Just call him Pepto Pogge

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

Goaltenders have always been a different breed.

As a fraternity, they're often seen as weird, flaky or a bit 'off.'

But the ways they deal with the pressure of their position are as varied as their colourful masks.

Hall of Famer Glenn Hall used to get so worked up, he'd purge his stomach contents prior to every game.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are ice-veined 'tenders Miikka Kiprusoff and Grant Fuhr, who could read a book while standing in the eye of a hurricane.

Calgary Hitmen puckstopper Justin Pogge is somewhere in between.

"There's always a little bit of nerves but that's what Pepto-Bismol is for," the affable 18-year-old said.

"I try not to get worked up but it happens sometimes.

"Then I wait for the drop of the puck and it goes away."

Overage centre Tyrel Lucas, who came to the Hitmen from Prince George with Pogge and d-man Dylan Yeo, said a goaltender's mental preparation begins long before the team takes the ice.

"They warm up different than anyone else," Lucas said. "If either goalie could be starting, you can tell which one is as soon as you walk in the room."

There's no question who'll be starting between the Calgary pipes.

Pogge has got the nod in 39 of 40 games since his trade-deadline arrival.

He's been a wall in the playoffs, posting a goals against average of 1.82 to go along with a .930 save percentage.

But he's coming off his worst game, statistically speaking, after giving up five goals in Game 5.

And he's eager for a shot at redemption.

"I need to rebound a little bit," Pogge said. "I had a tough game in the last one.

"But that's what the playoffs are all about. You have to rebound from bad efforts."

Not that it was all that bad. He couldn't exactly be faulted on any of the goals he surrendered in Brandon.

"No. But I don't like to let in that many goals," Pogge said.

"So I'll come back with a better effort Monday night."

If he delivers on his promise, Pogge could backstop the Hitmen into the Eastern Conference final.


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