Friday, 12 December 2014

The Julius Hudacek Show

The smiling face to the left belongs to Orebro goaltender Julius Hudacek. Hudacek is a bit of a journeyman goaltender when it comes to visiting European leagues and countries as he's played in the Slovakian Hockey League, the Swedish Elite League, the Swedish First Division, the KHL, and the Czech Hockey League. The 26 year-old has a well-stamped passport, it seems, but he may not be going anywhere after this season as it appears he's found a home in Orebro, Sweden. Not only has his play been solid, but he's loved by the fans for his play, his attitude, and his post-game celebrations after wins.

HBIC was lucky enough to meet Andrew Loewen from the SPHL's Columbus Cottonmouth. You may remember Andrew as the "dancing goalie" who does "the wobble" between the second and third periods when he's not starting in net. The YouTube video, embedded in the link above, went viral and Andrew became an overnight dancing sensation. Having met Mr. Loewen and spoken with him, he is an amazing young man and dancing is only one of the exceptional skills he has. However, Andrew Loewen may have some YouTube competition in Julius Hudacek when it comes to goalies who dance. And do other crazy things.

Let me start by saying that Julius Hudacek is 12-10 this season with a pair of shutouts, a 2.10 GAA, and a .921 save percentage. While his record doesn't show it, Hudacek is playing well based on his numbers. He has helped Orebro to fifth-place in the twelve-team Swedish Elite League, and they trail second-place Frolunda by a mere six points. While the team is getting solid offensive contributions from players like Jared Aulin, Derek Ryan, and Martin Johanssen, the tandem of Hudacek and backup netminder Henrik Lundberg are excelling in the blue paint. That should warrant them staying around in Orebro for the foreseeable future.

What really has them on the map, though, is their post-game celebrations led notably by Mr. Julius Hudacek. Mr. Hudacek is far less worried about looking goofy than he is about having a good time with the fans. Through these next few videos, you'll see why Julius Hudacek is fast becoming one of Orebro's favorite players.

Leapfrog victory celebration for Hudacek and Lundberg after beating Brynas.

Hudacek doing some goal stick surfing after beating Linkopings.

The #HudaShow in the kayak after beating Lulea.

Doing a little ice-fishing and Zamboni riding after defeating Djurgarden.

Hudacek and seven excited fans do a little on-ice dancing!

Honestly, Julius Hudacek is all kinds of awesome. We're gonna have a lot to talk to Jared Aulin about when he gets back to North America. I can honestly say, though, that Orebro is my favorite Swedish Elite League team by a large margin at this point thanks to our friendship with Mr. Aulin, some of the great Orebro fans on Twitter, and my growing appreciation for goaltender Julius Hudacek!

Go Orebro!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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