouts this year, we knew Brent was a terrific goaltender. His mechanics need very little work, his eye-hand coordination is exceptional, Brent sees the puck very well.

It was very good news – Walters had been named to the 23-player roster and will play in the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., April 19-29.

“I found it really exciting to be named to the team,” Walters, 17, of Brookfield, said. “I’ve always tried to work hard as a goaltender, it’s definitely a positive thing – I’m looking forward to the experience. At this point, I’m waiting for more details.”

Walters, in his second season with the midget AA Truro Bearcats, is in his first year playing under veteran coach Sandy Murdock.

“I am very happy for Brent,” Murdock said. “He’s a kid who works very hard; he deserves an opportunity like this, it’ll be great exposure for this young goaltender. Right from day one of our tryouts this year, we knew Brent was a terrific goaltender. His mechanics need very little work, his eye-hand coordination is exceptional, Brent sees the puck very well.

A friendly competition between brothers Brent Walters, the goaltender, and Glen-Ryan Walters.

“As for attitude, Brent is truly one of the nicest kids I ever coached. He’s a returning championship midget AA goaltender and he’s a true leader with our team. Brent is a real competitor and the way he always works so hard, he’s a great example for our younger players.”

Walters, a good-sized goaltender at five-foot-11, 150 pounds, explained the ages of players playing in the world championships in Buffalo will run from 16 to 25.

The exceptional athlete also shared regarding his passion for net-minding.

“It’s something I really enjoy doing. I find it really fun being a goaltender. I’ve been stopping pucks for about 10 years now. I really enjoy trying to stop the shooters – to make a save and to help our team, there’s nothing like it. I’m just thankful if anyone notices. My outlook is I try to stay calm as a goaltender and I keep telling myself to be set and to be ready for the next shot.”

It was about 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at the sportsplex in Brookfield and two determined hockey players were quite involved in some friendly on-ice competition.

The one in goaltending gear was Walters, the other who resembled a puck-shooting machine, was his older brother Glen-Ryan, a first year student at Saint Mary’s University. Following their approximate 35-minute workout, we talked.

“I just got home yesterday for the Christmas break,” Glen-Ryan, 18, said. “Brent and I love playing hockey together whenever the opportunity comes up. We’ve always got along well together, we’ve spent many hours over the years in friendly competition. We also played together for three seasons in minor hockey. There has always been lots of hockey for Brent and I to talk about and compare notes on.

“For sure I’m one of Brent’s biggest fans, I always want to be supportive. It’s a huge step Brent getting to play for this Canadian National Deaf Hockey Team against players from all over the world. I’m really excited for Brent, this is going to be a great opportunity, it will be good exposure.”

Added Brent:

 “We’re hoping to get on the ice together with a few of our friends a few times while Glen-Ryan is home for a break from university. He’s not bad around the net but mostly, I feel I can stop him. We’ve had an awful lot of fun over the years competing against each other.”

With Truro holding down sixth place in the nine-team Central Minor Hockey Federation, Brent is rated one of the circuit’s top midget goaltenders. For the past two seasons he attended training camp with Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets. An affiliate player with Weeks, Brent played two games last season in the higher calibre major midget league while being backup goaltender for Pictou County in six games.

Glen-Ryan is a centre with Metro Jaguars of the Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League. The Jaguars, who play their home games in the Saint Mary’s Alumni Arena, hold down second place, trailing only Avon River Rats in the six-team league.

Brent and Glen-Ryan are both products of the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association.

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.

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