Pat Nogier: A Reflection

Pat Nogier: A Reflection

Posted on April 11 by Kyle
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It was March 20 at 8:08 a.m., when the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets tweeted that they were recalling defenceman Nelson Nogier from their AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, for a game the next night against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

Shortly afterwards, Pat Nogier, Nelson’s father, retweeted the message. After that, you have to think he got busy making arrangements to get himself and his wife, Lori, to Winnipeg.

The Nogiers are from Saskatoon, where Pat carries the title of Inspector with the Saskatoon Police Service. He has been with the SPS since 1993.

At one time, like his son today, Pat dreamt about playing in the NHL. A goaltender, he played in twenty-nine games with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers in 1985-86 before he was traded to the Swift Current Broncos with whom he got into 42 games in 1986-87.

Pat was one of three goaltenders on the Broncos bus that crashed just east of Swift Current on Dec. 30, 1986, an accident that claimed the lives of four young players — Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Christ Mantyka, and Brent Ruff — and is the focal point of Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos that was published by Dundurn in 2012.

Pat walked away from his dream following that season and went home to attend the University of Saskatchewan, where he would earn a Bachelor of Arts before joining the SPS.

On March 21, as he made his NHL debut, Nelson, 20, was still young enough to be playing in the WHL. He had spent four seasons in the WHL, playing with his hometown Blades and the Red Deer Rebels. He was selected by the Jets in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2014 draft.

In his first season with the Moose, Nelson had two goals and eleven assists in fifty-seven games at the time of his recall. The Jets actually had five defencemen out of action, thus he was recalled on an emergency basis.

“I was pretty nervous, to say the least,” he told the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe after the Jets had beaten the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2. “That was a moment I’ll never forget. I was fortunate to get my legs under me pretty quick and got a few touches with the puck. From there, I just tried to settle down.

“I was happy with my game. Thought I was a little shaky at the start, but that was kind of to be expected.”

Nelson Nogier’s stats line for the game shows seventeen shifts totalling 12 minutes 16 seconds, one shot on goal and three hits.

And, yes, he did it with his parents in the MTS Centre stands.

“This last 48 hours have been crazy,” Nelson told Wiebe. “It’s a moment I’ll never forget. Something I’ll cherish forever and I’m so happy they were able to be a part of it.”

You can bet his parents will cherish the evening forever, too.