Pgge 10-Thursday, February 11, 1982-The Michigan Daily
ELLIOTT SHOOTING FOR PROS
Goalie's dream saves
By MARTHA CRALL
Jon Elliott is fulfilling the Canadian dream.
Canadian boys start playing hockey early in life,
Work their way up through the numerous leagues,
and perhaps go to college if they are lucky enough to
get that far without being drafted or weeded out. All
the while, they dream of one day playing in the pros.
THE FRESHMAN Wolverine goalie is in the midst
of such a chronology and right on schedule in his
quest to become a professional hockey player.
And Michigan is benefitting from the deal in the
form of securing a very solid goalie during a season
in which the loss of three veteran netminders made
goal the team's most vulnerable position.
Elliott currently ranks third among the Central
Collegiate Hockey Association's (CCHA) goaltenders
with a 3.08 goals-against average and a .902 save per-
centage. He sports a 7-5-4 record with over 1000
minutes of playing time, almost twice as much as his
senior counterpart, Peter Mason.
"HE HAS PLAYED well lately," said head coach
John Giordano. "He is a good stand-up goalie who lets
the puck hit him; he gets in front of the puck. He has
the potential to be more effective than (last year's
goalie, All-American Paul) Fricker."
Is Giordano surprised by the freshman? "No," he
said. "We knew all about Jon Elliott from day one. He
has a good attitude and works very hard."
Day one, as far as Michigan is concerned, was two
years ago when former assistant coach Don Boyd
came to see him play while he was with Prescott
(Ont.) in the juniors.
THEN LAST season was a big success; Elliott's
best, in his opinion. The 6-1, 175pounder played for
the Rockland Ramparts and his accomplishments
drew offers from Ohio State, Colgate, and Michigan,
as well as interest from many other schools.
"I chose Michigan for two reasons," said Elliott. "I
liked Giordano; I respected his hard-work ethic. And
academic-wise, Michigan is good. It is well-known in
Elliott began his career on ice when he was six-
years old, and unlike most goalies, who are converted
forwards or defensemen, his place was between the
pipes from the outset.
"THEY SHOWED Montreal Canadiens games all
the time on Hockey Night in Canada," Elliott said.
"And their goalie, Gump Worsley, was my first idol. I
wanted to be just like him.",
In later years the St. Thomas, Ont. native modeled
himself after another Canadien great, Ken Dryden,
whoag Elliott also watched a lot.
)Elliott displays tremendous poise for a twenty-
year-old and cites it as one of his strengths. "I have
confidence in my angles," he said. "I'm not afraid of
the puck. I'd like to be quicker with my feet and
moving around the net, though."a
LIKE MOST players, especially goalies, who have
the reputation of being a breed of their own, Elliott
has a game-day ritual.
"I get very excited, hyperactive on the day of a
game," he said. "I joke around a lot during the day.
Then late I listen to mellow music to settle down.
"Paul (Kobylarz, his roommate) and I come to the
rink together and walk around. When I get up to the
lockerroom I am quiet. And once I hit the ice I only
think about the game."
HE ADMITS HE is nervous, but he has a habit that
helps calm him down. "I do this thing where I hit my
pads then the post then my pads again, back and for-
th, with my stick," Elliott said. "It's just a habit I
have. Like (Cincinnati Red) Joe Morgan does with
Elliott has been Michigan's nominee for CCHA
player-of-the-week honors twice this year, once for
last weekend's performance against Michigan Tech,
over which he has had tremendous success.
The Wolverines, behind Elliott's goaltending,
swept Tech, 5-4 and 3-2 in overtime. "I let in some
easy shots on Friday," he said. "And the forwards
made up for me. And on Saturday, I kind of made up
for the forwards, since they scored only three goals."
Those two victories coupled with two Wolverine wins
against the Huskies in October, one a 3-0 shutout,
enabled Michigan to sweep that season series for the
first time since the 1955-56 season.
With such success so far, some are already afraid
Elliott will defect early and follow Fricker into the
pro ranks. But he doesn't plan on it just now.
"Anybody would go if the money was right," he said.
"I'm the same way. But I would like to stay four
years and get the education because all your dreams
can end in a single moment."
But for now, Elliott's dream is alive and well, and if
he continues, one boy's Canadian dream may come
Daily Photo by MIKE LUCAS
MICHIGAN GOALIE Jon Elliott makes a save-in a game against Michigan
State in Detroit last December. The Wolverines and Spartans tied in the con-