Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Good Day For Goalies

It's Wednesday. It's Hump Day. It's November 14, but it's not a special day for most. I assume there are a swath of people in society who are celebrating a birthday or another special day, but the majority of the world didn't have anything remarkable to write home about regarding today. Well, hold on a second. There were a couple of people who had a very good day based on how the day went for them, and we need to talk a little about them due to their big days! Both men are goalies who have suited up in the NHL, but one guy had himself a great day in the AHL while another guy got to happily sit on the bench for the evening!

In an early AHL game as AHL teams invite school kids to the rink for the day, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were up 3-1 late in their game against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Being down late sent Springfield goalie Michael Hutchinson to the bench for an extra attacker as the Thunderbirds tried to erase the two-goal deficit. And that's when Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry decided to take matters into his own hands.
Announcer screams aside on that video, Tristan Jarry scored his first goal as a goaltender in his professional hockey career today! Jarry became the 14th goaltender in the AHL's 83-year history to record a goal, and the ninth goaltender to physically shoot the puck the length of the ice to score a goal! I'd say that's a pretty awesome day for Jarry, right?

The 14 goalies who have etched their names into the AHL record book for being recorded as a goal scorer include:
  • Darcy Wakaluk, Rochester – Dec. 5, 1987 at Utica
  • Paul Cohen, Springfield – Mar. 28, 1992 vs. Rochester
  • Robb Stauber, Rochester – Oct. 9, 1995 at Prince Edward Island
  • Christian Bronsard, Syracuse – Oct. 30, 1999 at Rochester
  • Jean-Francois Labbe, Hartford – Feb. 5, 2000 at Quebec
  • Chris Mason, Milwaukee – Oct. 15, 2001 at Utah
  • Antero Niittymaki, Philadelphia – Apr. 11, 2004 at Hershey*
  • Seamus Kotyk, Milwaukee – Apr. 17, 2005 at San Antonio
  • Drew MacIntyre, Manitoba – Feb. 20, 2008 at Chicago*
  • Chris Holt, Binghamton – Mar. 19, 2010 vs. Rochester
  • Reto Berra, Lake Erie – Jan. 16, 2015 at Chicago
  • Jonas Gustavsson, Bakersfield – Mar. 24, 2017 vs. San Diego
  • Alex Nedeljkovic, Charlotte – Mar. 10, 2018 vs. Hartford
  • Tristan Jarry, W-B/Scranton – Nov. 14, 2018 at Springfield
The two starred goals scored by Niittymaki and MacIntyre were overtime goals, but Jarry didn't need that today as his goal helped the Penguins win the game 5-1 over Springfield!

From that cool story, we move to another great story. Well, unless you're Braden Holtby who missed tonight's game for the Capitals against the Winnipeg Jets with an upper-body injury. But as they say, when one door closes, another opens, and tonight that door opened for a gentleman by the name of Gavin McHale!

Gavin is the Winnipeg Jets' emergency goalie, so he gets to watch a lot of Jets games for free while he waits for the tap on his shoulder. Normally, Gavin wouldn't see the ice whatsoever from the vantage point to the right, but with Holtby injured and unable to play, McHale was sent down to the Washington Capitals' room to suit up and back-up Pheonix Copley in tonight's game! Donning jersey #41, McHale was able to get into the warm-up, face guys like Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Oshie as they prepared for the game, and he can now claim he's part of the reigning Stanley Cup champions!
Ironically, the first shooter that McHale faced tonight in warm-up was none other than Alex Ovechkin. And Ovechkin ripped a shot past McHale. Welcome to the NHL, kid.

The 31 year-old netminder is a former Portage Terrier of the MJHL and played in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds, and he now works as a fitness coach when he's not on the ice training Lauren Taraschuk, Erin Fargey, and Devan Johnson of the Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team as their goaltending coach. McHale's been doing the emergency goalie thing for the Jets for a couple of seasons now, and his debut on national hockey in the US and Canada thanks to NBC and Sportsnet did not go unnoticed on social media!

Congratulations to Tristan Jarry for scoring his first goal, and Gavin McHale for blowing up the internet as a Washington Capital! Wednesday, November 14 was a pretty good day for goalies, it seems!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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