Pogge receives nod as top junior goalie

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET

Justin Pogge is going out on top.

The Calgary Hitmen puckstopper put the finishing touches on a brilliant season, his last in junior hockey, when he was named the top goaltender in the CHL yesterday in Moncton, N.B.

The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect also finished runner-up to Quebec's Alexander Radulov for the CHL's top player award.

"It's a pretty big accomplishment," Pogge said after the awards ceremony, which was held during an off day before today's Memorial Cup final between Quebec and the host Wildcats.

Pogge was named the WHL's top player and top goalie earlier this month but had to have his mom accept his hardware because he was in Latvia training with Team Canada at the world championships.

He planned celebrate with some of the other award winners last night.

"But we can't stay out too late. I have to fly out of here at 4:30 a.m."

Pogge was 38-10-6 with 11 shutouts and a 1.72 goals-against average during the regular season. He also backstopped Team Canada to a gold medal at the world junior tournament.

With Ed Belfour likely finished in Toronto, Pogge is focused on nailing down a spot with the Leafs in the fall. The latest award, he said, won't go to his head.

"It's just an award," he said. "It's not going to change how I play or prepare for things. I'm not going to prepare any different just because I'm goaltender of the year. I've still got a long ways to go."

Other award winners included Medicine Hat d-man Kris Russel (sportsmanship) and Tigers bench boss Will Desjardins (coach of the Year).


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