Updated: April 17, 2013 at 12:00 am
Incoming Colorado College goalie Tyler Marble blossomed after a couple of years taking his lumps in junior hockey.
“I played against guys who were three or four years older and that really paid off the past two seasons,” Marble said after signing with the Tigers on Wednesday. “It’s all come together for me now.”
The results back that up.
CC's only new signee is a big reason why Sault Ste. Marie leads its best-of-five playoff series against Port Huron, 2-0, thanks to Marble’s 1.50 goals-against mark and an eye-grabbing .953 saves percentage.
The Detroit native finished the North American Hockey League regular season for the Michigan-based division champs with a 30-9-3 record, including a league-leading .938 saves percentage, and 2.39 goals-against mark in 2,410 minutes. His five shutouts are tied for second in the NAHL.
“I am fortunate to be playing for a good team,” he said.
Those impressive numbers follow a strong 2011-12 season split between Humboldt in Saskatchewan (2-4, 2.96 goals, .884 saves) and Wellington, Ontario (14-4-1, 2.33 goals, .929 saves).
Marble’s growing pains were evident in two seasons with NAHL Traverse City with a sub-90 saves percentage.
This fall, the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder should contend for the starting job with Joe Howe graduating and Josh Thorimbert coming off a tough junior season (4-7-1, 3.73 goals, .873 saves). Backup Courtney Lockwood returns.
“I am going to do my best to help the team however I can,” Marble said. “I will work hard and do my best to give my team a chance to win every night. I hope to be an impact player.”
The 21-year-old’s experience – he is nine months older than Thorimbert – and steady improvement made him attractive to the Tigers, who fell one win short of the NCAA Tournament.
“He’s mature and focused,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “He has earned everything he’s got.”
That includes a scholarship to CC.
“My parents (Bernie and Kathy) are really happy I am at a strong school for academics and I get a chance to play in arguably the best hockey conference,” Marble said. “It’s exciting. I am really happy with how things turned out.”