By: Harlan Nemerofsky
A lack of desire to play the game and a want for a different career path, Rams goaltender Adam Courchaine quit the men’s hockey team over the December break.
The 25-year-old goaltender, who was recruited this summer as the apparent No. 1 goalie, left the men’s hockey team over the winter break. He is now enrolled at Algonquin College to pursue a career in policing.
“I thought he played well for us,” head coach Graham Wise said. “[But] he decided it wasn’t for him and decided to move on in other areas. He’ll be fine.”
Courchaine, who made his first start on Oct. 25 (simply due to eligibility transfer rules), had played in nine games this season for the Rams — four more than Passingham at the time that he left.
However, in his final two starts of the season — the third and second last game before the break — he was pulled in favour of Passingham, after allowing four goals on 10 shots and six goals on 18 shots.
“A couple of times we pulled Courchaine and we put Passingham in and then Passer was playing really good so you got to ride the hot hand,” said Wise. “I’ve always felt Passingham was a good goaltender for sure. I can see he’s really working on his game and he’s really stepped forward.”
The Ottawa, Ont., native posted a 3.84 goals against average and a .874 save percentage, .5 points lower than Passingham.
However, Wise insists that Courchaine left on good terms, simply wanting to focus on his career.
“He decided that [staying was] not what he wanted to do and he wanted to do something else. It wasn’t until we had discussions in December [that] he said he was going to move on,” said Wise.
When contacted by the Eyeopener Courchaine did not comment.
Former teammate and good friend Brian Birkhoff said that Courchaine enjoyed being with the team but just didn’t enjoy lacing them up anymore.
“I don’t think that he really enjoyed playing hockey anymore, and that’s not to say he didn’t like Ryerson as a team,” said Birkhoff, an assistant captain. “He told me that if it wasn’t for the team he might’ve thrown in the towel a little earlier because we do have a great bunch of guys and we have fun in the dressing room.”
Rams captain Andrew Buck also maintained that Courchaine left on good terms.
“He left on good terms, as far as I know, his heart just wasn’t in the game any anymore.”
Passingham has won four consecutive games since the new year and five consecutive overall.
Wise said that he plans on riding Passingham and backup goaltender Steve Gleeson as his No.1 and No.2 goalies for the rest of the season.