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Elmira netminder Jon Reinhart named Junior B player of the year

Elmira Sugar Kings netminder Jonathan Reinhart has added to his list of accolades after being named the Ontario Hockey Association’s Junior B Player of the Year.

He has already been named the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Midwestern Conference’s most valuable player, and now, the honour spans the province.

The 21-year-old is the Kings’ career goaltending leader in games, minutes played, shutouts, wins and goals against average (GAA), along with holding many team single season records in shutouts (5), wins (3) and GAA (2.15). With a record of 30-17-3, a GAA of 2.31 and a .931 save percentage in the 2016-2017 season, he was also vital to the Kings earning the wildcard spot in the Sutherland Cup playoffs, currently ongoing and with the team just one win away from claiming the hardware.

Kings head coach Ty Canal says it isn’t just about the stats with Reinhart, however. He says attitude is just as important and technical skill, both on and off the ice.

“Off the ice, there is not much better of a person. His demeanor, his team-first attitude, his work ethic, his dedication to the game and to his teammates, that is second to none. That has always been his mentality,” said Canal. “A perfect example is right after we won that Kitchener series (during the Cherrey Cup playoffs), he was out the next morning with the local atom team. The next day, he is out on the ice with the kids and you can’t teach that stuff. That is just his personality and that is what he represents. He wants to give back and he wants to help the kids that are there and want to get better and look up to him. He is a great role model off the ice with all of that.”

On the ice, Reinhart’s steady focus and calm demeanor helped the Sugar Kings earn more than a few wins this season.

“You just have to watch how he prepares for a hockey game and how he deals with situations in a hockey game. He’s focused. He is determined, and at the same time, he is calm, and that solidifies the team. Everybody gets to follow that attitude,” said Canal. “There is no panic, and there is no giving up and that is something special – when you have that guy who just doesn’t give up. Playing against him, it is frustrating because of that situation. You get one goal on him, and you can’t fluster him. He just rebounds in his focus and his determination. It is just there.”

The rest of the team can see how Reinhart reacts to a play or a goal, and they feed off it, says Canal.

“When you see that calm and focus in him, ‘hey, don’t worry. We will be better on the next one,’ or whatever the case may be, there is no strong emotion off him. The guys see that and they feel the same way and it is just, ‘let’s go and keep playing,’” he said. “When you get the banging of the stick, the frustration in a goalie, the players pick up on that vibe. Reinhart has that effect, and fortunately, we are on this side of it. Our guys get to respond to the way he plays and the way he presents himself and puts that dedication and work in for the team.”

Reinhart, along with the other OHA award recipients, will be at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on May 26 to accept the award.

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