BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Like the quarterback in football or the pitcher in baseball, in some sports there is that one position that is so crucial to the success of the entire team.
When you have a player who dominates at that position and who earns recognition from the league for their performance, it only elevates the rest of the squad.
For anyone who has been to a Binghamton Black Bears game in the last month, it should come as no surprise that standout goalie Riley McVeigh has been named the FPHL Goaltender of the Month for December.
This honor comes after a great four games in net for the Black Bears, and McVeigh credits his mindset for what made him so effective.
“Preparation and getting ready for the games. I feel like, obviously now I’ve been here for a couple of months, I’m just finally starting to settle in and become more comfortable. I think that’s pretty much it, I kinda knew what I was getting into at this point and comfortability,” said McVeigh.
Being comfortable has paid off after putting up incredible numbers including 2 shutouts, a 1.77 goals against average and a .943 save percentage.
With such good numbers, there had to be an explanation for the success, which Interim Head Coach Brant Sherwood provided.
“I’d say cat like. He’s very quick, he’s got good reflexes, he’s always focused, looking at the puck, tracking his saves, tracking his glove, tracking his blocker,” said Sherwood. “He’s just consistent with it, he’s always working on his craft.”
While McVeigh may have been excited about the award, he was as humble as ever when talking about what it meant to him.
“Obviously it’s a big honor coming from the league, but really it comes down to how well we played defensively the last month. It was incredible, the way the boys played and they back checked so it made my job really easy.”
As that response shows, not only is McVeigh a standout on the ice, but a good person off of the ice as well.
Sherwood said, “He’s the best. He is one of the best human beings I’ve met in hockey, like I said, he always comes in with a smile on his face, always positive, always trying to pick guys up when they’re down. I can’t say enough good things about him off the ice. It just speaks to how true to his character.”
If you are interested in seeing McVeigh and the rest of the Black Bears in action, you have your chance this weekend.
They will be on the road on Friday visiting the Watertown Wolves before hosting them on Saturday at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.
That game is scheduled for 7 p.m.