Aaron Bold waited, waited, waited, waited, waited, waited, and … you get the idea. But after 6 seasons of playing second fiddle in cities like Portland, San Jose and Rochester, the goaltender out of Victoria, B.C., finally got his chance as a No. 1 in Edmonton and he did exactly what many predicted he would do: make saves and win games. Dramatic saves, routine saves, boot saves, elbow saves and even saves off the dome. Doesn’t matter. He made the saves he was supposed to make, and then some, and the Edmonton Rush rode Bold all the way to the National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup game before that momentum came to a halt. But that 1 game won’t keep us from calling Bold one of the most exciting young goalies in the game today.
A big reason for that had to be that Bold was paying attention during his 6 seasons as a backup. Playing behind the likes of Matt King and Dallas Eliuk in Portland, Anthony Cosmo and Matt Roik in San Jose, then Matt Vinc in Rochester, Bold had some solid mentors.
And when the Knighthawks shipped Bold to Edmonton before the start of last season, it all paid off when the Rush finally got their game together on both ends of the floor and rode that momentum to the title game. But while the O struggled early, the D was on point, and Bold was a big reason for it. He recorded 41 or more saves in 3 of his first 4 games, and his season-ending numbers for goals-against (10.47), save percentage (.775) and saves (571) all were third-best in the league. But he was even better in the playoffs, posting a 10.13 goals-against average and a .781 save percentage. That included holding Minnesota to just 3 goals in the West Divisional final for a sparkling .929 save percentage. And in the final against Rochester, the Knighthawks scored just 1 goal in the first half before rallying in the second.
In the summer, Bold was the No. 1 in Brooklin and his 8.39 GAA and .775 save percentage helped the Redmen finish with the best record in the Major Series (10-4) for the first time since the Redmen were 13-5 in 2004. It didn’t keep the Redmen from losing in their MSL semifinals series against eventual champ Peterborough but the constant for both playoff teams this year was a goalie, whose wait is finally over. Aaron Bold has arrived as a top-shelf goalie.
Fact: For some perspective on Brooklin finishing with MSL’s best regular-season record for the first time since 2004: In 2004, Bold was in his second season of Junior A lacrosse with the Victoria Shamrocks, earning first-team BCJALL All-Star honors in leading the ‘Rocks to the Minto Cup finals, where they lost to Burnaby. (Interesting note: On that All-Star team with Bold was Scott Ranger, Rob Van Beek, Cliff Smith, Craig Conn and Garrett Billings.)
Top 40 (last year’s rank in parenthesis)
No. 40: Jeff Gilbert (not ranked)
No. 39: Kevin Crowley (nr)
No. 38: Kevin Ross (nr)
No. 37: Adam Jones (nr)
No. 36: Jordan MacIntosh (nr)
No. 35: Paul Rabil (30)
No. 34: Tyler Richards (17)
No. 33: Scott Ranger (nr)
No. 32: Chris White (20)
No. 31: Sandy Chapman (15)
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