Antoine Bibeau is making a name for himself this season in the P.E.I. Rocket’s crease.
After playing 29 games last season, the Victoriaville, Que., native has already played in six of the team’s 10 games in 2012-13 and was named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s third star for the past week.
The 18-year-old said he’s more confident this year.
“I am just trying to keep my game simple,” he said. “The team has played really well too this year. We’re all on the same page.”
He posted his first career shutout Oct. 10 in a 4-0 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs and two days later made 21 saves in a 4-3 victory against Acadie-Bathurst.
Bibeau came to Charlottetown after playing three games with Lewiston in 2010-11. He was picked up by Gatineau in the dispersal draft and traded to the Rocket for a fourth-round pick.
Bibeau and Maxime Lagacé have both played the same amount of games this season.
Bibeau said the goalies push each other and there is no goalie controversy.
“We just try to do our best,” he said. “We want the best for the team.”
Coach Gordie Dwyer said having two goaltenders pushing for ice time is a good problem to have.
“I think both guys are deserving to play,” he said. “Obviously, we’re excited about the play of Antoine Bibeau and we’re confident in what Max can give us as well. He’s a top-end goaltender as well.”
The Rocket (7-3) hosts the league-leading Halifax Mooseheads (9-1) tonight at 7 with Bibeau getting the start.
He stopped 18 of 19 shots after replacing Lagacé Sept. 23 for the third period of an 8-1 loss to the Moose.
The Moose are loaded with skilled players, including top prospect Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Stefan Fournier and Luca Ciampini.
MacKinnon and Ciampini both have seven goals and an assist in the past four games.
Bibeau said he approaches each game the same.
“I don’t do anything different because they have good offensive players,” he said.
Bibeau will soon be sporting a new mask, but needs some help in coming up with a design. He decided to let the fans be part of the process.
I am just trying to keep my game simple. The team has played really well too this year. We’re all on the same page. - Antoine Bibeau, P.E.I. Rocket goaltender, on his play and his team’s play so far this season.
“The fans are a large part of the team, so I like to give them the opportunity to put a design on my mask,” he said.
One thing he would like to incorporate into the backside of the mask is the team’s 10th anniversary and the breast cancer logo. His grandmother passed away last year from breast cancer.
“It’s important for me to put that on the back of my helmet,” he said.
He is looking forward to Saturday’s game where $5 from each ticket sold will go to the Atlantic chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
In honour of those fighting breast cancer and those who have fought the disease, Rocket players will be wearing pink jerseys that will be given away as part of a raffle after the game. Proceeds from the raffle are also going to the foundation.
To add to the atmosphere, fans are asked to dress in pink.
Anyone wishing to submit a design for Bibeau’s mask can do so by email (email@example.com) or fax (892-7350). The person with the winning entry will receive two adult tickets and two youth tickets to the game Bibeau’s new mask is revealed.
After the game, this person will also have the chance to meet Bibeau.
The deadline for submissions is Thursday at 5 p.m.
Antoine Bibeau facts:
u Hometown - Victoriaville, Que.
u Age - 18.
u Height - Six-foot-two.
u Weight - 210 lbs.
Season W L SOL GAA SV%
2010-11 2 0 0 2.10 .914
2011-12 7 9 1 4.46 .868
2012-13 5 0 0 1.42 .945