MRU Cougar signs pro deal
Cougar net-minder marks school’s 10th pro graduate
By Sports Editor, Dan Khavkin
Fifth-year and graduating Mount Royal Cougar goaltender Cam Lanigan has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL on March 9. Lanigan’s signing marks the 10th Cougar to make it to the pros since MRU has been under the USPORT banner.
Former Cougars such as last season’s captain Matt Brown and current AHL forward Cam Maclise, inked deals to play in the ECHL last spring, using the East Coast league as a stepping stone to kickstart their pro careers. Lanigan, 25, has played four full season in a Cougar sweater, posting a career 23-21-3 record with a .898 save percentage and a 2.77 GAA. He posted a 6-5-1 record in playoffs with a 2.57 GAA and a .905 save percentage. Prior to MRU, Lanigan had an impressive career in juniors and defended the net for the Arizona Sundogs of the former Central Hockey League but transferred to MRU in 2013-2014.
The Calgary native suited up for the Edmonton Oil Kings, Portland Winterhawks and the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL before having a short stint with the pros and then joining the Cougars. His best season came with the Medicine Hat Tigers, posting a 20-18-2 record with a 3.00 GAA and a solid .901 save percentage.
In his first full season with the Cougars, he led MRU with an 8-5-0 record and took them to their first ever playoff series win in program history in 2014-2015. He got injured in the semi-finals and missed the remainder of the playoffs.
In 2015-2016, Lanigan got hit with the injury bug and was sidelined for most of the season giving rookie Colin Cooper his chance to shine, which he did as Cooper led the Cougars to one of their best seasons since joining USPORT with a 13-5 record.
Cooper’s incredible success forced Lanigan to be the backup for the majority of the 2016-2017 season but got five starts towards the end of the season during a rough finish for the Cougars.
Despite the short amount of ice time, Lanigan got the nod to backstop the Cougars during the 2017 playoffs against the Manitoba Bisons on home-ice and got MRU to the semi-finals before getting eliminated by national runner-up Saskatchewan Huskies.
In his fifth and final year, the Cougars faced a lot of hardships and adversity with the squad losing plenty of veteran presences such as Brown and Maclise. The team introduced 10 first-year rookies and had a rough start to the year but a season high six game win streak.
Lanigan went 9-8-1 in his final year including a shutout in his final game as a Cougar for the first goose-egg of the year. Clinching the last playoff spot, the Cougars swept a gritty Manitoba squad in their barn before getting eliminated by Canada West champion Alberta Golden Bears.