Raiders goalie Blais pleased to be back in the firing line after long five-year absence
PUBLISHED: 16:33 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:44 05 December 2019
Everyone Active Raiders netminder Greg Blais revealed it felt pretty good to be back out on the ice for the opening face-off in his first start for more than five years.
The 39-year-old last started a game in 2014 but played in the 7-4 defeat to Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday following a last-minute call from head coach Sean Easton.
The Canadian native played for the Phantoms and Fife Flyers in the 2014/15 season before stepping away from the sport only to return this season.
"It was a pretty cool feeling for the first puck drop, it's a feeling only hockey players would get, and the adrenaline is amazing," Blais said.
"I felt way better than I thought I would. I started work at 4am and at 2pm, I got the call that I would be starting against Peterborough.
"I didn't arrive for the game until five minutes before warm-up but maybe that was a good thing as I didn't have time to think about the game.
"I took one shot at a time and did my best to try to help the team win and after the first five minutes or so I felt like I did five years ago."
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The experienced shot-stopper feels he is now ready to step up if called upon again in the coming weeks to start more games.
"I know my role on the team and I am there to play when needed, and when I am available," he said.
"I would love an opportunity to play a few more games this season and I know that I would be ready when called upon.
"It's a great feeling to be play for the Raiders. I am enjoying every practice and games that I can make. We have a good team and all the guys gel well together."
Blais admitted he felt the game against Phantoms was up for grabs and was very thankful to his team-mates for helping him out on his return to action.
"It was anyone's game. I wish I kept the score lower but I did the best that I could," he added.
"I felt the team played well and worked hard in front of me. The defence helped me out by clearing pucks out quickly for me and letting me stop the first shot."
Blais backstopped Michael Gray the night before in a 6-3 defeat to Basingstoke Bison, adding: "I thought we played well both games. It's always tough playing in Basingstoke but I felt the team worked hard and there were a lot of positives out of the game.
"Ideally we would've wanted at least two points, however we can't win them all. As a whole I felt the team played well but we were just unlucky with the two losses."