Matt Rasile Is West Haven's Secret Weapon In The Goalie Net
Matt Rasile came into the 2022/23 CTHS hockey season as a rookie. The sophomore did not play a year ago for West Haven, now he is the future of the program.
Rasile had no hockey experience going back two years, he had to learn how to skate and the fundamentals of hockey. He would go for a roster spot on the newly co-opped team. Rasile would avoid being cut and with that became a goalie for the West Haven Co-op Blue Devils.
The 15-year old would sport the No.30 jersey for West Haven, being the first player to wear 30 since Charlie Miller (Grad. ‘21). Rasile would begin the season as the JV goalie, overall listed as third-string behind the rotating starting goalie pair of Javed Ullah and Kiryl Astravukh.
Rasile would put up solid numbers in JV games, showing promise that he could handle the varsity level of hockey when called upon.
Due to him being a young player this gives West Haven an opportunity to develop him, something the program was not able to do last year as Ullah was the team’s only goalie. As of now (based on the current goalie situation) Rasile is the projected starting goalie for West Haven for the 2024/25 season when he is a senior. But that could easily change based on possible injuries and stat lines.
Events That Led To Debut
On Monday, February 6th, we saw the Blue Devils take on Fairfield Warde. West Haven came in 2-10, hot off their first D1 win of the season vs St. Dominic. Fairfield came in 9-2-1, ranked as a top-10 team in Connecticut. Javed Ullah would start in the net for West Haven and the Blue Devils’ defense would battle with Fairfield right from the start. A 2-0 deficit after p1 would soon turn into a 5-0 Fairfield lead early in the second.
West Haven’s Steve Harris would make a goalie change, putting a fairly cold Kiryl Astravukh in during the middle of the second period. Astravukh started things off busy as Fairfield kept the pressure, keeping the West Haven offense quiet. The Shelton import would allow four goals after averaging 2.5 GAPG prior to the matchup, the score was then 9-0.
"Now in the net for West Haven, #30 Matt Rasile"
Now going into the middle of the third we would see a stoppage of play followed by cheering from the West Haven faithful, the team made another goalie change. In the net went Matthew Rasile, making his Blue Devils varsity debut. In what was a lost game closing near the end, Rasile had one job: stop the bleeding. And that he did. Rasile was faced with constant attacks by the Fairfield players, who still were hungry to add on more goals to their name(s). By no means were they going to play conservative hockey at this point. Rasile was thrown into the toughest spot any goalie could be in coming in relief, and it didn’t affect him whatsoever.
Matt Rasile would go 9/9 in saves/save attempts, posting a perfect 1.000sv%. Rasile played shutout hockey, his first taste of varsity play game against a top team in the state, in a blowout offensive onslaught and he did not allow a single puck to get by him. The level of concentration and mindset he had to have is unlike no-other, he saw how the game was going before he went in and it didn’t phase his play. Rasile made most of the opportunity given to him as his teammates congratulated him once the final horn went off in the midst of cheering fans.
WH GOALIE STAT LINE vs FAIRFIELD
Javed Ullah (starter) 19/24 .792sv%
Kiryl Astravukh 16/20 .800sv%
Matt Rasile 9/9 1.000sv%
Now West Haven is 2-11 with 15 points, standing 12th/13 teams. Due to West Haven being a D1 hockey program they are already locked into playoff hockey, it is just a matter of the seed number they will get. West Haven is in attacking distance of three teams: Greenwich, NDF and St. Joseph, all three teams are 5-9. The team can also go after Ridgefield (7-8) and Northwest Catholic (7-4-1), but that would require the Blue Devils go undefeated through their last seven games.
West Haven faces Hamden (1-12), Fairfield Prep (9-3) and Ridgefield (7-8) for their next three games. With West Haven being locked into the playoffs with the D1 status, they can experiment with things. Usually you don’t see a JV goalie getting varsity time, but things are different in West Haven. First of all we saw Javed Ullah be their sophomore starting goalie last year, but that was due to the Blue Devils having no upperclassman goalie. Overall Rasile is the dark horse right now for West Haven, and with that the team could use him to their advantage.
As of now West Haven is going off of practice effort/production on choosing their starting goalie for the games. We have seen a rotation of every-other game with Ullah and Astravukh going back to the fourth game of the season. The first three games of the season it was a different story though with both playing during the same game. That could definitely be something we can see Steve Harris do with his goalie options. He can possibly go with the set starters but have the time split 50/50 for select games. That will give Rasile better development along with providing, in a way, a secret weapon for the Blue Devils if Rasile continues to put up steller hockey production.
One stat line to look at features the debut of both Astravukh and Rasile, both against top ranked teams in the state, at Bennett Rink, coming in relief.
Astravukh faced New Cannan in West Haven’s home opener, he went 8/10 save wise, putting up a .800sv%. Rasile went 9/9 saves with that 1.000sv%. Only a difference of one save attempt, but it is definitely worth noting mainly due to the experience and age differential between the two goalies.
Rasile has a .940sv% in JV so far this season, putting up above average numbers is nothing new for the young gun. Most likely we will see Matt again on varsity ice this season, it is just a matter of if it is via relief or starting in the net. Nevertheless Rasile’s varsity debut will be something that will be talked about for quite some time.
WEST HAVEN GOALIE SEASON STATS (THROUGH 13 GAMES)
Javed Ullah 219/254 .862%
Kiryl Astravukh 195/219 .890%
Matt Rasile 9/9 1.00sv%
I had the opportunity to interview Matt on his recent performance along with what may be ahead in the future for him. CLICK/TAP HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.
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