CALGARY, AB — It’s the home opener.
It’s the biggest stage.
It’s his first ever National Lacrosse League start.
It’s a big night for 19-year old Christian Del Bianco. The phenom goalie will get the call for tonight’s matchup against the Vancouver Stealth.
“Obviously, it’s not been a long time coming, but it’s something I’ve been excited about for a long time,” noted Del Bianco.
Asking the youngster about this experience, you could sense that nervous excitement inside him.
But that nervousness won’t hold him back.
“I’m usually nervous before every game,” Del Bianco admitted. “So it’s nothing new to me.”
He understands pressure. In the summer, Del Bianco led the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs to the Minto Cup, where he played so well under the bright lights that he earned the Most Valuable Player award.
Handling the pressure is not an issue for this strong-minded teenager. Looking once again at that Minto Cup Final, Del Bianco made numerous huge saves to help get the game to overtime. Up one goal in the extra frame, Del Bianco made the save of the game with under 40 seconds left on the clock.
But that’s only Junior lacrosse.
He’s played all of 19 seconds in a regulation NLL game.
“It’s definitely going to be on a different level, a new experience, and I’m really excited,” said Del Bianco.
It may be a new experience for the kid, but his mentality hasn’t changed.
It’s all about the win.
“I think it’s the same thing as any other game,” explained Del Bianco. “Take it one shot at a time and obviously the end goal is to get a win. Everything in between really doesn’t matter, it’s all about the end result.”
Del Bianco admitted his excitement for the opportunity, but wishes that it hadn’t come as a result of Frank Scigliano being suspended.
He wanted to earn the job because of his play between the pipes.
“It’s a really unbelievable experience,” Del Bianco said through a grin. “I would have preferred to earn the start, but it’s going to be amazing.”