by Tony Saxon, Guelph Today
It can be difficult learning to play in the Ontario Hockey League when you’re a rookie. It can be even harder when you’re not playing.
Guelph Storm backup goaltender Nico Daws started just his second game of the season Saturday night, earning his first career victory with a 43-save performance in a huge 4-2 win over the Owen Sound Attack.
The 17-year-old Burlington native’s only other start came almost a month ago, a shootout loss in Erie. He got some relief work a week ago in Kitchener.
“That feels really good. Very relieving,” said a beaming Daws, whose parents were in the stands to see their son’s first win.
“It’s so relieving, get that monkey off my back,” he said.
Daws said the lack of action doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be ready when the call finally comes.
“You just have to be mentally prepared for every game and physically prepared. You’ve always got to be ready and hope you get the call. If you don’t, you should still be ready,” said Daws, who found out he would be getting the start Saturday morning.
Daws played big and controlled all night. He kept the angles tight and didn’t let the heavy traffic in front distract him.
“Get in front of the puck and don’t worry about anything else,” he said.
Daws had plenty of help Saturday as the entire Storm team deserved a pat on the back for this one.
Givani Smith looked like the Givani Smith of old, picking up a goal and an assist and generally getting in the Attack’s face all night.