Friday, 14 April 2017

Oilers Lead The League

If you've never heard of Dylan Wells before today, you're not alone. I only knew of the 19 year-old netminder due to his NHL Entry Draft selection by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth-round in 2016. He's an average netminder if one just looks at his OHL stats with the Peterborough Petes, but he's improving year after year which is good for the Petes and, perhaps one day, the Oilers. Wells, however, made this year's OHL Playoffs a little more memorable Thursday night when he did something out of the ordinary.

The Petes, backstopped by Wells, had already advanced to the second-round of the OHL Playoffs, and they led the Kingston Frontenacs 3-0 in their series last night. Late in the game, Kingston had their goalie pulled for an extra attacker in needing a few goal while being down 5-2 to extend the game and series. I'll let the video do the rest of the talking.
The commentators are entirely right in saying that with a three-goal lead late in the game, there's little risk in having the goalie take a shot at the yawning cage at the other end of the ice. Dylan Wells was perfectly positioned in the middle of the ice when he fired the puck down the length of the rink, so all he had to do was ensure that the puck slid straight. It did, it counted, and Dylan Wells scored the first goal of his career.

What makes this remarkable in the bigger picture is that the Oilers now have two goaltenders in their system that have scored goals this season. We jump back three weeks when Jonas Gustavsson of the Bakersfield Condors was credited with an AHL goal after he was the last player to touch the puck against the San Diego Gulls. The difference, as you'll note, is that Wells actually shot the puck himself, so I'll give a little kudos to the netminding sniper.

With his goal, Wells became the first Petes netminder in franchise history to score or be credited with a goal. He's also the ninth OHL goaltender to score or be credited with a goal, and the fourth goalie to do so in the playoffs. London's Tyler Parsons was the last goalie to score or be credited with a goal on October 9, 2015 against Sudbury while Niagara's Mark Visentin was the last to do so in playoff game while playing against the Ottawa 67's on April 25, 2012.

Here is the complete list of OHL goalies who have scored:
  • April 13, 2017 – Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
  • Oct. 9, 2015 – Tyler Parsons (London Knights)
  • Apr. 25, 2012 – Mark Visentin (Niagara IceDogs)
  • Mar. 30, 2004 – Justin Peters (Toronto St. Michael’s Majors)
  • Jan. 9, 1998 – Ron Vogel (Windsor Spitfires)
  • Apr. 20, 1993 – Fred Brathwaite (Detroit Jr. Red Wings)
  • Oct. 11, 1991 – Peter McGlynn (Kingston Frontenacs)
  • Sept. 25, 1988 – Jason Houle (North Bay Centennials)
  • Jan. 7, 1986 – Chris Clifford (Kingston Canadians)
The Petes closed out the game with the 6-2 victory, capped off by Wells' goal, to give them a second series sweep in these playoffs as Wells improved to 8-0. They now await the winner of the Mississauga Steelheads-Oshawa Generals series, and they'll kick off the OHL Eastern Conference Final on Thursday, April 20th in Peterborough.

When it comes to goalies, the Oilers are developing an excellent crop of snipers!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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