Scott Rideout was relegated to the third string goalie for the second half of the 2000/01 season and in his year-end meeting with then men's hockey Head Coach Tim Bothwell, he was told he'd struggle to make the team the next year.
Bothwell's comment must have sparked something in the fifth-year's psyche because when he showed up for camp this year he was ready. His dedication and hardwork paid off for both him and his team as he led them to an impressive 16–9–1 record and within a single goal from the national championships. His performance and work ethic earned him the Gauntlet Extra Effort Award at the 35th Annual Night of the Dino.
"I worked really hard in the off-season this year," said the graduating Kinesiology student. "I knew that I couldn't take anything for granted."
A humble leader, Rideout credits his stellar year to both his coach and his teammates.
"It may sound cliché but this award could've been won by any of the 25 guys on this team. Everyone worked hard and worked together this year--including the coaches," he said. "I am honoured to accept the award, but all I did was try to work hard."
Goaltending was a question mark coming into the season for rookie Head Coach Scott Atkinson, but Rideout's performance solidified his role as the number one guy. He grasped the task and never relinquished it to his counterparts Tyler Nilsson and Aaron Baker.
"Dealing with goaltenders is different than dealing with other guys," said Atkinson. "When you have someone as your number one guy he has to know you have confidence in him. He can't be complacent, but he has to know that after a bad goal he doesn't have to look over his shoulder to see if the other guy is coming in."
With a 3.59 GPA, Rideout will finish his program this year. His future is full of options and hockey is definitely his top choice. If hockey doesn't come through, he plans to move to New Zealand and obtain an Education degree.
"This summer I'm going to train like I'm going to play," said the second team all-star. "As a player coming out of university you kind of have to take what you can get, but I would definitely like to keep playing."
As for where, he's had a series of calls from minor league teams across the continent from the East Coast Hockey League to the West Coast Hockey League. But, if he has his choice he'd like to play "somewhere hot."
Rideout's career as a Dino may be over, but if his dedication, work ethic and performance are indeed lasting traits he shouldn't have a problem playing just about anywhere he'd like.
"I am so happy for Rider," said Atkinson. "He was definitely the MVP of our team and in my opinion he was the MVP of the league.
"I don't think anyone did more for their team than he did for us."
As for Rideout's new hardware?
"I'll probably send it back to Mom. She loves stuff like that."