Betting on himself paid off for Michael O’Sullivan.
After being released from a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team in September, O’Sullivan came to Golden and said, “I know if I went to the KIJHL, I’d have the best opportunity to get back to Junior A.”
“I knew if I worked hard, and put up good numbers, and did what I could for my team, that I would be given an opportunity and now it’s come,” said O’Sullivan, who won five of his 11 games for the Rockets with a .931 SP and a 2.65 GAA. “I thought I was strong. I thought I gave the team the best chance to win every night I played. I felt that has shown in my numbers.”
Now O’Sullivan returns home to Winnipeg, to play for the Freeze.
“I’m super excited to show myself and do what I can to try to get to stay at this level and perform for this team. I just want to play the best that I can,” said O’Sullivan, whose family is excited to have him come back.
The most excited family member was his grandfather, when O’Sullivan called him. The 6-1, 180-pound goalie grew up watching MJHL games and wanted to play at the Junior A level. Being able to play Junior A at home is a “win-win scenario.”
With the Rockets, O’Sullivan’s confidence improved, which he said is an important component of goaltending, as well as experience. The KIJHL gave him the latter he needed.
“Being more technical, I improved on rebound control, puck-handling and being a more solid, all-around goaltender,” said O’Sullivan, who was encouraged to come to Golden by Assistant Coach Ethan Maertens-Poole.
The netminder praised Head Coach and General Manager Chuck Wight for the work and effort he put in helping O’Sullivan get this shot. Wight said he is confident O’Sullivan will do well with the Freeze.
“Mike is very focused and team oriented and he used his time with us to improve his game,” said Wight, wishing him success in the MJHL.
O’Sullivan, a product of the Winnipeg Warriors program, enjoyed his brief time in the KIJHL.
“Everyone is competing, everyone is working hard, a lot of guys are trying to make that jump to the next level,” he said. “It’s a good atmosphere.”