When SUNY-Fredonia head coach Jeff Meredith started looking for a goaltender, he immediately reached out to Northern Colorado Eagles Head Coach Steve Haddon.
“I was talking with Coach Haddon about us needing a goaltender at mid-year and picking his brain for some guys that maybe he knew of,” Meredith began.
The conversation turned to third-year Eagle, Charles-Anthony Barbeau, much to the delight and surprise of Meredith.
“In all honesty, I didn’t consider that he [Steve] would recommend Charles-Anthony as a mid-year transfer as most junior coaches don’t want to lose their guys,” Meredith started. “I think that speaks volumes about the commitment that Steve has to his guys and his want to move them on no matter what the situation is.”
As Barbeau commits to SUNY-Fredonia and will begin play with the SUNYAC school this upcoming winter, he wanted to start with the thank-yous.
“I want to thank the entire organization and I’ve been so thankful to be a part of it over the last three years,” he started.
“I would like to thank the coaching staff for putting their trust in me from day one. My family has given me a ton of support throughout this time as well as my billet family and teammates,” Barbeau finished.
When he signed with the Eagles in the winter of 2020, Barbeau was a rookie, third-string goaltending insurance headed into the playoffs. He started five regular season games and a playoff contest. Over three seasons, the 5 ’10, 170-pound Barbeau’s meteoric rise up the depth chart and franchise leaderboard is something that Haddon believes will serve Barbeau well at the next level.
“He came in here and worked his way up the depth chart, which is something that every player wishes will happen. He’s grown up here and we know that he is ready for NCAA hockey,” he stated. “I think sometimes because he is a smaller goalie that people underestimate him with the eye test.”
After last season, no one could risk underestimating Barbeau any longer. His 20 wins were second best in the USPHL Premier. He notched three shutouts, went 10-1-0 in January and February, and helped the Eagles get within two wins of their first ever Nationals appearance.
“Since I got here, I think my game has really taken a next step. I always work towards my goals and am really happy to have the next opportunity,” Barbeau commented.
Barbeau leaves the Eagles with quite the legacy, both on the ice and in the box score. In the record books, he’s set to finish his career in the top-five in franchise history among goalies in games played, wins, and shutouts. He was quick to credit those around him for helping him succeed.
“I feel that I had all of the success because of the tools the coaching staff have given me and my teammates in front of me. I’m really happy and proud to see my name on that list,” he said.
On the ice, his constant ability to grow and develop his game drew rave reviews from both his current and future coach.
“He’s always tweaking and working on all aspects of his game. He puts in the time and effort and you see how he has been rewarded,” remarked Haddon.
“His game will transition well at Fredonia and the ultra-competitive SUNYAC Conference. I love the fact he handles the puck since we want our goalies to be involved in being that ‘extra D-man’,” added Meredith.
Barbeau is set to begin at SUNY-Fredonia right away in the spring; the process was accelerated because, according to Meredith, it was the perfect fit at the right time.
“We got a chance to see each other and have a conversation about school, life, and hockey. I was so impressed with how detail-oriented and organized Charles-Anthony was and it makes him a perfect fit for us and our program,” Meredith raved.
The conversations began in early November and it didn’t take long for Barbeau to realize Fredonia was the right spot for him.
“We had our first call and right away, I really liked their program. I just knew it was the right fit,” he said.
As he prepares to take the leap to NCAA Division III hockey, Eagles Head Coach/General Manager Steve Haddon couldn’t contain his pride and excitement for Barbeau’s journey.
“We’re all so proud of him. He trusted the process and we developed players all throughout a junior career. There’s always ups and downs and he can apply all his experience here as he enters the start of his college career,” Haddon concluded.
In 10 seasons of existence, the Eagles have graduated over 100 players to college commitments in the United States and Canada, as well as professional contracts abroad. Eagles’ alumni dot the hockey landscape; playing in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), Poland, Sweden, and NCAA Division III hockey.
The Eagles are excited to add to their legacy as members of the NCDC West in 2023-24, a Tier II junior hockey division and first of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region.
If you are interested in learning more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.