Almost every team has a number one goalie but the Essex 73's have two number ones. Cavan McCabe leads the PJHL with a goals against average of 1.01 while Adrian McBride is third with a 1.33 GAA.
"Obviously it's good to have great goaltending but when you have two in your lineup and are just as confident with either one in the net, it makes my job easier to focus on other areas of our game that needs improvement." said head coach Jamie McDermott.
McCabe is 11-0 with four shutouts and his .958 save percentage is also tops in the PJHL. "I just played Essex (minor) my whole life. Nobody ever kept track of the stats and stuff so seeing this for the first time is pretty cool and my name happens to be up there."
The 18-year old played one game for Essex last season after being cut during training camp. He returned in August for another shot and was ready to walk away from the game if he didn't make it.
"I'm so happy I made it. I remember, I was with Luke Sherk and Kyle Bleau, who was on the team, they're my childhood buddies. I got out of the room and they gave me the biggest hugs ever and I'll never forget that moment.
Together with McBride they are the top tandem in the league. McBride is 16-1-1 with a .943 save percentage and five shutouts this season. As a rookie last year he had three goalie partners including overager Jakob Knowles who saw the bulk of the crease after joining the 73's before Christmas.
"He was great. He had so much experience. I learned a lot from him." said McBride, who feels his time with Knowles prepared him for this season. "Made my job going into this year a little easier just knowing a few more tips."
Both goalies credit the team they have in front of them for their success. The 73's have only allowed 35 goals against in 29 games and their top scorer Joel Archer (32 points in 28 games) is 66th in the league.
"We play as a unit." said McBride. "We've been winning so much that everybody's bought in."
It's natural for goalies to want to get the bulk of the playing time and be the #1 guy but McBride and McCabe are more than happy to give Essex an embarrassment of riches between the pipes.
"We're definitely lucky to have them both and they'll be a big piece in our push down the stretch run." said McDermott.
The 73's host Dresden Tuesday before heading out on their yearly boat cruise later this week. The team trip to the Bahamas will be the first time for most of the players. Essex then heads to Wallaceburg in their first game back Wednesday, January 25th.