Ritcey’s been here before

Katie Brickman
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Star goaltender with Macs playing in second Telus Cup

Justin Ritcey knows a little something about pressure.

Justin Ritcey of the Halifax McDonald's make a save against the Moose Jaw Generals on Monday evening at Mosaic Place during Telus Cup.

He was the star for the Halifax McDonald’s after facing 40 shots by the Moose Jaw Generals on Monday night and was definitely the difference maker in a 2-2 tie between the teams at the Telus Cup.

“A little bit (tired) … a lot of shots, but it was all good,” said Ritcey still in his gear after the game.

The Macs had a two-goal lead heading into the third period, but the Generals held Halifax to just one shot in the final frame, resulting in two goals and earning a point in the standings.

“I think we had a little bit of confidence in the room, but you can’t be too confident with a two goal lead because that is the worst lead in hockey. As you saw, they scored two quick ones that changed the momentum,” said Ritcey. “Next time, we should be more confident and focused in the room so we can come out better in the third.”

This isn’t the first time that Ritcey has played with this much pressure on his shoulders either. Last year, he was between the creases for the Valley Wildcats at the Telus Cup in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

“I knew more than the guys in the room about what to expect coming out against the host team,” said Ritcey. “They have the crowd on their side, so it helped that we had a goal there early and quieted the crowd so they didn’t get any momentum.”

Although the Wildcats went winless at the tournament last year, it was a great learning experience for 17-year-old.

“It helped me out a lot. I knew what to expect coming in, so I didn’t have too many nerves. I had a few of course, but the boys played pretty good in the first period and I helped them out,” said Ritcey. “Last year, I didn’t have my best tournament, so I wanted to come out this year and make a statement because last year wasn’t my greatest.”

Ritcey went 15-3 this season for the Macs, where he posted a 2.31 goals against average with one shutout.

The Macs will take the point, but now turn their focus to the Toronto Young Nationals team. Both teams will be looking for their first victory of the tournament this afternoon (4 p.m., Mosaic Place).

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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