The Midwest Junior Hockey League is proud to announce that Bloomington Jr. Blaze goaltender Cam Lerner has earned a call-up to the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Lerner becomes the second MWJHL player to get promoted to higher levels of junior hockey this season, following Traverse City Hounds’ forward Garrison Sanipass, who was called up to the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League in late October.
For Lerner, he said playing in the MWJHL and with Bloomington helped him get this opportunity.
“When I first came to Bloomington, I sat down with Coach (Zac) Pearson and Coach (Kurt) Maki and we discussed how Bloomington would be a place that could help me move up,” said Lerner, an 18-year-old from New Lenox, Ill. “I wouldn’t have come to Bloomington if I didn’t think this organization could help me play at higher levels.”
“Cam has been our MVP for the first third of the season,” added Pearson. “He faces 40-some shots every game and even though his goals-against average is a little bit high (3.99), his save percentage is right around .900 (.908). Cam definitely gives our team a chance to win every game he’s out there.”
Lerner has a win-loss record of 4-9-0 this season.
And while Lerner will be in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, for a minimum of one week, Pearson hopes it’s longer.
“This is what our league is about – advancing players to that next level,” Pearson said. “I told Cam that when he leaves on Sunday that I’m saying goodbye, but I hope he sticks there and won’t be back here. That being said, if it doesn’t work out, he knows he has a place to play here.
“As an organization, we couldn’t be happier for Cam. It shows you that other leagues look at and scout our league and that says a lot for our league, which is just in its second year of operation.”
Off the ice, Lerner is excited to see what Canada has to offer.
“I’m not a Vancouver Canucks’ fan,” laughed Lerner. “But I have heard nothing but great things about the area and I can’t wait to get up there and explore Canada and see what it’s all about. I just want to go into Surrey, work hard and compete my hardest. I think the BCHL might be a different style, so we’ll see how that goes. I just want to go and play my game and see what happens.”
In Bloomington, goaltenders Kent Nusbaum, Vladyslav Plakhotnyi and Paul Stomper will vie for playing time in Lerner’s absence.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)