Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 38

THE GOALIE MASK: A Manitoba Illustrator’s Canvas Brennan Rudd is a Sr. A goaltender from Wawanesa, Man. Corey Koop is the goalie who led the Steinbach Pistons to the 2013 Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship. When Koop transferred to the College of St. Scholastica, he needed a new paint job. It’s amazing where you can find great art these days. By Scott Taylor Photos by Adeline Loewen and Harris Dirnberger 38 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 B ack in the spring of 2013, Corey Koop was smokin’ hot. The goaltender for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Steinbach Pistons stopped just about anything that was shot in his direction. Even the ones that were probably wide. In Game 5 of the MJHL’s championship series, Koop was awesome, stopping 49 shots. In Game 6, the night the Pistons wrapped it up with a 3-2 win, Koop made 34 saves. He was not only named the finals MVP but the top goaltender in the MJHL playoffs. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound goaltender from Squamish, B.C. (his mom and dad were from Steinbach and after his parents split, his mom eventually moved back to Winnipeg), who arrived in Winkler in 2011 and started the 201213 campaign in Neepawa, was acquired by Steinbach at the trade deadline that season and did everything a goaltender could possibly do to carry a team to a championship. But then his junior career was over and it was time to move on. Last season, he accepted a partial scholarship to Division 3 University of Wisconsin-Stout, but things didn’t go particularly well so he got a better offer from Div. 3 College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. That got him closer to home. Of course, he also had to get himself a new goalie mask. “I’d posted on a forum on Facebook that deals with only goalie related stuff: Selling equipment, equipment questions, pictures of different things. If its goalie related, it’s on there,” said Koop, via email from Duluth. “I posted asking for recommendations for painters and a guy named Brennan Rudd messaged me. He only had one helmet to show for his previous work so it was a bit of a risk going with a newer artist, especially with what I had in mind, but he totally blew me out of the water. He took his time with the helmet, and he really delivered. “I gave him my general ideas and just let his artistic creativity go to work. He worked with me throughout the entire process allowing me to make tweaks to the design along the way. His idea was to have details on the mask that could only be seen when it was held in your hands, but also have larger, eye-catching details that look amazing from the stands. For someone that was new to the mask-painting world, he sure made a splash with this helmet.” Rudd, who lives in Wawanesa, about half an hour south of Brandon, was quite proud of his effort. “It was only the second mask I’ve ever done,” said Rudd, 29, who helps run, a website for ordering custom designed goaltender equipment. “I’m a goalie myself. I played in high school and with the Sr. A Wawanesa Jets. I’m a freelance illustrator in Wawanesa and I’m interested in doing a lot more masks. “I did the mask in a body shop in Brandon. They put the primer on it and a couple of coats of clear and then I scuffed it up so the airbush paint had something to grab onto. The airbrushing wasn’t the hard part. It was all the taping. That takes most of the time. In the end, I used a fine paint brush to complete the detailing. “I’m quite happy with how it turned out. It is quite ambitious.” The mask has a number of elements including Tower Hall, the main building on the St. Scholastica campus, with Batman perched on the top right side of the tower. The Bat symbol is on the top of the helmet. On each side is the Saints’ logo -- the old Minnesota Fighting Saints angel/devil. There is the date of his brother’s birthday on one side and the date of his friend Jordan Andreef’s birthday on the other. Andreef passed away last summer. “Then I have the Canadian Maple Leaf beside Jordan’s name to make sure that everyone I play against south of the border knows I’m from Canada,” said Koop. So far the mask is working. He’s currently 3-3-0 with a 2.68 goals against average with a .915 save percentage. “And the paint job only cost $500,” said Koop, who loved working with Manitoba’s newest mask painter. “That’s an absolute steal.” n Brennan Rudd, illustrator and mask painter, can be contacted via Instagram @goaliecustomizer. On Twitter @goaliecustomizr. On Facebook at Or via Email at