They say respect from one’s own peers is the ultimate form of flattery.
After four seasons of denying would-be goal-scorers and sending teams home empty-handed, Matt Schoer has built a reputation as one of the toughest goaltenders in the state. The Pope John senior netminder, who garnered First Team All-State honors with a 2.67 goals-against average and .925 save percentage last season, has picked up where he left off in 2018-19.
Schoer went 6-1-1 with four shutouts this past month, sporting a minuscule 1.25 goals-against average and solid .943 save percentage to earn HockeyClan State Boys Player of the Month Honors for Nov/Dec.
“It’s all because of the team,” Schoer said. “We played really well throughout those games. As long as we keep working as a team we can continue our winning streak.”
Schoer shut out Bishop Eustace, Red Bank Catholic, Chatham and Notre Dame in December, posting a scoreless streak that began Dec. 5 and extended into the third period against Bergen Catholic on Dec. 14 — a shutout streak spanning 11 periods of play. He also posted five straight games with 20+ saves — including a 28-save performance in a 2-2 tie with defending state champion Delbarton on Dec. 19 — helping Pope John, No. 4 in The Hockey Night in Boston Top 10, to a 9-2-2 record including the team title with an overtime victory vs. Middletown North at the 2018 Protec Ponds Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29.
“We’ve been fortunate to have Matt as our starter for four seasons,” Pope John coach Ryan Brown said. “From a technical standpoint he has excellent positioning, reads plays well, has a quick glove, good lateral pushes and excellent rebound control. Most importantly, he’s a gamer. He plays well when the game is on the line and thrives under pressure.
“He’s a calming influence on the team,” Brown said,”and knowing he’s back there gives our guys confidence. He gives us a chance to win every night, which is all you can ask for from your goaltender.”
2017-18 HockeyClan Honors
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
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