Eastern Hockey League – Q And Anthony Series: A Chat With Wolves Goaltender Trevor Joule

Anthony DiPaolo
Anthony DiPaolo
Anthony Di Paolo has been working in various levels of hockey over the last five years, ranging from juniors to the pros. Di Paolo spent four seasons as the Communications Director and play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Titans of the North American Hockey League (2016-2020), and is entering his fifth season in a similar role with the New Jersey 87’s of the Eastern Hockey League. Graduating from Seton Hall University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, the New Jersey native covered Division I athletics for his school’s radio station, WSOU, and spent two years writing for the Fischler Report, a newsletter run by U.S. Hockey Hall-of-Fame inductee Stan Fischler.

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It’s been an eventful year for New England Wolves’ goaltender Trevor Joule.

Back in April, he earned a shutout over the Express Hockey Club in a round robin game of the EHL Frozen Finals in Providence. A few weeks ago, Joule played an instrumental role in the league’s All-Star team defeating Nazareth College, including an incredible glove save in the shootout to keep his team alive. And now he’s the starter for the Wolves as they boast a 15-5-2 record in a jam-packed North Division.

As of this writing, the Staten Island, NY native has a 11-3-1 record with a 2.69 goals against average and .916 save percentage. He is also committed to SUNY Brockport.

In this edition of Q&Anthony, Joule talks about the college series, his shutout in last year’s Frozen Finals and how this year’s team is planning its return to Providence.

Anthony DiPaolo: You recently committed to SUNY Brockport, what does that mean to you as a personal achievement?

Trevor Joule: It means a lot, for me the biggest thing is it’s a time to reflect. I’m preparing to take this next step, but looking at my family, my friends, the coaching staff, teammates, just taking the chance to thank them all because I wouldn’t be here without them and the sacrifices they made. The work that I’ve put in is starting to pay off in one way and also the sacrifices that they have made has given me a chance to say thank you for this opportunity.

AD: SUNY Brockport was one of the schools you faced in the EHL College Showcase Series. How much of an impact did that event have on your commitment there?

Trevor Joule – NE Wolves

TJ: Being there and playing in front of the coaching staff was good. Getting a chance to talk with coach (Brian) Dickinson face-to-face, he got a chance to not only see me as a goalie but see me as a person, and I think that’s a big thing schools look for. They don’t just want a talented player; they want a good-character person who is going to attend their school.

AD: Obviously the big story from that showcase was the upset win over Nazareth College and your save in the shootout. What was going through your mind as you reached back with your glove to make that stop?

TJ: Yeah, I knew that if they scored, the game’s over. He made the move and I bit and got beat, so I’ve got to do whatever I can to at least attempt to make this save. I just put my glove on the ice and fortunately that was enough to stop it and continue the game.

AD: I’m sure it always feels good to make a save. Do desperation saves feel even better?

TJ: 100 percent. When you make them, it’s just a different feeling knowing that by inches, you were able to just get a piece of that puck and keep it out of the net.

AD: Where would you rank that save out of all the ones you’ve made as a goalie?

TJ: That’s tough. I mean, given the situation I’ll say it’s got to be up there among the best. Off the top of my head, it’s probably number one; just the fact that it was an All-Star game, playing against college players and that goal would’ve ended the game, we would’ve lost had that gone in so to keep that out and continue the game and give us another chance to win, all things considered it’s up there if not already number one.

AD: You talk about the context of a game, and I want to segue into last year’s Frozen Finals. You picked up a shutout against the Express Hockey Club in a round robin game, what was it like for you to play on the league’s biggest stage?

TJ: Yeah, I remember going on for warmups and they had the jumbotron, and the cameras were following the players during warmups. I looked up and thought ‘wow, this is different. This is the big time, this what they get in the NHL,’ you know with the cameras following you during warmups, the fans can look up at the jumbotron, it was definitely an unreal experience.

Although we had already clinched a spot in the semifinals at that point, to play and to be successful against one of the best teams in the league, it was a huge confidence boost.

AD: And a shutout, nonetheless.

TJ: Every time you go into a game you’re thinking ‘what can I do to help my team get a win?’ and to get a shutout is just icing on the cake.

AD: Getting that start was a great opportunity for you too because Liam Kilgallen was instrumental in the Wolves’ run last season. What was it like being in a tandem with him during that stretch?

TJ: He went on a torrid stretch, I believe he won 11 straight starts, and that was huge for us to get into second place in our division and that was instrumental in getting us to where we ended up that season. As for not playing as much, it becomes part of a mental game. How can I compete every day during practice to make sure I’m ready to go for a game? To get a shot and be successful showed that my work was paying off, and that everything I was doing leading up to that point, I was doing the right thing.

AD: This year the Wolves have been dominant, and you’re a big part of that as the starting goaltender. How else would you describe the difference between last year’s team and this year’s squad?

TJ: I don’t think there’s all that much different, I know last year was a struggle at the start, but we brought back another talented team with a lot of returning guys, and it’s tough to say because the coaching staff is the same and they’re preaching the same ideas. I think it’s just one of those things where we just started to click earlier.

Last year the coaching staff was telling us the same thing day in and day out, it wasn’t working in the beginning of the season but then we got traction and found our way. This year it just so happened that we clicked, and even though we started out really hot, we hit a bit of a low period but we’re still very confident in ourselves.

AD: Were there any particular games that made you feel this year’s team can go far?

TJ: Well, the season started out really well; two games at home, we got back-to-back shutouts and it started really high. But I think a game in particular would be the mini showcase at the Ice Den in Hooksett, NH. We had a comeback win against the Boston Jr. Rangers where we scored two goals in the final minute to come from behind and win that one. The week after, we were back in Hooksett for a game against the Avalanche, and we scored a goal late to tie it and won it in overtime. That just really showed us that we are talented enough to beat any team; the Avs are one of the best teams in the league right now and we were right up there with them. It showed us that we are talented enough to win every game, it’s just can we do the right things each and every game to be successful.

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