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Player of the Month – January 2024

First-time goalie gives his ‘all’ & his best with a smile.’

by Laureen Sweeney

The Westmount Minor Hockey Association (WMHA) has selected Isaac Urman, 11, as the January 2024 player-of-the-month. The goaltender for the M11B Westmount Wings hockey team has played with Westmount since 2019 starting in the pre-novice MAHG-1 program for 6-year-olds. Isaac, 11, is the second goalie so far this season to have been chosen as the player-of-the-month in the city’s recognition program launched in 2019. It was described at inception as aimed not only to highlight the contributions of players, but also to acknowledge the opportunities and skills that minor hockey, and sports as a whole, can offer young people (see November 2019, p. 1).
“Isaac is a first-time goalie,” explained Gabrielle Jay-Riendeau, vice-president of social media and communications for the WMHA and sports coordinator for the Westmount recreation centre (WRC). “It takes bravery to gear up, stay in the net, and invite players to shoot pucks at you of your own volition,” she said in submitting the reasons for his selection. “It can be nerve-wracking and certainly not easy, but Isaac is giving it his all and doing his best with a smile.”

His four coaches – Ilya Semionov, Leo Semionov, Johnny Rees, and Nathan Semionov – agree, Jay-Riendeau explained. “Isaac has always shown up and consistently put in an outstanding effort. He is always smiling in practice and is eager to learn and improve.” They also point out, she continued, “that though it had been a difficult season for the whole team, Isaac stood strong in net, no matter the score and the heavy workload, and kept a great attitude. Every game, his perseverance and determination catch our eye. The biggest asset a team can have is a player who always puts in the effort.”

In choosing a player of the month, the WMHA selects players based on their commitment, perseverance, positive attitude and leadership, she explained. “Bearing this in mind, his coaches contend that “Isaac has very much earned the honour of being named player of the month.” The association, she added, “could not agree more!”