Goalie Joel Laing
Because of his stellar play between the pipes this season, the names of former goalie greats such as Bobby Fox '55, Don Cutts '74, Daren Puppa '85, and Neil Little '94 are being mentioned more frequently around the Houston Field House.
When Laing joined the Engineers, he was expected to be a solid goaltender in a two-goalie system. He and classmate Scott Prekaski alternated starts through their first two years. However, after beginning this season in another platoon situation, Laing seemingly put a stranglehold on the starting job in the championship game of Rensselaer's Marine Midland Bank Holiday Tournament. Against Minnesota-Duluth, Laing earned MVP honors by stopping 50 of 51 shots in the 4-1 win. That was only the beginning of an unbelievable stretch in which he posted four shutouts in six games and allowed just three goals in seven contests. (Fox holds the school record for shutouts in a season with five.)
During his shutout streak, Laing came within 94 seconds of breaking the ECAC record for consecutive scoreless minutes and was named ECAC/ Heaton Goaltender of the Week three times straight.
On Jan. 26 the U.S. College Hockey Online Poll ranked the team eighth in the nation, while the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine list placed the team ninth. Division I coaches and journalists make up the vote in each poll.
At presstime (Feb. 22), Laing, who earned a 4.0 GPA this fall, had stopped an impressive 92 percent of shots faced, allowing an average 2.70 goals per game. The team is currently 18-9-1 overall, and 11-6-1 in the ECAC.
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