By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – As the Minotauros seventh season draws near it is time to start meeting the players who hope to head to the NAHL Showcase after training camp. Camp opened September 3rd and the pre-season closes Sunday against the Fargo Force at the Maysa Arena at 3:00 p.m., tickets are free for Sunday’s scrimmage. We continue meeting the team with rookie goalie Jack Robbel.
Robbel will be the smallest goaltender in Tauros history standing just 5’8” and 175 lbs., but his resume is certainly not lacking in stature. The 1999 birth-year goaltender comes to Minot after three seasons at the fabled Shattuck St. Mary’s program. His play there has already earned him an NCAA Division I commitment from Lake Superior State University. While at Shattuck Robbel posted goals against averages of 2.17, 1.55, and 2.27 over the last three seasons respectively to go with save percentages of .924, .938, and .920.
As one might expect of a goaltender who lacks the size typically associated with the position Robbel says he has a noticeably different style of play; “[It] is a bit unorthodox. Standing at only 5’8” has really challenged me to do whatever I can to keep the puck out of the net. Coming out an extra foot on top of my crease and trusting my skating ability has really helped me as I’ve made the transition to junior hockey.” Robbel then explained that another way he can keep the puck out of the net is to keep it away from the other team entirely, “another aspect of my game that has set me aside from others would be my ability to play the puck. Getting the puck up the ice, almost acting as a 3rd defenseman, has always been a skill I’ve tried to incorporate in my game.”
That skill was not lost on Tauros Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray who noted, “Jack plays the puck extremely well, it’s almost like having another d-man on the ice. He is also communicates well with his d-men going back for pucks which has become a lost art for the most part.” Another aspect of Robbel’s game that Murray likes is the way he battles adding, “Jack is small in stature but he competes very hard in between the pipes.”
Tauros Assistant Coach Wyatt Waselenchuk who coaches the goaltenders agreed with Murray on Robbel’s never-say-die attitude, “His quickness and footwork is fantastic and what he gives up with his lack of size, he will make up for with his strong positioning and his ability to never give up on pucks”
Tauro fans got their first look at Robbel last Saturday night when he stopped every shot he saw from the Bismarck Bobcats playing the first 31 minutes of Saturday’s preseason opener.
Come back tomorrow when we will catch up with veteran defenseman Nolan Sawchuk. Do not miss your chance to see Robbel and all of the Tauros in game action for Sunday afternoon at 3:00 at the Maysa Arena when the Fargo Force come to Minot to close the pre-season. Tickets will be FREE at the door!