Eli Shiller (left) and Jacob Hearne (right) share a laugh after winning the LayerEight Shootout. Shiller started in the semifinal, while Hearne was in the net for the title.
By Collin Bolebruch
Jacob Hearne, a junior goaltender for Plattsburgh men’s hockey, is 18-1-1 as a starter and hasn’t lost a game in 21 months. Last week, Hearne stood on his head against the Norwich Cadets, saving 34 shots to win the LayerEight Shootout title. He’s ninth in the country this season in save percentage at 0.947 and first in win percentage at 1.000 after starting the season 5-0.
Hearne hails from Ennismore, Ontario, and played for the Montreal Junior Canadiens and Fort Erie Meteors before joining the Cardinals in 2021. The team’s goalie room is highlighted by him and Eli Shiller, who split time between the poles, but Hearne’s gotten the most ice time this season. Head Coach Steve Moffat commends Hearne as a motivator and a winner.
This question and answer was conducted with Hearne over text Nov. 30.
Q: Have you tried to model your game after anyone?
A: Growing up as a kid, I was always watching Carey Price and idolized him as a kid. I would watch and study the way he moves in the net and wanted to be as technically sound as he was. So I definitely would say I try to model my game after Carey. His game was just so perfect and he made everything look so easy from back door saves to seeing through traffic. Carey is also, in my opinion, the best to do it and a Canadian icon.
Teammates Aaron Catron (12) and Brannon Butler (23) heave Hearney off the ground after posing for a team photo. Hearney was named to the All-Tournament team.
Q: What sport would you play, if not hockey?
A: If I wasn’t going to be playing hockey, a sport I would play is baseball. I play baseball in the offseason and love the game. There probably isn’t a better feeling in any sport than hitting an absolute bomb over the fence.
Q: Which Plattsburgh skater would make the best goalie?
A: This is a tricky one. I would probably have to go with Ryan Poorman. He is always trying to take my gloves during penalty kill practice and gets his reps in the net, so I think he would be my front runner.
Hearney lifts his arms in celebration as the buzzer sounds in the championship game, waiting for his teammates to embrace him.
Q: What game in your career were you most nervous going into?
A: My most nervous game I’ve played was probably my first college game played. Not saying I haven’t gotten nervous, but I think nerves are a good thing and can be used to my advantage when playing games. Nerves help me get up and ready to go. I just try to use it as an edge to perform to my best abilities. Last week against Norwich would be a good example. I was definitely a little nervous for that game, but at the same time, those nerves got me ready to go.