Pair of rookies vying for final goalie spot
By KATHY GIERER
Special to the Ledger-Enquirer
The Columbus Cottonmouths brought three goaltenders into training camp in preparation for their 10th Southern Professional Hockey League season.
Two weeks and two exhibition games later, the final goalie spot is still up in the air as the Snakes open the season tonight at Pensacola.
Coming off a sensational season, fourth-year pro Andrew Loewen has one slot locked up. Rookies Travis Bosch and Jesse Chenard continue to battle for the other one.
Chenard is on the opening-night roster, but both will get additional playing time
in the season's first couple of weeks to allow coach Jerome Bechard more time to make a final decision.
The Snakes played a home-and-home exhibition series with Knoxville last weekend. On the road last Friday, Bosch gave up three goals and Chenard four. In the rematch at the Columbus Ice Rink the following night, both goalies pitched a shutout.
Loewen, 28, led the SPHL in both save percentage and goals-against average a year ago. His 1.74 GAA and .945 were significantly higher than the goaltender of the year, Riley Gill (2.43, .918). Over his three Snakes seasons, Loewen boasts a 45-29-3 record, which includes four shutouts.
Chenard, 26, hails from Camrose, Alberta, home of former Snakes assistant captain Tim Green. Chenard attended the free agent camp held in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, last summer and received an invitation to training camp.
Chenard played three seasons for Briarcrest College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, and earned a business degree. He compiled a 40-37 record over three seasons for the Clippers.
Bosch, 25, started his collegiate career at Bemidji State and played briefly at St. Norbert's in De Pere, WI. Bosch played 10 games over two seasons. Last year, he posted a 2-0 record, with a 3.61 goals-against average and .840 save percentage.
Bosch is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Bechard's hometown.