REGINA – Moose Jaw Warriors’ net minder Boston Bilous has been named Western Hockey League Goaltender of the Week for the week ending March 14, the league announced Monday.
Goaltender Boston Bilous of the @MJWARRIORS has been named WHL Goaltender of the Week!
— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 15, 2021
Bilous, 20, has been magnificent through two games in the Subway WHL Hub, stopping 46 of 50 shots for a .920 save percentage and a 1.90 goals-against average.
To say he has been integral to Moose Jaw’s perfect start to the campaign might be an understatement.
“I think Boston has really found some confidence here,” said Warriors’ head coach Mark O’Leary after Bilous stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders Sunday evening.
“I know he is a guy who really put in a lot of work in the off-season in terms of his strength and conditioning, and I know he was really looking forward to the opportunity of being a go-to guy. I know we are not 2-0 without his play, and it is the big-time time saves in the big-time moments that really keep us in the fight. He has been our best player here so far.”
Coach O’Leary mentioned after both contests so far, last Friday afternoon’s 4-3 overtime win vs. the Brandon Wheat Kings as well as the aforementioned tilt with the Raiders, that these might have easily been the types of games the Warriors would have lost last year. Boston’s record in 19-20 against the tiny sample size of the 2021 campaign already bears that out: he was the winning goaltender only twice in 17 appearances for Moose Jaw a season ago.
For Bilous, the 6-foot-3 native of Langley, B.C., there is no comparing the Warriors of yesterday, and the Warriors of today.
“I don’t want to talk about my performances too much,” said Bilous, “because we have changed a lot as a team.
“These past two games have been amazing for the team, the guys are battling, there are a lot of blocked shots that guys aren’t getting enough credit for. They are making my job a lot easier, and these past two games have been a lot of fun. These two games have been intense, but it’s been great for our team to battle back from the other team’s leads, and it’s been awesome.”
Bilous was selected in the fourth round, 80th overall to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 2016 WHL Draft, and to date has featured in 86 WHL games for Edmonton and the P.A. Raiders. He has a record of 27-35-6-2 with a 3.45 goals-against average, a .875 save percentage, and three shutouts over that span.
He also started one game for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Estevan Bruins, earning a 26-save shutout in the 7-0 win over their local rivals, the Weyburn Red Wings on Nov. 20, 2020.
The previous WHL Goaltenders of the Week so far this season have been Brayden Peters of the Calgary Hitmen (March 8), and Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings.