Campus Life

Reid, Tait added to Horns' roster

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men's hockey team bolstered its present with an eye on the future Thursday, introducing two new goaltenders to the mix.

With incumbent and 2009-10 Canada West All-Star Scott Bowles entering his final year of eligibility, Horns head coach Greg Gatto announced the signing of a pair of Western Hockey League graduates, former Spokane Chief James Reid and Lethbridge Hurricane Dylan Tait.

"Bowles has been the backbone for us his entire career but we felt it was important to bring in quality competition and set ourselves up heading into his graduation after this season," says Gatto. "The last thing we want to do is go into a season with nothing but true freshmen as starting goalies."

Reid, a six-foot Calgary native, is coming off an outstanding final season of junior hockey where he was named the Western Conference nominee for the WHL goalie of the year. During his final year of junior hockey, Reid led the Chiefs to the Western Conference final. In 50 regular season appearances, his 2.52 goals against average was fourth best in the WHL and he recorded 35 wins, sixth in the league despite missing significant time due to injury.

"Reid has been one of the top goaltenders in the WHL the last few seasons and we are really excited to have him join the Horns," says Gatto.

Tait, a Lethbridge Athletic Association product, joins the Horns after his lone full season in the WHL with the hometown Lethbridge Hurricanes. Last year, Tait made 27 appearances for the Hurricanes and finished 6-10-1 with a 4.13 goals against average and 0.883 save percentage. Just 19, he gives up his final year of eligibility in the WHL to begin his post-secondary career.

"The last couple of years, seeing what kind of program was taking shape here and knowing some of the guys who have played here and really enjoyed it, I was really looking for an opportunity to come here," says Tait.

Prior to suiting up with the Hurricanes, Tait played with the Drumheller Dragons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

He's excited about the opportunity to work under Bowles, learning not only the goaltending position at the Canada West level but also how to balance an academic career. He plans on studying biological sciences.

"A big thing for me is the school aspect. I've heard he's a great student so hopefully he can show me how to create a good balance between hockey and school because he does such a great job with both," says Tait.

The Lethbridge native developed in the LAA and was part of the goaltending tandem with the Y's Men Titans that led the Alberta Midget Hockey League South Division with a 25-4-7 record and surrendered a league low 84 goals. Tait finished with a 11-2-3 record and a 2.91 goals against average.

"It is important for our program to have quality local guys return or stay in Lethbridge," says Gatto. "Dylan will battle and give us great depth at the goaltending position."

Tait joins a growing list of southern Alberta products to join the Horns in recent years with the likes of Taylor Gal, Mason Conway, Winston Day Chief and Cam Creighton.