Dalhousie University men’s hockey goaltender Corbin Boes has been one of the best goalies in the country thorughout his four-year career.
And while he’s graduating this year, what he’s meant to the hockey program at Dal won’t be leaving with him.
His time at Dalhousie started after a successful four-year Western Hockey League career. Not knowing anyone in Halifax, he “just kind of took a chance with it,” and came to Dal. Since then, he’s twice led the AUS in save percentage, been named to the U Sports December all-star team and won the team MVP.
He’s consistently been one of Dal’s leaders and was a key piece of the team making the playoffs this year.
“I definitely have zero regrets about coming here,” says Boes.
Although the Tigers lost in the first round of playoffs to Acadia, getting to that point after seven years of missing the playoffs was an improvement. The game where they clinched the playoffs is one of Boes’s favourite memories as a Tiger.
This season, Boes played the most minutes among goalies in the league and made 866 saves, which are 175 more than the next goalie, Acadia’s Robert Steeves.
His consistency between the pipes has “given us a chance every game he’s been playing,” says team captain Luke Madill, who is also leaving the program.
Boes has been used to a heavy workload since his rookie season. When he was recruited, he says, Head Coach Chris Donnelly told him “it was my net. I was the guy and he was gonna roll with me.”
In his first regular season game as a Tiger back in 2014, Boes faced over 50 shots against Acadia in a 4-0 loss at home.
“It’s funny to see how far the program’s come since then,” Boes says. “It’s weird looking back now.”
Madill says that another way Boes contributes is with his driven work ethic and professionalism around the rink.
“His approach to staying in shape, preparing for games and just making sure he’s ready to go has rubbed off on a lot of guys,” says Madill. “He definitely trains harder than any other goalie I’ve ever seen.”
That professionalism and serious approach to the game is something Boes has tried to bring to the team so that they will be recognized as a contender.
“I’ll definitely miss the challenge of coming in each year trying to prove to people that Dal is a program that should be taken seriously” he says. “I think after four years that’s something that more people are doing, so that’s something that I’m certainly proud of.”
His plans for next year are up in the air. His goal is to play professional hockey, which is realistic considering he got invited to go to the Detroit Red Wings training camp last September.
Craig Hillier, the goaltending coach at Dal, has worked with Boes for the last three seasons.
“I really think that Corbin’s going to have a great opportunity this upcoming year to turn pro and hopefully get a look at the highest level, the NHL,” says Hillier.
The contributions Boes has made to the men’s hockey program will go beyond the seasons that he has been their netminder.
“I don’t think he really totally grasps and understands what he meant to the program and to the coaching staff,” says Hillier, “but I’m sure when he looks back after a couple years he’ll understand what he did for the organization.”
Boes hopes his time at Dal will help the program be more competitive in the future.
“I’ll be happy to look back one day and hopefully be a part of Dal turning the corner.”