There is no denying the impact goaltender Brodie MacDonald has for the Langley Thunder.
“He has been a complete wall out there,” said coach Rod Jensen.
“He gives us a chance to win.”
Wednesday afternoon, MacDonald’s play was recognized as he earned the Western Lacrosse Association’s Leo Nicholson Trophy as the senior A lacrosse league’s top goaltender.
MacDonald was 8-3-2 for the Thunder, who were a league-best 11-5-2 overall, with a 7.51 goals against average and an .821 save percentage. Both numbers led the league.
For his career – this is the 23-year-old’s third season in the league – MacDonald is 21-10-4 with an 8.19 goals against average and an .817 save percentage.
And in 2011, he was also the WLA Rookie of the Year and the league’s playoff MVP that same season.
He said this award ranks right up there with the rookie honour and has been his goal since entering the league.
“I’d like to say it was a surprise (winning the award), but I felt I did my job throughout the year well enough to secure it,” said MacDonald.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, MacDonald’s goaltending heroics weren’t enough to earn them a third straight trip to the Mann Cup.
The Victoria Shamrocks eliminated the Thunder with an 8-3 win in Game 6 of the WLA championship series Thursday night at Bear Mountain Arena.
The Rocks will host the Six Nations Chiefs, winners of Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse, in the Mann Cup final.
MacDonald went 4-4 in the playoffs with a higher save percentage (.848) and the same goals-against average (7.51) as the regular season.
“A big old body,” was how Jensen described his goaltender, whom he called the team’s most valuable player all season long.
And that might be an understatement: MacDonald stands six-foot-seven and weighs 255 pounds. Throw on some equipment and it is no wonder opposing players have a hard time sneaking a shot past him into the four feet by four feet.
MacDonald also has a different style than other goalies, according to Jensen, in that he sits back in his net whereas others tend to come out and challenge the shooters. But there is no arguing with the results.
“I just go out every game with intensity and confidence and my defence and I have a good working relationship,” MacDonald said,
The coach described him as mild-mannered, but there is no mistaking MacDonald’s fire.
“He is passionate and competitive,” Jensen said. “He wants to win.”