The puck stops here:

As the Muskies prepare this week for the whirlwind ride they call the all-Ontarios starting next Wednesday in Dryden, a big part of their success will rest on the skates of a pair of rookie goalies.
Most successful high school teams usually have a veteran OAC goalie leading them to the provincials but this year’s edition of the black-and-gold captured NorWOSSA goal with a pair of first-year netminders.
And they’re hoping that move pays off.
So far it has. Both goalies head into the all-Ontarios with tremendous statistics.
Blake Carlson, 16, a product of the local Bantam ‘AA’ b•macs, boasts a 12-2 record and an equally impressive 2.33 goals against average.
His counterpart, Jamie Booth, a 17-year-old who spent the first part of the season playing in the Midget house league here before joining the Muskies just after Christmas, has compiled a 6-2-1 record (including one shutout) and a 2.45 GAA.
A late cut by the Muskies in training camp, Booth rejoined the team after veteran goalie Mike Glueheisen was lost for the remainder of the season. He started four of their five playoff games, including all three in the NorWOSSA final against Dryden.
He said his season has made quite a turnaround since being called up.
“I thought I had a pretty good tournament in Warroad [and] I thought I was one of the better [goalies],” Booth said of his appearances in the pre-season tournament.
“But it’s worked out better. I had lots of shots and a lot of fun [playing Midget],” added Booth, who also played with the b•macs last season. “It’s been weird going from number three to number one.”
Booth admitted he’s benefited from the fact the Muskies have the ability to score a barrage of goals–evident by their league-leading 110 goals in just 16 games.
“If you let in four goals in a period, you don’t get down because you know your team can come back from anything,” he noted.
Carlson had the bulk of action during the regular season although he almost seems like the forgotten man so far in the playoffs. But the technically-sound goalie said he’ll be ready if–and when–he’s called upon at the all-Ontarios.
“I take it all in stride and I’ll do the best when I can,” said Carlson in the stands just before practice last Thursday. “I hope I get a chance to play, and hopefully I can get a start and show them I have the stuff to take the number-one job.”
Muskie head coach Glen Edwards said he likes both goalies even though they have different styles. Booth is more of a butterfly goalie, which means he spends a lot of time low to the ice, helping him on breakaways against high school players who typically have trouble putting the puck upstairs in one-on-one situations.
“I’ve never liked to stand up,” said Booth of his style of play. “I feel more comfortable going down. The main problem [I have] is getting a chance to see with our defencemen moving guys out in front.”
Carlson, on the other hand, is your typical stand-up, play-the-angles netminder. But while both styles differ, the results are the same–they keep the puck out of the net.
“They both stop the puck very well,” said Edwards. “The pressure doesn’t seem to bother them that much. They really aren’t playing like rookies.”
That confidence has helped both make the often difficult transition from Bantam ‘AA’ hockey to the much-faster high school level.
“[Mr. Edwards] has little specific ways of giving the guys confidence,” said Carlson.
And the two are quick to help each other out with tips either during practice or before a big game.
“We’re pretty good friends and we help each other out,” said Booth. “When I start, Carlson is great in helping me with what to do while I’m a little bit shy so I don’t say much.”
But the big question is how will these two young goalies handle the pressure of playing at the all-Ontarios? If you ask them, it’s like what pressure?
“I’m not really nervous. I’m just going to treat it like a tournament and I usually do not too bad in tournaments,” said Booth. “When I play [well], I get lots of confidence and I play even better next game.”
And with possibly playing seven games in just four days, the Muskies will be hoping they get the same top-notch goaltending they’ve had all season.
If they do, this team has a good shot of finishing in the medal round–and possibly winning their first all-Ontario crown since striking gold here in 1989.