The Western Red Wings have added a veteran presence at an important position.
The Island Junior Hockey League team recently announced the signing of goaltender Stephan Giansante, who started the season with the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL).
“We are extremely excited,” said Red Wings head coach Nathan DesRoches. “It’s kind of a perfect situation with him living at (Red Wings forward) Bradley Campbell’s house. “There are not many options for Stephan to play in Ontario, so this seemed to be a good fit for him. He is looking forward to it.”
The 19-year-old Giansante is from Toronto and stands six-foot-one, and weighs 170 pounds. He is looking forward to joining the Red Wings.
“I have heard a lot of good things about them, and they are a good team,” said Giansante, who played last season with the Brantford Bandits of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. “I am excited to get on the ice again and start playing some games with them.”
With the Capitals, Giansante went 1-1 (won-lost) in two starts while posting a 1.51 goals-against average, and a .943 save percentage. Although he admits his time with the Caps was a small sample size, Giansante felt he played well in his two starts.
Giansante was a victim of the numbers game as the recent signing of Nathan Torchia left the Caps with four goaltenders, including Mavrick Goyer and Erik MacInnis, who is currently out with an injury.
Torchia, who travelled to Summerside from Ontario, completes his self-isolation on Tuesday and will begin practising with the Caps after that.
“We felt in order to get enough playing time for everybody it was a good move to send Stephan down to junior B and let him get some work, continue to practise with us until we get everything figured out in the near future,” said Caps general manager Pat McIver.
DesRoches said Giansante has an opportunity to earn the No. 1 starting job with the Red Wings. He is expected to make his Red Wings' debut this weekend during a home-and-home series against arch-rival Kensington Vipers.
“We are expecting him to come in and start the majority of hockey games for us,” said DesRoches. “We lost Luke Oliver due to the over-age situation this year, and we wanted somebody who has a lot of junior experience. Stephan brings that for us.
“All reports, and we’ve talked to quite a few people, are that he’s going to be a great goaltender for us.”
Jason Simmonds is the sports reporter for the Journal Pioneer.