Special to the Tribune
Andrew Engelage, who emerged as the foundation of much of the Sundogs' success in 2013-14, won't be back with the club as goalkeeper this season after signing overseas with the Storhamar Dragons of Norway.
Engelage, an Ontario native, was the Central Hockey League's Most Outstanding Goaltender last year during a campaign that saw him set the second longest consecutive scoreless minutes streak in CHL history.
The Dragons, founded in 1957 in the 10-team GET-league, which itself has been around since 1935, will be Engelage's fifth professional team since 2011. Storhamar won the league title in 2008.
To rebuild the net, the Sundogs signed their first goalie to the 2014-2015 roster, bringing in rookie goaltender Charles Lavigne.
Lavigne, 26, has enjoyed a successful hockey career in Canada. Soon after joining the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, he met childhood idol, Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy. Under Roy's leadership and guidance, Lavigne earned the start in 51 games, collected six shutouts, and 1,220 saves.
Following a successful major junior career, the 6-foot, Lavigne attended St. Thomas University of the Athletic University Sport, a division of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport), where he posted the most saves each year in the AUS, making 2,183 saves throughout his four years, an .889 save percentage and a 4.03 goals-against average in 71 games.
After graduating from St. Thomas University in 2012, Lavigne was invited to continue his education and earn his Masters in Business Administration at the University of New Brunswick. Without an open spot on the Varsity Reds team, Lavigne decided to focus on his studies before returning to the ice a year later where he helped the Reds secure the CIS Championship.
While in New Brunswick the Ontario native went 17-3-0 with a .908 save percentage, 2.30 goals-against average and 485 saves in 22 games. That same year he also earned four shutouts, three of those coming back-to-back at the end of the season.
"I'm excited to have such a proven young goalie join our team," Sundogs head coach Kevin Colley said in a team statement. "He has tasted success, winning a CIS championship and earning CIS goaltender of the year. He finished last year in the AHL and we are looking forward to him coming in with confidence and are eager to see him grow and succeed in Arizona."
In early April, Lavigne was signed to an amateur contract with the Syracuse Crunch and received the nod in net, marking his first professional career start.