Winnipeg Jets netminder Chris Mason was out of town today to be with his wife for the birth of their child, putting the Jets in need of a goaltender for practice. Currently, there are only two goalies on the Jets roster, and anyone who has grown up playing minor hockey knows that having two goalies for practice is essential–paging Mr. Sieve.
In need of a goalie, Assistant GM and Director of Hockey Operations Craig Heisinger put out the call to Manitoba Bisons goalie Joe Caligiuri (brother of Jets Communications Coordinator Christina Caligiuri) to be the team’s second goaltender for practice today at MTS Centre.
While every young Canadian boy’s dream is to play in the NHL, Caliguiri was greatful for the opportunity, stating that the experience was “a lot of fun”.
The Bisons’ puck stopper was recently the recipient of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) “Athlete of the Week” after posting consecutive 2-0 shutouts against the Calgary Dinos.
Naturally, when stepping up to the professional level Caliguiri noted a few differences from his peers in the CIS
“Biggest thing is their releases, obviously their shots are harder but they get it off way quicker. You have to be ready at all times. A couple times out there they completely caught me by surprise shooting the puck. (Another difference is) the size of the players, with traffic in front of the net, everyone is 6″2 to 6″5, it’s tough to see through bodies.”
“Obviously if you’re in there long enough, a few are going to hit you,” said the modest backstop.
Chris Mason is expected to be back with the team on the team’s upcoming road trip to Chicago and Phoenix.
Mason’s dreams will come true with another member joining his family; in the meantime, however, his circumstances have made another boy’s dream come true.