For the win in Windsor


Andrew Engelage was never considered a phenom, highly touted or even a hot prospect.


Andrew Engelage was never considered a phenom, highly touted or even a hot prospect.

In fact, in his first year of OHL draft eligibility, the goaltender was never considered. Period.

The Windsor Spitfires took a flier on him the following year in the 13th round, 246th overall.

Not exactly enough to make the local paper.

"I never really thought that the OHL was a possibility until maybe my first draft year," said the Oshawa native. "That's when I realized I might have been good enough, but to not get drafted was disappointing. But I was just going to keep playing and it worked out the next year."

Tonight, Engelage has the chance to write his name in the OHL record books as he looks to break the league's goaltending record for single-season victories. The 20-year-old is tied for the record – 45 wins – with former London Knights netminder Steve Mason.

And with Mason currently making his case for the NHL's Calder Trophy as top rookie with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Engelage knows he's in good company.

"I don't know him personally, but it's pretty incredible to say that I'm tied with him right now," said Engelage. "Seeing what he's doing in the NHL, he's having a spectacular season."

Engelage is having a pretty good run himself with a 45-4-0-1 record, 2.38 goals-against average and .914 save percentage with Windsor, the top-ranked team in the country.

"It'll be gratifying and I'll be pretty happy when it happens," said Engelage of breaking the record. "But at the same time I don't want to get too caught up with this record in the regular season. I'd rather make sure we have a strong playoff run and try to win it all in the OHL."

He's quick to play down his personal success, instead praising his teammates' attention to detail and defence. He's even thankful for the trade-deadline arrival of goalie Josh Unice from the Kitchener Rangers, allowing Engelage to take the occasional day's rest.

"It's been nice to have Josh come in and allow me to catch a break here and there," said Engelage, who also has five shutouts this season. "I've really enjoyed it. You can't complain when we've been winning so many games, especially with the guys playing so well in front of me."

Passed over in the NHL draft, he's attended tryout camps with the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders, but no contracts were offered.

Engelage is hoping an impressive season this year might translate into another NHL shot.

RAGING BULL: Belleville Bulls top scorer Eric Tangradi has been suspended indefinitely by the league after throwing a water bottle in the direction of an on-ice official late in last Friday's game in Oshawa. Tangradi was issued a 10-minute misconduct and a double game misconduct during the 3-2 Bulls victory.

Your voice