It seems limiting to talk of Cornell's first player from Belarus in terms of being an exclusive defenseman. Gotovets has served as both a forward and defenseman as needed for the Big Red. Also, he has logged critical minutes for Cornell on both the power play and penalty kill. It was during his sophomore season that he had ice time as a forward. However, with a Cornell team that is defensively minded and entering the season with only seven defensemen, it is all but certain that the arsenal of skills that Gotovets brings to the ice will be utilized behind the blue line this season.
Gotovets' skills indicate that in two seasons when phenomenal defensemen like Birch and D'Agostino depart, he will be ready to carry the mantle and workload of a defense-based system on East Hill. Gotovets embraces his typical role as a stay-at-home defenseman with generating key turnovers and limiting offensive opportunities for the opposition. He performs his requisite duties tirelessly and almost entirely without err. He takes his role very seriously at Cornell, delivers needed results, and will be integral to Cornell's success in the coming season.
The first Belarusian to play for the Big Red is a product of the prestigious hockey hotbed of Shattucks-St. Mary's in Minnesota. He further has honed his skills while representing proudly his home country in both the IIHF Division I U20 World Championship and 2010 IIHF World Championships. In the 2010 IIHF World Championship, Belarus finished third in its group with one win and two losses. Belarus advanced to a play-in round to advance to the Qualifying Round. Sadly, Gotovets's Belarusian national team did not advance beyond this round suffering a split in this round of a win and an overtime loss that was not sufficient to advance the team to the next round.
As sad as we at WAFT are that Gotovets has yet to win an IIHF World Championship medal for his home country, we think that hoisting two or more trophies this season with the Big Red will lift his spirits. We know that with what is reasonably expected to be a prolific offensive attack and stalwart defensemen like Gotovets defending Cornell's zone that no goal is too lofty for this Cornell team.
We end this post with a video that could not be ignored. Gotovets has scored two goals over his collegiate career. One of which was scored in the first ECAC game of the season last season. A game that ended a long and tortured draught against the Elis. That goal of Gotovets against Yale is a thing of beauty. It appears at 4:55 of the video below embedded. When he has a chance to jump into the play, we look forward to Gotovets delivering more of these quality goals this season.