Net travels

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

The list of hometowns linked to goaltender Justin Pogge are numerous and spread out over a wide area.

One hockey guide says Kaleden, B.C., while another mentions Fort McMurray, Alta. Finally, the most common place of residence connected to the big backstopper is Penticton, B.C.

However, yesterday at his first practice after being dealt to the Hitmen from the Prince George Cougars Monday, Pogge set the record straight.

"I was actually born in Fort McMurray and moved down to Calgary for about 10 years and played my first year of hockey when I was 10 for Crowfoot," said Pogge, who is expected to be the starter for the Hitmen (19-15-6-2) as they host the Saskatoon Blades tonight (7 p.m., 'Dome).

"Then I moved out to Sundre and played minor hockey out there and eventually to Penticton."

Now, the 18-year-old travelling goalie is making his homecoming of sorts and couldn't be happier.

"I know this city -- it's a big city and a great city," said Pogge with a smile.

"I'd love to stay here for the rest of my Dub career. It's a great place to play and a great organization."

It was no secret GM-head coach Kelly Kisio was actively shopping for a No. 1 goaltender on Monday's WHL trade deadline.

Although, in order to pluck the 6-ft. 3-in., 198-lb. Pogge from the Cougars, Kisio was forced to give up some character role guys.

Defenceman Andy Rogers, goaltender Scott Bowles and forward Lee Zalasky were shipped to northern B.C. for Pogge, 20-year-old forward Tyrel Lucas and 18-year-old defenceman Dylan Yeo.

"We were all packed and ready to go on the road and then we had a meeting. I got called up to the office with Yeo and Lucas," said Pogge.

"I heard rumours that it was Calgary but I still wasn't expecting anything to happen. It's pretty exciting. They're a bunch of good guys, they all came in and shook my hand. It's exciting and it's a good move for us, hopefully everything goes well."

Mimicking that sentiment was Lucas, who tried out for the Hitmen three years ago but was released.

In addition, the 6-ft. 1-in., 185-lb. Williams Lake, B.C. native has never played in the WHL post-season.

"I'm really excited. We're in the playoffs as of right now and that's the number one goal for me because I haven't made the playoffs in my WHL career," said Lucas. "It's huge, that's all I want to do. Anything can happen once you get into the playoffs."

As for being traded, Lucas knows exactly what it's like as he was dealt at the beginning of the season from Lethbridge to Prince George. Although he wasn't expecting another relocation, he's happy nonetheless.

"It was pretty shocking. I already got dealt at the beginning of the year ... but I'm pretty excited to be here," he said.

Knowing he was the key element in the deal that shook up the Hitmen lineup, Pogge isn't feeling the heat to perform but rather is looking as it an exciting challenge.

"It's more of a motivation than pressure," said Pogge.

"I want to win and so does the team, you can't beat that."


Videos

Photos