Ex-Bandit fills Oilers’ net-minding needs
Hockey: Devon Fonydce acquired from Surrey Eagles
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 02, 2014 11:08 am
The Okotoks Oilers are no longer goalie-less.
Okotoks’ Jr. A squad acquired former Brooks Bandit goalie Devon Fordyce from the Surrey Eagles on June 25.
“He is a big body which is a little bit different than what we have had in the past with Jared D’Amico,” said Oilers GM/coach James Poole. “He’s a goaltender who uses his size to his advantage.”
Acquiring an experienced goalie was at the top of the Oilers’ to-do list after D’Amico, who has been an AJHL goalie-of–the-year nominee the past two seasons, opted to attend the University of Alaska-Anchorage this fall. D’Amico’s backup, Keelan Williams, was sent to the Camrose Kodiaks as part of a future considerations deal two weeks ago.
“Devon has some WHL and Junior experience and with a team next year with a lot of turnover (the Oilers), having a quality goalie with some experience will help settle things down early when we aren’t always on the same page yet,” Poole said.
Oilers fans may recognize Fordyce. He was the backup goalie for the Brooks Bandits in 2012-13, a team that won the RBC Cup — after being stretched to seven games by the Oilers in the AJHL South final.
Fordyce, a Cochrane native, is glad to be coming back to the wild rose province.
“Surrey was interesting, being by the ocean and no snow, but it is nice to be closer to home,” the 20-year-old Fordyce said. “From what I have seen in the past the Oilers have always been a contender, nice facilities and I have heard good things about them through guys I know who have played there.
“So, I am very excited.”
He’s looking forward to coming into camp penciled in as the no. 1 goalie.
“The past few seasons that is what I have been striving to get to and to finally have a season going in as ‘that guy’ it is going to push me to have a good season,” he said.
Fordyce started the 2013-14 season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL before going to Surrey of the BCJHL in October.
The six-foot, 195-pound Fordyce posted a .907 saves percentage, a 2.97 goals against average and had an 11-7-1 record with the Eagles who lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Fordyce describes himself as an athletic goalie.
“I try to be as mobile as I can — I’m not quite as technical as some guys,” said Fordyce, a former goalie with the UFA Midget AAA Bisons. “I like to handle the puck a lot with a lot of communication with the guys out there.”
He said his RBC championship run with the Brooks Bandits will pay dividends coming into a young Oilers squad.
“It was one the best times I have ever had in hockey,” Fordyce said. “Looking back, I realize how hard guys had to push and work as a team. It’s all a big group effort and that’s what it takes to get to someplace like that.”