Photo Credit – Pederson Photographic
He had just arrived in town and his resume coming to Dauphin was impressive. He had the best goals-against average to go along with a league-best save percentage of .940 and was named the league’s goaltender of the year in the 2018-19 season with the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba AAA U18 Hockey League.
Then the following season, he was again named the goaltender of the year and was named to the league’s first all-star team as he wrapped up his U18 career with the Wild. In two seasons with the Winnipeg club, Carson went 59-8-1. Carson then moved to Sherwood Park where he won five games with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Crusaders.
After opening their season with a loss against the Neepawa Titans last year with Keaton Woolsey in net, Cherepak made his debut the next night and he immediately made a major impact as he turned away 45 shots to record a shutout in a 1-0 win against Neepawa. That game ended up being the start of something special for Cherepak and the Kings.
Carson would go on to win 29 more games in net in the regular season as he finished with a record of 30-7-0 with a 2.21 goals-against average to go along with a .921 save percentage. His 30 wins were the most in the league and his 2195 minutes played was the second-most behind Dawson Green.
As the team finished first in the West Division, they were primed for a solid playoff run and it was a run that ended up with the team winning the Turnbull Cup final as they downed the Steinbach Pistons in seven games. Cherepak was named the most valuable player in the league final and he clinched the tremendous playoff run by the team by making a massive game-winning save on Travis Hensrud.
As Dauphin then advanced to the national semifinal where they came up short against Pickering, Cherepak was named the tournament’s top player and goaltender with his 1.19 goals-against average and .961 save percentage.
While Cherepak has since moved on to the next level, he will never forget last year’s great season and how he was treated in Dauphin.
“Coming to Dauphin was a very exciting new start and I had a good feeling that we were going to do something special,” said Cherepak. “I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I had in Dauphin, it was a year I will never forget.”
As the chapter to his junior journey has come to a close, a new chapter has begun as the former King is in his first year of Division 1 hockey with Rensselaer Polytech Institute.
“It’s been a lot of fun and different, for sure,” said Cherepak. “I’m starting to get used to being a student again, just getting into the groove here.”
Carson would go on to make his debut with RPI earlier this month as the team played an exhibition game against the University of Toronto. He turned away seven shots in just more than 28 minutes and while it wasn’t in conference play, getting on the ice with his new team was a moment that Carson will cherish.
“It was awesome. It was the first time that it hit me and made me realize that this is a dream that I have had for so long and I accomplished it by making it here,” said Cherepak. “Hockey is so much fun here, I can’t wait to get back in the crease.”
While Carson isn’t the starter this year in RPI, he understands the spot he’s in and that’s a rookie looking to show what he can do and when he does get his next opportunity, he will be ready.
“I’m learning a lot from the older goalies and they’re really treating me well,” said Cherepak. “We talk a lot about the changes from junior to college and I’m working really hard on making sure I’m ready for whenever my number gets called.”
Several other players from last year’s team have also advanced to the next level.
Parker Malchuk – University of Manitoba (U Sports)
Mathew Rathbone – Grand Canyon University (American Collegiate Hockey Association Divison 1)
Kaden Bryant – University of Ottawa (USports)
Logan Calder – Salve Regina University (NCAA Division 3)
Cordell Coleman – Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (ACAC)
Colby Jaquet – University of Saskatchewan (U Sports)
Klim Georgiev – York University (U Sports)
Nakodan Greyeyes – has not committed
Brayden Dube who scored the game-winning goal in game seven of the Turnbull Cup finals is now playing in the Western Hockey League with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He has two goals and two assists in six games.
Jayden Jubenvill is playing in the United States Hockey League with the Dubuque Fighting Saints where he has four assists in seven games.