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Steph Charbonneau’s Grit and Goal: Big Spark in Warriors’ Comeback Win

Vancouver Warriors defenceman Steph Charbonneau has a bend, don’t break, mentality that is integral in the identity the Warriors are establishing this season. 

‘Charbs’ as his teammates call him, is not known for being flashy, but when he scored his first goal this season in epic fashion, that caused a commotion from the fans and his team. 

In the Warriors’ 15-13 win over the Halifax Thunderbirds, Charbonneau scored Vancouver’s first tying goal of the game in their come-from-behind performance. 

To see the goal, check the video below around the 2:14 mark. 

The Montreal native said he missed a loose ball before collecting the one that led to his breakaway. He went full speed to the net, shielding his stick from Colton Armstrong and scoring to bring the Warriors even. 

“The crowd cheering was the result of two big plays back-to-back. Keegan scored a goal with three guys on him and then that followed by my goal added to the momentum, so it wasn’t just my goal,” said a modest Charbonneau. 

Forwards Ryan Martel and Keegan Bal as well as Head Coach and General Manager Curt Malawsky all lit up when they talked about how big of a spark Charb’s goal was for the team. 

“It is huge when a guy that doesn’t score too often like that scores, everyone on the bench is fired up,” Martel said. 

“He’s had such a great season for us. There were a few guys asking about him at the Draft and we’re glad we didn’t end up moving him,” Malawsky said. “I think that might have been his first goal [this season]. He’s had some chances but there’s no bigger time than tonight to get one, so it was great.” 

The 27-year-old has always been a calm player and continued to work on how to be that calming presence by being a reliable defender for his teammates throughout the season. He’s picked up 59 loose balls and has 11 blocked shots and 16 caused turnovers on his back-end duties. The goal against Halifax was his first of the season and he’s also tallied two assists. 

The team has believed all season they could win tough games and having won five of their last six is the result of that belief and gelling together as a team. 

“When other teams go on runs, we’re able to stay with it and we’ve been playing together longer so we know each other better – we can read each other’s body language and we know what a player wants to do so playing off each other is more intuitive,” Charbonneau said. 

Malawsky recounted a conversation he had with Charbonneau in Philadelphia about how much he values the defender and that he’s a great fit for what they’re trying to achieve. 

Charbonneau said there’s nowhere else he’d rather play, and that the travel doesn’t bother him, especially since everyone’s travelling for away games anyway. 

The left-side defender knows the potential of this team, and there’s so much about being part of the Vancouver Warriors that makes him feel right where he needs to be. 

“Everything, from the coaching staff and the ownership – who’ve created a first-class organization – to our locker room where the guys are awesome. You can’t help but get excited to see the guys every week and play in Vancouver where the fans are great,” Charbs said. 

The team has shown a lot of resilience and growth, and Charbonneau’s pivotal goal is a perfect example of the Warriors’ determination. As they continue to forge ahead, his steady presence on and off the floor embodies Vancouver’s never back down mentality.

Vancouver Warriors