Considering the circumstances, it was not a bad Western Hockey League debut for Trent Miner.
The rookie goaltender got his first taste of WHL action on Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre, entering the game in the third period against the Spokane Chiefs with his team trailing 4-0.
Miner, who turns 17 on Feb. 5, stopped the first six shots he faced before a centring pass from Riley Woods banked off the skate of Hudson Elynuik and in.
But that would be the only puck out of 15 shots to elude Miner, a Giants first round pick (20th overall) in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, as he finished with a .933 save percentage in his 20 minutes of work.
The Chiefs would win the game 5-0 and afterwards, Miner said this was not how he imagined making his major debut.
“It is never good coming in when you are losing, no matter if is your first game or your 100th game,” he said.
“(But) I have been preparing for this for a long time and was just excited to get my moment.”
The Chiefs scored on their first shot in both the first and second periods and Miner was tested immediately as the Giants were short-handed to start the period. He would make all hree saves on the Spokane power play.
Miner found out at the start of the second intermission he would be making his debut and said there were no time for nerves.
“Quick turnaround and you just have to deal with it,” he said.
“The first save wasn’t as big as killing off that penalty. When we got that done, it felt a lot better.”
“I thought he came and made some real good saves,” said Vancouver coach Jason McKee. “He looked comfortable out there.”
Miner had been playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings midget AAA team, compiling a 17-3-0-0 record with a .941 save percentage and a 1.64 goals against average. He led the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League in all three categories.
He was brought up to Langley after the Giants dealt back-up goaltender Todd Scott to the Edmonton Oil Kings at the WHL trade deadline as part of the deal to acquire forward Davis Koch.
“Certainly a lot faster and guys are a lot more skilled,” Miner said in comparing major junior to midget hockey.
“But it is still the same mentality that you have to show up and be ready to go everyday and give it your all.”
The Giants, who are winless in three games (0-2-0-1) are back in action on Jan. 26 as they host the Victoria Royals at the LEC. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.