The Flyers Wayne Savage

Updated: December 15, 2014

There is no denying that the Gander Flyers were struggling to compete in the Central West Senior Hockey League.  They had flashes of the team they could be when they beat the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts at home to start the season but they were anything but consistent despite having some young talent in the lineup.

Things changed when they acquired an import goalie named Wayne Savage.  He was rumoured to be big in size with talent to boot.  Some people in the behind-the-scene conversations said he was better than the Caribous Jason Churchill, a sentiment that drew many chuckles considering the many hockey accomplishments of Churchill.

In his opening game debut against the Corner Brook Royals, Savage was easy to identify on the ice.  Even though he is listed at standing 6’ tall and weighing 196 pounds, he looked bigger on the ice and between the pipes.  During the warm-up he stared intently at the Royals during their warm-up, sizing up angles and tendencies of his opponents.

During the game, the Royals outshot the Flyers 37-27 and even though the Gander squad lost the game 3-2, it was obvious that this new goaltender was the real deal as he made several key saves to keep his team in the game.

During the second game, the Royals threw everything they had at Savage, blasting 54 shots at him as the Royals outshot the Gander Flyers 54-30.  Savage again stood tall and helped his team to a 5-4 win over the first place team.

It was an impressive start to Wayne Savage’s Central West Newfoundland Senior Hockey League career.

There were still some skeptics questioning whether Savage could continue to play at the level he demonstrated against the Royals.  He answered those skeptics this past weekend and was one of the main reasons that the Gander Flyers swept the Clarenville Caribous.

The Caribous outshot the Flyers in both games but those in attendance indicated the difference reflected in the score sheet showed just how good Wayne Savage played as he improved his record to 3-1 in his first four games with the Flyers.

What is impressive with Savage’s play is that his team was outshot in each of the four games.  He finds a way to stop the puck and has shown great lateral movement in the net.  His performance is reflected in his statistics where he boasts a save percentage of 0.935 – the best in the league at the moment.  He also boasts a 2.762 goals against average, best in the league for any goalie who has logged more than 200 minutes of game play and just ahead of the Royals Bryan Gillis who sits with a 2.867 GAA.

Even though Savage has only 4 games under his belt in the CWSHL, if he continues to play like he has while getting scoring support in front of him, look for the Gander Flyers to improve post-Christmas.  One thing is certain, things are definitely going to get interesting in the league with the run to the Herder about to commence.

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