Toronto Maple Leafs: Ian Scott has impressive debut for Team Canada

Orca Wiesblatt #28 of the Calgary Hitmen takes a shot on Ian Scott #33 of the Prince Albert Raiders during a WHL game. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Orca Wiesblatt #28 of the Calgary Hitmen takes a shot on Ian Scott #33 of the Prince Albert Raiders during a WHL game. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

Ian Scott had a solid debut between the pipes for Team Canada as the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie looks to make his case for the starting job.

If there is a prospect in the Toronto Maple Leafs system that has gained a lot of attention for all the right reasons it is goaltending prospect Ian Scott.

When the selection roster was announced it wasn’t surprising to see Scott’s name on the roster considering how dominant he has been this season with the Prince Albert Raiders. His .943 save percentage is the top mark in the WHL and CHL as the Raiders have been ranked atop the CHL power rankings for most of the season.

Usually going into these tournaments the coaching staff has an idea of who the starting goalie is going to be and for Team Canada many expect it to be Michael DiPietro. However, after a 6-1 win over Slovakia, there’s no reason why Scott shouldn’t get equal consideration.

After DiPietro’s start against Switzerland, he admitted that his game needed improvement as the reigning OHL goalie of the year didn’t exactly look solid between the pipes allowing three goals on 17 shots.

"“There’s definitely room for improvement in my game,” DiPietro told reporters. “As the game went on I felt more comfortable.”"

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Scott stopped 22 of 23 shots he faced with the only goal came off of a nice move by Patrik Hrehorcak where he got behind the defence and roofed it past Scott. There wasn’t a high volume of dangerous scoring chances for Slovakia but even if there were, Scott didn’t show any sign of panic.

To be fair to DiPietro, Canada looked way better defensively which they should have been in their second exhibition game. When it comes to evaluating goaltending, it obviously comes down to the trust of the coaching staff especially in Canada’s case where they’ve had goaltending fail them.

Can Scott assume the starting job over DiPietro? One start isn’t going to determine that but when the preliminary rounds begin, the margin for error has to be small for both goalies.

What Scott needs to show is his poise and calmness in the net which was on full display against Slovakia and that’s the takeaway head coach Tim Hunter made after the game.

Canada opens their preliminary schedule against Denmark on Boxing Day and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod in goal as it might give an indication of how the rest of the tournament works out.

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What did you think about Scott’s game? Should he be in the conversation as the starting goalie or does he still have a lot to prove? Let us know in the comments below.