Guhle the Goalie's got natural talent
By Greg Harder, The Leader-Post August 27, 2009 10:59 AM
There's not much separating the four goaltenders fighting for two jobs with the WHL's Regina Pats, but Dawson Guhle has at least one thing that sets him apart.
A cool nickname.
The 17-year-old puckstopper is affectionately known as 'Guhle the Goalie' -- not to be confused with Olie the Goalie, a handle owned by long-time NHL netminder Olaf Kolzig. Guhle's version of the moniker has followed him around for as long as he can remember.
"I've heard 'Guhle the Goalie' many times," he said with a laugh. "At the (Alberta midget AAA) all-star game last year, a guy I didn't even know was like 'Guhle. Guhle the Goalie. Bet you haven't heard that one before.' I'm like, 'Yeah, I've heard it a few times.' Pretty much every team I play on I end up getting that nickname. But it's fine with me."
Nickname or no nickname, Guhle has come to the Pats as advertised, adding to an already hot competition between veteran starter Linden Rowat, returning backup Damien Ketlo and fellow top prospect Derek Tendler.
Guhle has had a strong camp and appeared to help his cause during Tuesday's Blue & White intrasquad game, stopping 17 of 19 shots in 30 minutes of work. In fact, head coach Curtis Hunt singled him out after the game for weathering an early storm that propelled Team Blue to a 6-4 victory.
"It has been going really well; I'm feeling pretty confident out there," said Guhle, a finalist for top-goalie honours in the Alberta midget AAA ranks last season after posting a 2.02 GAA. "I didn't feel too much pressure (coming into camp). I wasn't drafted or anything, so I feel a little bit like an underdog. You just come in and do your thing and hopefully impress them. Usually if you're loose and feeling good, you play better."
Guhle has impressed the Pats with his poise and calm demeanor -- as well as his performance.
"The more you watch him and the longer he has been here the better he seems to be getting," said GM Brent Parker. "He has soooo much upside, so much untapped potential. He hasn't had a lot of coaching (as a goalie). What he has accomplished to this point has really just been on athleticism and God-given talent."
It's serving him pretty well so far.
"He has been as good as anybody (in camp)," added Parker. "I think all the goaltenders have performed quite well. From the outside, people would have looked at (Guhle) as a long-shot. From our standpoint, we knew what he was capable of and feel he has as good a chance as anybody to win one of those two jobs. He has shown us nothing to indicate he's going to take a step back at any point in time. We really think the sky is the limit for him."
Guhle hasn't yet made a full commitment to the Pats, but they're optimistic -- and very hopeful -- that he'll do so in time to see action this weekend at a pre-season tournament in Edmonton. The seven-game exhibition season will likely determine which goalies stay and which ones go.
"You just have to go out there and do your thing; don't put too much pressure on yourself," added Guhle. "At the end of the day it's not your decision. You have to go out there and do your best and prove to them you can play on the team. All of them are great goalies and it's a great competition. At this level you have to expect that competition."
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