When word surfaced that Colton Point had a legitimate chance to make the Canadian Team for the 2018 World Junior Championships the folks at Bauer Hockey reached out about putting together a special set of pads for the Dallas Stars prospect.
“It was pretty cool, they came to me and asked me what I’d like to do and it was pretty neat how it came out,” Point said.
Point had a solid idea in mind, he wanted to look like one of the best goalies in the world. Or at least he wanted a throwback to one of the best goalies in the world.
When Carey Price led Canada to a gold medal in 2007, he wore iconic all-black pads. Price was the MVP of that tournament and is now one of the best goalies in the world, playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
“I said, ‘Make them look as much like Price’s pads as possible,'” Point said. “And they really took it from there. I think they came out really well.”
Bauer fitted Point with a pair of Bauer Supreme 2S Pro pads with a digital print on the front. They were all black with a subtle maple leaf pattern and the Hockey Canada logo, and alongside from fellow Stars prospect Jake Oettinger — who donned an American flag look — they were some of the best looking pads in the tournament.
“I’d agree with that,” Point said. “They looked pretty great.”
It’s been a pretty great month for Point. He now has a gold medal to go with the sweet-looking pads, and should be in the conversation for the 2018 Hobey Baker Award, given annually to College Hockey’s best player.
Before this season Point was a bit of a mystery prospect for the Stars. He had a strong freshman season at Colgate when he played, but missed most of that campaign with injuries or illness.
He entered his sophomore season as a better version of himself. He learned to take care of himself — eating and sleeping better — and quickly embraced the starter’s role at Colgate.
And that role nearly turned into an opportunity for both the Canadians or Americans. It had been widely reported that Point, a dual citizen, could have represented either country, and both the Canadian and American management groups reached out to the goalie.
It could have been a difficult choice, but Point didn’t actually have a choice, as he explained to The Upset Sports.
“I actually couldn’t have played for the Americans, if I had moved into Colgate a little bit earlier I would have,” Point said. “But I just missed eligibility by 13 or 14 days, something like that. So I could have played for the US if there was more planning ahead of time, but it wasn’t an option with when I came on to their radar. Now that I’ve played for Canada, that’s my country officially (by the IIHF), and I’m proud of that.”
Even thought he served in a back-up role, it was a big moment for Point.
He became just the second NCAA goalie to ever play for the Canadians at the World Junior Championship and in his lone start he posted a 20-save shutout against the Slovakians.
“That was a big experience for me and obviously had a little bit of the jitters before hand,” Point said. “I just went in there and tried to stay calm, and obviously Canada has a great team, so all those guys are willing to put it on the line and I just try to make the easy saves and not give up any bad rebounds and go through it methodically as possible, stay very under control, and obviously it worked out.”
Point also developed a strong relationship with starting goalie and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart.
“We got along really well, he’s a great guy and we roomed together for a bit in the tournament,” Point said. “Great teammate, type of guy that if you ever need anything he’d be willing to do it for you. He’s an amazing goaltender as everyone knows, wonderful guy and a great goalie.”
While Point was a back-up for Canada, he is well entrenched as the starter at Colgate and because of him there is belief the team could reach the NCAA tournament.
In 23 games Point has a .945 save percentage, 1.81 goals against average, and has four shutouts with an 11-8-4 record. On an average night he’s stopping 31 shots per game, and sometimes that work load climbs even higher.
This past weekend Point faced 95 shots in back-to-back games and stopped 93. That includes a 51-save shutout against Harvard on Saturday, a night where Colgate was outshot 51-21.
“He’s an elite-level goaltender and has a bright future, and he’s an unbelievable competitor,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan told USCHO.com after the game. “But he’s a team-first guy; he’ll never look anywhere else but in the mirror.”
That’s a pretty fair assessment of Point, who detracts much of his success to his teammates when talking about his college season.
Even when Point was playing for Team Canada, his Colgate teammates were consistently texting him and several made the drive up to Buffalo to watch the outdoor game against the United States, where Point was backing up.
Oh, and about that outdoor game, Point may have been the coldest person at New Era Field. While the rest of the players were moving or on a heated bench, there wasn’t any room for him and he was sitting by himself on a stool.
“It was extremely cold, the players were lucky, they got the heated bench, but there wasn’t enough room on their for me, so I had to sit out with the docs and trainers, and freeze my butt off, sitting on a stool,” Point said. “I had a pair of mittens on, three heat packs in each, I had the touqe on, double socks, thick base layer, just sitting there. It was pretty cold.”
and the other Stars goalie prospect in Buffalo pic.twitter.com/u0L47qRRKA
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 29, 2017
It was cold, but Point said it was a memory he’ll never forget, especially after Canada won a gold medal a week later.
“I remember after the (outdoor) game I was just standing on a hot pack to get the toes warm again,” Point said. “So it was awesome to be part of that experience. The cold was worth it to be part of it.”
Now back indoors playing for Colgate, Point should get consideration as college hockey’s best goalie, if not it’s best player. His goals against average is fifth in the NCAA, while his save percentage ranks second, and he’s tied for fourth in shutouts.
“I don’t think much about that,” Point said. “I’m just trying to do what’s best for my team.”