Noah Decottignies has played a big factor in the Columbia Valley Rockies starting their season 3-0.
The Calgary native has stopped 80 of 86 shots he faced in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play. He has a .930 save percentage, to go with a 2.00 goals against average. The graduate of the Calgary Royals U18 AAA program says he had a great start.
“The team has really helped me out by making sure I can see all the shots and help clear the rebounds making my life easy,” says Decottignies, who debuted in the KIJHL at 18 with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2018-19.
Decottignies joined the Rockies after being selected from the Nitehawks in the Dispersal Draft. He’s enjoying his time with Columbia Valley as they have a strong, close group with core veterans in the locker room.
“All of the guys have bought into the program to help us win and have done great with all the difficulties of this tough season with the restrictions we have to follow compared to past seasons,” he says.
The five-foot-11, 200-pound goalie spent last season playing Junior A with the Weyburn Red Wings and Humboldt Broncos, with a brief stint in the Prairie Junior Hockey League. Decottignies played 27 games in the SJHL.
“The SJ really helped my confidence as well as my resiliency,” he says. “With having lots of experience in Weyburn playing at a competitive level and in Humboldt, building resiliency from not playing as much as I would’ve liked, but still being able to come to the rink to get better. Playing Junior A also really helps me this season with pushing the guys on my team with aspirations of moving on next year, and helping them push themselves to get better.”
Decottignies has areas he is focused on improving, including his skating and ability to play the puck.
“Skating is such an important part of the game as you move up and I can always get better at it, and playing the puck is another thing to help my team,” he says. “If I can make some breakout passes and create time and space for my defenceman, it’ll help our team get out of our zone and create offensive chances. Our GM Wade Dubielewicz has been working with the goalies to help us with both aspects as well as other areas to help move us on.
“Working with Wade has been great,” continues Decottignies. “He has helped me realize how big of a role skating is and how important it is to continue to improve on the basic aspects of the game such as puck tracking and controlling my depth in the crease. Working with him has already helped me a ton with improving my game.”
The decision to return to the KIJHL for his final junior season was an easy one.
“It is such a great developmental league and one of the most competitive Junior B leagues in the country,” he says. “I decided to go to Beaver Valley my first year because of their winning heritage with Terry Jones as the coach. It was exciting to have played in the game and help him win his 1,000th game in Revelstoke. Also, I had a group of friends committed to playing there as well.”
Decottignies is inspired by his parents to work and become a better goalie because of the sacrifices they have made for him to reach where he is today, as well as shape the person he is. He wants to play competitive hockey for as long as he can.
“I am hoping to move on to the collegiate level for next season and if I’m fortunate enough to do so, getting an education through hockey would be a dream come true,” he says.