Beyond the Playbook: Proctor’s AJ Reyelts’ goaltending a luxury for the Rails
The Proctor boy’s hockey team is allowing less than 2.5 goals per game.
Those numbers don’t come as a coincidence, as the Rails have tied down a sensational talent between the pipes.
“You become a little bit spoiled, having him come up in our program and you know, night in and night out, he’s just a competitor,” said Jeff Laspi, Proctor’s head coach.
This season, AJ Reyelts has been the personification of a brick wall.
Reyelts’ .953 save percentage ranks first in the state, and his goals against average at just over 1.5 ranks 6th. A knee injury sidelined the goaltender for some time, but Reyelts came back even better, and with an attitude to reflect that.
“It’s not that it was a good thing that it happened, but there’s good things out of every negative and that’s kind of my mindset going through it and recovery,” said Reyelts. “It’s all going to end up being fine and a good break, a good reset.”
That reset has proven to be the difference , as Reyelts’ play between the pipes for the Rails has been nothing short of spectacular.
“He communicates very well on the ice and kind of gives you pointers on the play,” said Carson Pavlowich, a senior defenseman. “After the play, too, after the whistles. Obviously, AJ’s a big part of our program and it’s great to play in front of him. It makes it a little easier on everyone, so it gives us a little confidence up front knowing if they make a mistake he can save us.”
While the defense is complimentary of Reyelts’ play, he’s thankful for his guys up front too.
“All of my team and all the forwards blocking shots, it’s great. They put their body on the line every night and it’s just so fun playing with them,” said Reyelts.
Head coach Jeff Laspi has seen the Reyelts show front row this season, and held high praise for the net minder.
“The leadership part is the biggest thing besides being a tremendous athlete and goalie, and you know, watching him through the youth ranks and to what he is developing into now, I mean, the hard work he puts in on and off the ice. It’s truly amazing, and that’s why he’s in this spot.”
The Lindenwood commit has always wanted to be a goalie, stemming from his childhood, and now that dream is finally paying off.
“I mean, my brother honestly used to shoot balls and pucks at me when I was little just to kind of got me started with it,” said Reyelts. “Just kind of wanting to be a game changer and a leader back there. I like to compare it to being a quarterback, so that’s why I gravitated towards becoming a goalie.”
The decision seems to be paying off greatly for not only Reyelts, but Proctor as a whole.