Maine Hockey Journal

Gilbert hopes to continue career in Wichita

Lewiston, ME – Jamie Gilbert is continuing the dream.

The former UMass-Amherst and Southern Maine goaltender has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League.

“I have an agent and he called some teams and began (speaking) to Wichita and they were interested in bringing me in,” said Gilbert.

Photo by USM

Photo by USM

The Lewiston native kept in shape during the summer if an opportunity arose.

“I skated a couple times a week with some pretty decent players,” mentioned Gilbert. “It kept me going. I worked out and trained pretty hard.

Gilbert has spent the last two seasons with the University of Southern Maine Huskies where he’s seen moderate success. During his first season with the Huskies, he went 10-6-1 with a 2.63GAA and a .914 save percentage.

He realizes the CHL isn’t the NHL, but it will be a great place to start.

“I was looking to get in anywhere, in any level so I can get established,” Gilbert strongly stated. “I got prove myself and start somewhere.”

He knows a little bit about the CHL.

“I know it’s pretty good,” Gilbert stated “There are a lot of teams and it’s well known. Each team has a good following and it’s going to fun and exciting.”

He reports on Saturday for the start of the Thunder’s training camp. With an ATO, a roster spot will have to be earned.

“I am unsure,” said Gilbert. “I know there’s one spot open and there’s two of us. I guess it’s a day by day thing.”

If it doesn’t work out with the Thunder, there’s a possibility he will end up with the Texas Brahmas also of the CHL.

“They have a goalie who’s at Houston Aeros (AHL) training camp right now,” Gilbert said. “If he makes that team, then they will have an open spot. My agent says it will be a better opportunity to go there because I won’t have to compete for a spot. I will just sign a contract.”

At the end of last season the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League wanted to give him a contract, but weren’t able to trade one of their goalies in order to make room for him.

He started his college career at UMass-Amherst a year before Jon Quick took over the reins of the number one goaltender in 2005.

“They brought Jon Quick in. He took over and I wasn’t playing so I had to leave. In order to pursue that goal I had to be playing hockey. So I moved down to Division III so I could play. It ended up Jon Quick is the starting goaltender with the (Los Angeles) Kings now.”

Gilbert is happy to say he sat behind an NHL caliber goaltender.

“It was pretty cool to be apart of the team he was on,” stated Gilbert. “To see his accomplishments now, it was pretty cool to tell everyone the starting goaltender for the Kings was playing over me.”

Would Gilbert be in the NHL right now if it wasn’t for Quick?

“I could have been me,” laugh Gilbert. “We will never know.”

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