Even though he’s been at or near the top the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) goalie leaders much of the year, Cleveland netminder Mike Parda isn’t one to notice his miniscule numbers that have equated to team success for the Jr. Lumberjacks.
In fact, when broached with the subject of his six wins, 2.47 goals-against average and .926 save percentage, Parda simply shrugs off any hype.
“I attribute a lot of that to the defense mostly and the job they do eliminating the scoring chances from the other team, keeping guys to the outside,” said Parda. “I feel that if I make that first save and control the rebound, it will eliminate the threat of the scoring chance.”
A few weeks back, Parda became the latest in an increasing line of NA3HL players to earn a call-up to the parent North American Hockey League (NAHL) when the Wenatchee Wild brought him to their main roster.
Parda played just one game for the Wild and while he suffered a loss to the Dawson Creek Rage, the experience he gained proved invaluable and laid the groundwork for Parda to hopefully be in the league full-time next season.
“It was fun to say the least,” said Parda, an 18-year-old from Waukesha, Wis. “I was nervous for the ride out there and I didn’t know how the team would react to me coming in during the season like this. There are a lot of things that were different up there and that I had to get used to, but I had a lot of fun and I hope to make it back up there someday.”
A calming influence on the ice, Parda said he doesn’t emulate any one NHL goalie, choosing instead to take something from all of his favorites.
“I've never had a one goalie that I have looked up to,” said Parda. “I like a lot of them just by how they play on the ice and how they act off the ice. I tend to watch a lot of them and base my game off of things that they do.”
Back in Cleveland, a team that drafted Parda in May’s league draft, he did some research prior to committing to the Jr. Lumberjacks and the then-CSHL. What he found out was more than enough reasons for him to hone his skills in Cleveland.
“I knew that they had a good season last year and that they have a good track record of moving people on,” noted Parda. “I knew it was a good place to start and work upwards from there.”
Being a goalie, Parda is certainly no exception when it comes to superstitions and being wacky at and away from the rink.
Parda explained why he has his quirks and how each of them gears him up for the approaching game.
“I have to be at the rink two hours before warm-ups and before anybody else on the team,” Parda said. “I have to shower when I get to the rink just to mellow myself out and get in the zone. I also never cut my hair during the hockey season because I think it brings bad luck and you have to stick with the flow.”
With Parda in between the pipes, it seems like a given that the Jr. Lumberjacks can easily stay in the zone and rely on their goaltender to come up big when it matters.
Chicago leads the league with 110 goals scored - the only team to hit the century mark so far. Toledo is second with 98 goals scored … Of St. Louis forward Jamie DeMarco’s seven goals, five have come on the power play. He also has one shorthanded tally this season … Both St. Louis goalies - Justin Davis and Mitchell Fernsler - have seven wins this year … Toledo’s Chad Tickner continues to lead the NA3HL scoring race with 22 goals and 38 points … Queen City is the only team to not allow a shorthanded goals yet this season … Cleveland has allowed just eight power-play goals in 81 chances, far and away the league’s best percentage (90.12 percent) … Metro forward Mike Moroso leads the NA3HL with four shorthanded goals. His other seven goals have all come at even-strength … After starting the season in the NAHL with Traverse City, Flint forward Nathan Scurfield has eight goals and 16 points in eight games with the Jr. Generals … Peoria forwards Nathan Chasteen, Mason Riley and Kyle Hamilton have accounted for 70 points between the trio. As a team, the Mustangs have tallied 164 points. Riley is not to be confused with a goalie by the same name playing for Pittsburgh … Queen City’s Zachary Olson leads all league defensemen in scoring with a 7-13-20 line … Just one Quad City skater (Kyle Vesling) has double-digit goal totals, with 11 … Sunday’s game in Flint with the Jr. Generals hosting Peoria will be broadcast live on the Michigan Regional Sports Network - www.mrsn.us. Game time is 2:15 p.m. Eastern.