Colorado Rubber

Colorado’s and Utah’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Boulder native, Colorado youth hockey grad Blackburn enjoying final junior season with USPHL’s Sabers


Ethan Blackburn spent the 2021-22 season with a pair of USPHL teams, the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings and Decatur Blaze.

This season, the 20-year-old Boulder native is making an impact on the West Coast manning the crease for the San Diego Sabers. He’s been the top goalie for the Sabers and has already taken home two Pacific Division Goaltender of the Week awards.

“The opportunity arose for me to play for the Sabers this year when I was at the Air Force Showcase and my coach Tyler Casillo came up to me after the last game and offered me a contract and a spot on his team,” Blackburn said. “What’s appealing to me was the playing time I would be getting and the location and the coach. All are things I wanted in my junior career. I have the playing time I want, I’m in a beautiful location, and I have a coach that knows how to win and knows how to coach. 

“My time here so far has been great on both team and personal levels. On a personal level, I love the boys and the chemistry between us is great for a team this new. It’s great living in SoCal. The weather is fantastic and it’s so beautiful here. Having the beach near us is great, especially for our beach workouts.”

Casillo said he has been impressed this season with Blackburn’s play.

“Ethan is very important to us,” he said. “With one of his shutouts coming against Vegas in a 1-0 match, he has already demonstrated that he has the ability to neutralize any club in this league. I believe that Ethan’s presence in the net will only increase throughout the course of the season.”

Back in Colorado, Blackburn played for the Hyland Hills Jaguars, Boulder Hockey Club, Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, Monarch High School, and HTB.

“The coaches that stood out to me the most are Doug Smail, Timm Lorenz, Mark Sample, Jimmy Dexter, Steve Strunk, Chance Creger, Brian Butters, and Matt Zaba,” said Blackburn.

Moving forward, Blackburn has reachable goals in mind.

“My short-term goal right now is to go to school after this year and have a great time playing in college,” Blackburn said. “My long-term goal is to go pro somewhere, maybe in Europe, but hopefully in the states.”

— Matt Mackinder

(October 20, 2022)

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