The countdown continues with senior goaltender, Omar Kanji. While Omar might not have the ice time that Iles has, he has been no less integral to the team since his arrival in the Fall of 2009. Ever the team player, Kanji has served as the third goalie for his first three years for the Big Red. Kanji was a big get for the Red, hailing from Thornhill, Ontario, posting impressive numbers for his previous team, the Upper Canada College varsity team. This year, Kanji will be the second goalie for the Big Red.
Amongst other awards, he was a three-time member of the ECAC All-Academic Team. This honor requires a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. This award came on the heels of the award Kanji won at the 51st Annual Hockey Awards Banquet. The Earle Award of Outstanding Academic Achievement, which is awarded to the member of each class with the highest cumulative GPA. For the junior class, Omar Kanji was awarded this accolade that was named in honor of Wendell Earle, former Cornell professor and team adviser.
What cannot be overstated is the intangible: Kanji's integral presence on the team. It is apparent that Kanji plays a much more important role than is evident from ice time, points, shutouts, or minutes played. In baseball, one talks about how much "clubhouse presence" one has that contributes to the team's emotional and mental states as well as the overall feel of a team. Kanji has this in spades. His presence behind the bench, in the locker room, and in team-bonding interactions is one which makes Omar Kanji an incredibly important part of the team. With fewer goalies than normal, Kanji has a real possibility of seeing playing time this year. The team knows that they can rely on Kanji when he is needed. The Faithful should rest easy knowing the same. 31 Days!
Where Angels Fear to Tread is a blog dedicated to covering Cornell Big Red men's and women's ice hockey, two of the most storied programs in college hockey. WAFT endeavors to connect student-athletes, students, fans, and alumni to Cornell hockey and its proud traditions.