Memorable last season for Egert
Curtis Egert’s final season of junior hockey couldn’t have gone any better or finished any worse.
The 21-year-old Welland native led the St. Catharines Falcons in scoring and emerged as a leader after being named captain by coach Tyler Bielby.
But, like all other junior players across the country, Egert didn’t get a chance to go out on his own terms after the Golden Horseshoe playoffs were cancelled due to the Coronavirus just as the Falcons were set to take on the Niagara Falls Canucks in the second round of the playoffs.
“It’s kind of like a heart-wrenching, gut feeling that you knew there was nothing you could do about it,” Egert said. “It’s the worst feeling in the world.
“The whole thing was tough to swallow.”
Having said that, Egert had no problems with the decision to shut down the game.
“We have to take our precautions. I think they did the right thing. They had to do it because it’s a lot more serious than just the hockey,” he said.
Egert joined the Falcons this season after three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sarnia Sting, and admitted it was tough not to wrap his career in the OHL.
“It was a bummer and I think everyone who has gone through it knows it,” he said. “You can decide to either leave it at that or go play junior B and try your best.
“I thought the experience was great. I thought it was a great decision. I learned so much. I became a pretty good leader I feel and I was pretty happy with it.”
Egert not only embraced the role of leader, but he also did more than his share offensively collecting 31 goals and 73 points in 49 games.
“It was pretty cool. I didn’t think that was going to happen,” he said of the increased production. “Ty always just said do what you want and be confident with it and I’ll support you. He was a great guy to have on the bench and a big part of it.”
Bielby is a big fan of Egert and the way he handled himself.
“Our young guys will be better players and even better people because they were fortunate enough to share the room with him for a year. There isn’t a guy in that room who would have chosen a different captain when it was all said and done. I firmly believe that.
“He makes people around him better. His work ethic and approach, day in and day out, is second to none.”
Egert, who plans to attend Algonquin College next year, has many fond memories of junior hockey experience.
“That’s the end of my junior career but I’ll always remember it as the best years of my life,” he said. “Every team you go to and every year you get a special bond between the guys. That’s what I loved. Coming to the rink and hanging out and going through the thick and thin with them. I’ve met so many life-long friends. That’s what I’m going to miss about it.”
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